Young people don’t want online banking to replace human interaction

Younger people want online banking to form a range of services rather than replace human interaction completely, according to new research from Cynergy Bank.

The study, which surveyed 500 senior decision makers at small and medium sized businesses in September 2021, found that 18-34 year-olds were most disappointed with digitalisation – with 64 per cent of this age group believing that customer relationships with banks have become worse due to less human interaction. This is compared with 58 per cent of 35–54-year-olds and 61 per cent of over 55-year-olds.

A further 64 per cent of younger people believe digitisation has resulted in a reduced understanding of customer needs compared with 48 per cent of 35–54-year-olds and 52 per cent of over 55-year-olds.

Unsurprisingly,18–34-year-olds also believe that the digital transformation in banking has led to a reduction in products tailored to suit customers; with 64 per cent of this group agreeing with this statement compared with 48 per cent of 35–54-year-olds and 52 per cent of over 55-year-olds.

The most valued service for 18-34-year-olds was 24/7 access to a relationship manager for assistance; with 31 per cent highlighting this as most valuable. This was followed by demand for an Issues response manager to help solve any pressing requirements for 23 per cent of the group.

“The recent surge in online banking has meant that there are fewer opportunities for bank managers to build those much-needed relationships with customers,” said Nick Fahy, chief executive, Cynergy Bank. “Digital banking is here to stay, but the pandemic has accelerated the need for banks to ensure they are providing an optimal mix of best-in-class technology coupled with a personalised experience.

"The recent research is clear, customers still value human interaction and need to know that there is a person on the other end of the phone, or via video call, should they need support or advice.”

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