Friday , July 30, 2021

Online Banking Remains Popular With Consumers, But Sophistication Wins, J.D. Power Says

Consumers are increasingly turning to online banking as their only method of banking, says a recent study from J.D. Power. In 2020, the number of consumers that only bank online grew 11%. Overall, 41% of consumers in the United States are digital-only banking customers.  

The online channel has also become a popular way for consumers to resolve issues related to their bank accounts. In 2021, 31% of consumers used the digital channel to resolve account-related problems, up from 2020.

In terms of overall customer satisfaction, Bank of America’s and SunTrust Bank’s Web sites ranked the highest among national banks, with each earning a satisfaction score of 852 out of possible 1,000 points. BB&T and PNC tied for third with a score 847, followed by Chase (846) and Capital One (844). 

The industry average customer satisfaction score was 839. Forty-eight points separate Bank of America from 10th ranked Citibank, which posted a score of 804, an indication that large banks are struggling to create user experiences that differentiate their digital offerings, J.D. Power says. 

“Bank of America and SunTrust lead a tight, but chaotic industry in a strange year for digital. Big movement up and down signifies a digital platform looking for a place,” the report says. 

Among regional banks, Regions Bank topped the list with a rating of 882, up 17 points from 2020, followed by Fifth Third Bank with score of 847 and Key Bank with a score of 835. Sixth-ranked M&T Bank, which posted a satisfaction score of 803, experienced a 37-point drop in its score in 2021, the biggest slide in customer satisfaction among regional banks. The average score among regional banks was 830.

While bank Web sites offer more payment-related features and information than mobile-banking apps, consumers that bank online are more inclined to try a mobile app. Among national banks, the number of consumers that bank online and also use the bank’s mobile app grew 24% the past year, while regional banks saw a 16% increase in the number of consumers that bank online and also their mobile app. 

In contrast, users of apps are disinclined to use the bank’s Web site. Among national banks, the number of active mobile-app users that use online banking declined 10% in 2021, while regional banks saw a 6% decline in the number of active mobile app users that also use its Web site. 

As a result, banks should look closely at the relative percentages of mobile-app and online users and how actively online users cross over to the mobile app to determine whether it makes sense for the mobile app to be positioned as customers’ primary digital point of interaction, the report says.

“The nation’s largest banks and credit card issuers have been continually innovating new digital solutions that support increasingly complex tasks,” says Jennifer White, senior consultant, banking and payment intelligence for J.D. Power. “This is driving increased engagement and significantly higher levels of satisfaction as the world shifts to digital. That’s a challenge for regional banks that have traditionally taken a simpler design approach and are now starting to see customer satisfaction scores fall as many customers required more sophisticated digital offerings in 2020 than in previous years.”

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