Little Bank Takes Big Bank in Customer Service

When it comes to customer satisfaction, smaller banks do it better, according to an FIS survey released today. More than nine in 10 U.S. customers are very satisfied or extremely satisfied with their credit unions, compared with about two-thirds of consumers who use top 50 global banks. Fees incurred at larger banks may be a reason for lower levels of satisfaction, according to the study.


Larger banks once held a slight advantage over smaller ones by offering more digital services, but the gap is closing. These digital services are very important. The report shows consumers increasingly favor a suite of digital self-service options when interacting with their bank. Millennials lead in mobile interaction with banks — some 63% of younger millennials (18-to-26-year olds) interact with their bank via smartphone. But even for older consumers, FIS found that overall “digital self-service is a high priority for consumers under the age of 53”.

How banks perform on mobile is more important now than ever. Forty-two percent of respondents reported that they use their mobile banking app more now than they did a year ago. A mobile interface can now serve as the face of a bank, and without seamless integration of digital services, consumers can get turned off.

But banks are rising to the challenge.

Overall 34% of U.S. banks are using digital payments. Peer-to-peer (P2P) payment apps have proven popular with consumers. Banks have responded to demand by using “bank-sponsored payment networks like Zelle and PeoplePay,” according to the report. Nearly one-fifth of top 50 global banks use a P2P app, compared with only 10% of credit unions and 7% of direct banks.

Yet direct banks are leading the way in mobile wallet services, with 20% using this fintech compared with only 12% of the top banks. For the most part, banks haven’t quite taken an “if you can’t beat them join them” stance.  Fewer than 1 in 10 of any bank type surveyed uses Apple Pay Cash or Venmo.

FIS conducted the survey in January 2018. It included 5,000 consumers in the U.S., U.K., Germany, and India.

See the full report here.

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