A bad service rendered or an unsatisfactory relationship between customers and those offering services can end on a bad note and the customers seeking a better alternative. In Nigeria, the same goes for bank customers as some have either abandoned their accounts with a particular bank or gone the extra mile of entirely closing their accounts.
The decision to close abandon one bank for the another varies from customer to customer and the Agusto & Co 2022 Consumer Digital Banking Satisfaction Index revealed some of the things that customer look out for when choosing a bank as well as the reasons they have for wanting to change their banks.
This is especially as the Covid-19 pandemic has opened up many bank customers to the ease of digital banking. Many now rely on their bank’s digital platforms, such as banking applications, internet banking, USSD, Point of sale and ATM for their transactions more than walking into the baking hall.
The Agusto & Co.’s 2022 Consumer Digital Banking Satisfaction Index for Nigerian banks considers several factors including ease of navigation, range of services available on the platforms and the level of respondents’ awareness, perceived security strength and transaction success rates.
Although, about 70 per cent of respondents of the survey conducted said they were not willing to switch their banks as against the 30 per cent who were willing to change their banks, the figure show a deteriorating confidence of customers in their banks.
The same survey conducted in 2021 had shown that 82 per cent of bank customers were not willing to switch to other banks, meaning more bank customers were willing to change banks in 2022 than in 2021.
The customers surveyed had cited high service fees, poor customer service, frequent downtime on the digital platform amongst others as the main reasons they were willing to make a switch to another bank’s digital banking platform.
According to the report, approximately 66 per cent of First Bank’s customers indicated willingness to move to another bank’s digital platform. Fidelity Bank and FCMB also recorded high level of customers willing to opt for other banks’ digital platforms with 42 and 33 per cents respectively, which further supports the relatively lower level of satisfaction accorded by their customers compared to other banks.
The survey showed that 34 per cent of bank customers willing to change banks complained about service fees of their bank, while 26 per cent cited poor customer service. Also, 23 per cent complained of frequent downtimes on the digital platforms of their banks, while 16 per cent said they were willing to change banks because their bank was offering limited service options.
On perceived security, Zenith Bank Plc recorded the highest percentage of respondents who perceive their bank’s respective digital platforms to be secure. UBA and Access Bank were the second and third highest respectively.
First Bank Nigeria Limited and Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria Limited had the lowest excellent ratings with only 39 and 54 per cent of the banks’ customers in our survey being satisfied with the level of security on their frequently patronized digital platforms. The respondents cited history of security breaches, receipt of phishing emails and text messages and notification not sent on time and when the platform is accessed as reasons for the low ratings.
The COVID-19 pandemic brought to the fore the importance of digital channels and further accelerated investments in digital banking platforms by banks. The impact of this can be seen in the Agusto & Co survey with over 80 per cent of respondents rating their respective digital banks either excellent or average on the overall level of satisfaction.
However, the increased onboarding on digital platforms, has also elicited the need to further tighten security protocols to combat the growing level of fraud and breaches on digital channels.
The survey also indicates that a large percentage of respondents advocates for improved customer service delivery by ensuring timely and efficient resolution of issues. Furthermore, enhancing technology infrastructure to reduce down times on digital platforms is also crucial to ensure customer retention and satisfaction.
Approximately 30 per cent of the respondents are willing to switch to another bank’s digital platform with 23 per cent citing frequent application downtimes as one of the key reasons.
Agusto & Co in the report said they “expect the increasing competition in the digital space from Fintechs and Neo-banks to further spur more innovation and expanded service offerings by banks.
“Also, given the macroeconomic headwinds which has reduced the appetite for lending to some extent, we expect more emphasis on non-interest income from electronic banking channels to sustain profitability. Overall, we expect more digital transformation as banks compete to grow and retain market share. “Macroeconomic headwinds which has reduced the appetite for lending to some extent, we expect more emphasis on non-interest income from electronic banking channels to sustain profitability. Overall, we expect more digital transformation as banks compete to grow and retain market share.”