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Aussies aren’t that interested in fancy personalised bank tech


bank tech

They've told their banks to keep it simple.

The competitive landscape in financial services, thanks to the rise of fintech, has seen the launch of banking chatbots, automated investment suggestions and spending data analysis by many major banks and smaller disruptor startups. However, according to GlobalData's 2018 Retail Banking Survey, many Australians prefer their banks to keep personalisation features and products simple.

GlobalData analysed a heat map of personal financial management (PFM) tools from Australian retail banks (shown below), and found that consumers prefer day-to-day assistance with their money rather than more sophisticated aspects of their finances, such as that offered by robo advisors.

GlobalData banks

For example, the majority of customers across all 10 banks analysed would use real-time balance alerts and predictive balance alerts of insufficient funds. However, automated investment portfolio suggestions scored poorly, with two banks having less than 30% of respondents saying they would use it.

There were noticeable differences across the banks though, pointing to a difference in customer needs and preferences. For example, data visualisation of spending was not important to the majority of Westpac (37%) or BankSA (35%) customers but was very important to the majority of Bankwest (61%) and ING Direct (63%) customers.

GlobalData retail banking analyst Sean Harrison says Australian retail banks need to ensure they are providing customised PFM tools based on the needs of customers.

"Virtual financial assistants calculating how much customers have spent on coffee in a month might be interesting, but they won't deliver customer satisfaction or improved retention. Australian consumers simply want additional help in monitoring and tracking their finances as well as boosting their savings," he said.

Harrison says the popularity of a PFM tool does not equal the return on investment for a bank.

"For example, predictive balance alerts of insufficient funds is the most popular tool but only has the fourth-biggest impact upon retention, behind account aggregation, real-time balance alerts and assisted savings tools."

While the respondent count for the survey is low – the highest number of respondents was 407 for CBA – and only specific to the customers' own bank, the data is interesting considering the slew of new digital banks coming onto the scene. Many are offering automated spend categorisation as well as savings tools and alerts. Take a look at our comparison of digital banks to see what features are on offer from the new digital banks.

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