Over half of consumers considering a move to digital banks

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Digital banks are looking increasingly appealing to US consumers, alongside contactless payments, and the UK is following the trend according to new research.

Survey findings from Juniper Research have revealed that more than 50% of American households are considering a move away from bricks and mortar-style financial institutions.

Consumers expect digital banks to offer all the tech trimmings such as dependable online access, user-friendly finance apps and lots of useful tools for everyday banking. However, the public also wants traditional ‘best buy’ features including sign-up benefits and good rates according to the study results.

There’s a slight difference in expectation between the US and the UK, with consumers in America looking for the most beneficial sign-up offers. British consumers prefer to look for the best overall rates.

Open Banking

Meanwhile, digital integration, where consumers can quickly and easily make use of other financial services using Open Banking tools is still seen as less of a priority. Just 26% of users in the US claimed integration was a priority for them, while only 13% in the UK thought it was a deciding factor in making the changeover from conventional banking to digital.

Despite the fact that the UK has had Open Banking for some time nearly half of those questioned weren’t sure if they’d even used it.

Unsurprisingly, the coronavirus pandemic has been responsible for many changes in banking habits. Alongside exploring the option of digital-only banks, consumers on both sides of the pond were exploiting the appeal of contactless payments.

Of those surveyed, 60% of US contactless users stated that Covid-19 was the deciding factor for using touch-free payment options. Some 89% of American contactless payments users now use contactless cards, and 35% of current non-users are expecting to start using cards in future.

However, use of OEM Pay solutions such as Apple Pay and Android Pay remains strong. Eighty five percent of US contactless users claim to employ at least one OEM Pay solution for their transactions.

“Contactless cards have become a key feature for the US payment landscape, in large part because of COVID-19,” research author James Moar explained. “With strong OEM Pay usage, situational use of the different contactless payment solutions will emerge; potentially leading to specialised solutions in future.”

Rob Clymo

Rob Clymo has been a tech journalist for more years than he can actually remember, having started out in the wacky world of print magazines before discovering the power of the internet. Since he's been all-digital he has run the Innovation channel during a few years at Microsoft as well as turning out regular news, reviews, features and other content for the likes of TechRadar, TechRadar Pro, Tom's Guide, Fit&Well, Gizmodo, Shortlist, Automotive Interiors World, Automotive Testing Technology International, Future of Transportation and Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International. In the rare moments he's not working he's usually out and about on one of numerous e-bikes in his collection.