UK banks ‘ditching the human touch’

Almost three quarters (74 per cent) of all UK banks expect to eliminate human interaction from their retail banking services within the next decade, according to new research.

The Avanade research found that almost two thirds (63 per cent) of senior IT and digital decision makers from across the UK banking sector recognised that traditional methods of banking are being overtaken by disruptive competition.

It also revealed that over half (51 per cent) admit that they are already facing greater competition from FinTech startups, but said the emergence of the likes of Amazon, Google and Facebook into the banking sector represents the greatest threat to market share and profitability in the long-term.

The majority (83 per cent) of respondents in the UK accept they are playing catch-up in terms of delivering the type of innovative and personalised digital experience customers are demanding.

Meanwhile a further 77 per cent agreed that in order to remain competitive their organisation will need to increase spending on the customer experience, including:

- Improving personalisation of the customer experience (91 per cent)

- Providing a more seamless experience across multiple channels (72 per cent)

- Closing some or all physical branches to go fully digital (46 per cent)

Paul Bowen, banking lead at Avanade Europe, said: “European retail banks are well aware of the challenges they need to address in order to reconnect with customers, but their reliance on legacy IT systems, built up over 40 years or more, is acting like a lead weight, slowing them down whilst new entrants, both FinTechs and established technology giants, are streaks ahead.”

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