20% of Europeans would bank with Google, Facebook or Amazon

Chris Skinner, 07 May 2016 - Banking, Europe, Survey

Chris Skinner is Chair of the European networking forum: the Financial Services Club. He is best known as an independent commentator on Fintech through his blog, and as author of the bestselling book Digital Bank and its new sequel ValueWeb.

I got an interesting research report this week about consumer attitudes towards banks in Europe:

  • More than a third of European consumers would move bank if they didn’t offer up-to-date technology to aid interaction

  • Nearly a third are already embracing mobile payments, while a fifth are already using wearables and crypto-currency to pay

  • Almost a fifth would buy banking services from challengers such as Google, Facebook and Amazon

According to the 7,000 consumers who took part in the survey, digital plays an increasingly prominent part in their banking interactions, with more than a third (37%) threatening to leave their provider if they don’t offer up-to-date technology.

While traditional payments still remain popular – 44% of consumers still use cash to pay daily – new digital payment methods are coming to the fore. Consumers are showing they are open to innovative services to make their lives easier, with 32% already embracing mobile device payments, while 22% have adopted wearable technologies and 20% crypto-currencies, the latter driven by Eastern Europe usage where 44% say they use the technology.

This progressive consumer attitude has also led to a shift in expectations from Financial Service providers and a willingness to buy more services from them; offering a wealth of opportunity to current providers. One in three said they would consider buying energy for their home; the same figure agreed on personal data storage, while 30% said they would purchase broadband services from their bank.

Yet with this progressiveness comes a warning bell to traditional providers. Already a fifth of respondents said they would buy banking services from potential disrupters like Google, Amazon or Facebook.

This digitally open attitude also extends to day-to-day interaction with banks. Online banking is the most popular channel across Europe, with three in four using it at least once a week. Yet, while traditional channels are declining in comparison, they still represent a huge swath of consumers; 34% visit their bank branch at least weekly, while an even higher 36% use the telephone to speak with their banking provider.

Consumer attitudes to innovation have also impacted data sharing. Across Europe, 97% of those surveyed said they were happy for banks to use their data to offer them a wider range of services; a huge shift in consumer mindset.

  • Almost three in five (59%) would be happy for their bank to use their data to lower their mortgage premium

  • Nearly half (47%) of consumers would allow banks to use their data to recommend relevant products and services

  • More than two in five (44%) want their data used by banks to keep them informed of their spending habits and offer relevant advice

  • More than a third (36%) would like their data used by banks to amend their credit rating

The study was commissioned by Fujitsu and carried out by independent research company, Coleman Parkes Research, between November and December 2015. The study was split into two core activities:

  1. 7,000 online consumer surveys were completed by a nationally representative sample of each population across UK, France, Benelux, Spain, Germany, Switzerland, Poland, Czech Republic and Slovenia, to understand consumer’s habits and their views and opinions towards current financial services.

  2. In-depth interviews with 45 senior business decision makers (C-Level, minus 1 and 2) of large enterprise firms in the finance sector (Retail Banks, Investment Banks, Insurance firms) across the same countries to gain further insights into this issue.