(Don’t) take it to the bank: What customers want in the digital age

May 2017


Banks have been working to expand their digital footprints. But are they keeping up with what customers want? It might depend on whom you ask. Our annual Digital Banking Survey has some real surprises in the speed at which customer behavior is changing. We sat down with PwC partner Ashish Jain to discuss our findings and what might lie ahead.

What’s in store for banks as the digital age evolves? 

PwC’s 2017 Digital Banking Consumer Survey offers valuable insights about the changes in consumer banking behavior.

The biggest surprise is the rise of a very specific group that we at PwC are calling “omni-digital.”

This new segment of consumers use a combination of digital-only channels, such as mobile phones, PCs, and tablets to interact with their financial institutions. Our survey shows that 46% of consumers now interact via digital form only, skipping physical channels altogether. This represents a huge jump from the 27% share we saw in 2012.

If omni-digital is all digital, does that mean branches are dead?

Hardly. In fact, 62% of our survey respondents still said they felt it was important for their bank to have local branches. Branches are still an important channel for a variety of services. However, for many consumers, the frequency of branch visits has been sliding from “a few times a month” to “a few times a year.”

So what does omni-digital  mean for banks?

At the very minimum, it’s a wake-up call for many US financial institutions. They may think that they’ve got more time to adapt than they really have. To keep pace with what customers want, banks will have to do a much better job of:

  • selling to buyers where they are,
  • making products easy to use,
  • offering products that customers find personally relevant, and
  • reaching customers when and where they’re receptive.

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach for any bank, but there are tactical considerations a bank can make right now to prepare for the future.

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How PwC can help

Our teams in asset and wealth management, banking and capital markets, and insurance are helping our clients tackle the biggest issues facing the financial services industry. With professionals across tax, assurance, and advisory practices, we can help you find ways to thrive even in a period of uncertainty. Whether you're preparing for regulatory changes, putting FinTech/InsurTech to work, or rethinking your human capital strategy, we work together with you to deliver value to your business.

For more information on how PwC can help, reach out to one of our leaders below or explore our client growth services page.

Contact us

Ashish Jain
Partner, Strategy
Tel: +1 (312) 298 3320

Richard Pace
Financial Services Data Analytics Leader
Tel: +1 (703) 918 1385

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