Digital banking experience trends for 2022

The last 18 months have seen big shifts in customer behaviour and expectations around digital experience in many sectors, including financial services. But as the dust starts to settle and we look ahead to 2022, what are the key post-pandemic digital banking trends?

At MagiClick Digital we recently engaged YouGov to survey 2,087 UK adults to explore how their attitudes and behaviour in digital banking have changed since March 2020.

Some of the key findings from this research are below:

  • 81 per cent of adults say the quality of online experience determines who they bank with.
  • Use of online web banking overall rose significantly, with half (50 per cent) of those who have used digital banking services more since the pandemic began stating they have used online web banking more often.
  • The highest rise in usage for online web banking was amongst the 55+ age group (60 per cent used this service more often).
  • Among those who have used digital banking services more since the pandemic began, 35 per cent of 18-24 year olds increased their usage, followed by 32 per cent of 25-34 year olds and 31 per cent of 35-44 year olds.
  • The 55+ age group remain more reluctant to embrace making payments via smartphones and smartwatches, with only 16 per cent of this age group increasing their usage.
  • The importance of online experience between different age groups was illuminating, with 46 per cent of those in the 55+ age group stating that it was ?very important? compared to only 26 per cent of 18-24 year olds.
  • Use of all digital banking services has grown since the start of the pandemic, with the largest increases being for use of mobile banking apps, with two-thirds (66 per cent) of those who have used digital banking services more since the pandemic began stating they have used mobile banking apps more often.
  • This growth in the use of mobile banking apps is led by the under35s, with 85 per cent of 18-24 year olds and 79 per cent of 25 to 34 year olds using mobile banking apps more often. Use of mobile banking apps within the 55+ age group has also seen a significant increase (52 per cent).
  • The use of both website chat facilities and automated chatbots only saw overall rises of 14 per cent  and ten per cent respectively.

This research clearly shows that the events of the past 18 months have accelerated the adoption of digital banking services by consumers across all age ranges. However, although the quality and ease of use of the digital experience is clearly now of high importance to a large majority of users when choosing who to bank with, interestingly, this was of highest importance to the over 55s.

There's a lot of talk about the often-predicted demise of web-based banking services in favour of mobile banking apps, but this research indicates that this has been overstated and that customers are choosing to use both facilities more, with little to separate them in terms of how much their usage has increased.

For those of us who work in fintech all day, we are constantly striving to improve user experience across a multitude of digital platforms, in order, at times, to achieve marginal gains. However, those marginal gains gradually can, and in our experience will lead to more sales, better ROI on campaigns and fewer lost customers.

The most successful companies all have one thing in common: they regularly test their digital journeys with real customers and use the insights gained to optimise and drive conversions, avoiding the trap of making decisions on a "hunch".

As we look ahead to 2022, with an increasing number of new digital-only challenger banks who place a great focus on the quality of their digital experience, incumbent banks should take note.

*The research was conducted by YouGov on behalf of MagiClick UK. All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2,087 adults, of which 589 have used digital banking services more since the pandemic began. Fieldwork was undertaken between 18 - 19 August 2021. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).