PwC Banking Survey: Banks face customers’ betrayal

Universal banks that are yet to adopt relevant technology and innovative banking solutions are facing an increasing risk of losing their customers to rival banks that are more IT-inclined, the PwC 2015 Banking Survey has revealed.

The survey which captured views of consumers of banking services as well as that of retail bankers showed that banks would have to be responsive to the growing technological needs of their customers in order to win the race for customers’ funds.

Customers sampled by the survey demanded banking technology which is supportive of fully integrated channels that enables bank customers to have more control over their banking.

Over the past decade universal banks have laboured to keep up with changing disrupting technologies by introducing innovations such as internet and mobile banking, same day cheque clearance, and branchless banking including improved ATM technologies among others.

PwC Ghana Country Director, Vish Ashiagbor speaking on the sidelines after the launch of the banking survey results noted that much as the country’s banks have accepted technology as a game-changer, the results point out that there is more for the banks to do to meet the demands of their customers.

“The use of technology has improved…I think the banks have responded and are continuing to respond to the needs of their customers because ultimately the success of their business will be driven by what their customers want.

“To the extent that they are able to respond, they will have a successful business if they are not, they are going to have problems,” Mr. Ashiagbor said.

Commenting on the rationale for this year’s Banking Survey, which was on the theme, ‘Bank of the Future– what customers want,’ the PwC Country Director said: “The environment is changing; the competition is increasing, customers are demanding more. And therefore what we tried to do is to understand what the customer wants so we can act as a bridge between the customers and the banks.”

Speaking at the launch, Franklin Belnye, Head of Banking Supervision at the central bank said the bank of the future must not only be technology-driven, but must also be cognizant of the risks posed to its patrons.

“This requires investment in people, systems, and processes that affords not only convenience but affordability as well. The central bank stands ready to support this process with an appropriate regulatory framework,” he said.

He mentioned that the thematic issues addressed in the survey and the insights provided by customers is useful feedback not only for bank management but also for the regulator in shaping policy to meet banking needs of the customer and also make banking relevant to future clientele.

According to Mr. Belnye, technology is a double edged sword: while it has the potential to deliver convenience, speed of service and affordability, it can pose security challenges.

“Cyber fraud, arising from technology-related or technology-driven innovation is the greatest threat to customer confidence in the banking system. Making the appropriate investments in technology, including building a resilient IT infrastructure costs money – raising issues about scale of banks, adequate capitalization, possession of the right skill sets etc,” he added.

Source: B&FT Online