According to a survey done on 2,000 UK consumers by tech company, Yobota, the majority of UK consumers want greater control and flexibility over their accounts, and around half want banking products that change corresponding to their lifestyle.
The independent research found that some 58% of banking customers think they should have more power to renegotiate or change their financial accounts and products, with over a third of consumers feeling frustrated by having to choose between generic off-the-shelf financial accounts. This figure rises to 43% among those aged between 18 and 34.
Some 19% say they are currently stuck with financial accounts that are no longer suitable for where they find themselves in life, and 26% of those with a personal loan said this product was no longer a good fit for them versus when they acquired the product. This view is shared by 18% of mortgage-holders and 14% of those who’d taken out life insurance plans.
Interestingly, 49% of respondents want banks to offer more flexible products that evolve according to their changing needs. 52% added that COVID-19 had exposed the need for more ‘responsive’ banking products to be offered for times when people’s financial situations and capabilities change suddenly.
The research carried out by Yobota also illustrated that just under a third of consumers think banks make it too difficult – or even impossible – to opt out of financial products. More than a third also thought that the process of opening a new account or securing a financial product was both too time-consuming and complicated.
On a brighter note, some 62% of UK banking customers thought that developments in banking technology had increased flexibility, and had made it easier to change between banks, accounts and products over the past five years. With this in mind, 57% of those surveyed said they prefer to manage their finances online, as opposed to face-to-face or over-the-phone contact.
Speaking on the future of flexible banking products and competition from budding fintech entants, Ammar Akhtar, CEO of Yobota, said: “Consumers, particularly Gen-Z and latter-day millennials, are increasingly demanding more agile, responsive and personalised banking services. The research illustrates that people are increasingly unlikely to tolerate being left with generic financial products in the long-term, and banks must take note of this.”
“It is a trend that has been accelerated by COVID-19 and the financial disruption it has caused. Now more than ever, banks must embrace tech to deliver more sophisticated, adaptable products. Thankfully, many already are – but those who don’t respond quickly will risk losing customers to those who have.”