Credit Unions Exceed Member Expectations
The Jacksonville, Fla.-based FIS’ PACE Index shows financial institutions worldwide are leveraging digital channels to meet customers’ needs for convenience, choices and accessibility, but display an inability to build deeper relationships and meet overall customer expectations.
Credit unions and community banks received strong responses for quality of service and in-person experience and surpassed customer expectations in those categories. Despite serving the bulk of U.S. customers, large banks on the other hand dragged down the national index based on consumer perceptions around fairness and transparency.
The PACE (which stands for Performance Against Customer Expectations) Index, which comprises 1,000 individual customer surveys in each focus country, looks at providers identified across nine countries and includes traditional banks, Internet-only banks, postal banks, state-owned banks, co-operative banks, building societies, credit unions and other types of providers. In the report, the term “bank” is an all-encompassing term for the collection of primary banking services providers identified in the survey.
United States Results
Financial institutions in the United States fared better than all other countries except Germany in the survey. However, while U.S. consumers rated their banks highly for providing in-person service, their perception of security – particularly in the area of protection of personal identities – was lower than for many other countries.
Retail banking customers in the United States perceive their personal security to be much lower than other countries’ respondents did in the index. This basic banking requirement significantly lowers the index score for U.S. financial institutions as a result.
While the information does not specify why Americans view their security as less important to U.S. banks, the results highlight the ever-growing value of cybersecurity and coincide with other recent studies in which consumers say negative security reports affect their view of companies.
Worldwide, only one in every four consumers believes a financial institution meets their needs, according to the study. And, while they excel at providing digital access, banks’ overall performance lags well behind expectations in basic areas such as fair and transparent pricing. In addition, consumers believe banks fall well below expectations of rewards for customer value and for customizing banking products.
This implies that while the financial industry as a whole forges ahead with flashy, attention-grabbing solutions, deep gaps remain in some aspects that serve as the basis for customer relationships. In addition, financial institutions are missing the mark when it comes to forging deeper relationships via digital experiences – they’re not fully leveraging online, mobile and social platforms to impact customers’ lives through alerts, advisory services and planning tools, for example.
“New providers and non-traditional financial institutions continue to make inroads, particularly amongst younger generations, who studies show will soon make up the majority of bank revenues,” Anthony Jabbour, corporate executive vice president of integrated financial solutions for FIS, said. “With these challengers poised to snatch up those customers, financial institutions much take advantage of these opportunities immediately.”