Expert comment: Which? forces UK banks to focus on digital customer experience

A Which? survey outlining the UK’s favourite banks today has found challengers top the pack, while big banks lag way behind. After a year of screen time and online shopping, it’s clear that customers expect the ease and simplicity of digital banking.

In response to the findings, Adam Desmond, UK & Ireland Lead at Mitek, said: “Which?’s rundown of the UK’s favourite banks today has put a spotlight on the importance of customer experience. While challengers offer 24/7 customer service via an app, some big banks are lagging behind, leaving customers to deal with call centres and week-long delays responding to queries. With challenger banks topping the list, it’s clear that the UK favours digital-first banking, and the speed and simplicity of the service it brings – especially after a year of living our lives in front of screens.

“Technologies like biometrics and AI are now an integral part of many of our daily lives, from opening our mobiles with Face ID and fingerprints, to signing up to new services with a selfie. Customers don’t only favour these technologies, but many have come to expect them. What we do know is that many big banks, while behind in these rankings, are investing in the technologies that customers crave – especially during the onboarding process.

“The days of in-branch account openings are long gone, but banks are reliant on advanced biometrics and AI and ML technologies to ensure they can offer a streamlined onboarding service from the comfort of our homes. If customers can snap a selfie and a picture of their passport and have a new bank account in a matter of minutes – without sacrificing on security or regulatory compliance – it’s a win-win for all parties. For banks that haven’t yet taken this leap, it’s a matter of when, not if.

“Now, the big banks’ digital-first approach to onboarding needs to be addressed across the entire customer experience – not just when new customers join. This means implementing the latest technologies in customer service, to build loyalty and keep customers happy. Only then do they stand a chance of beating the challengers from their public pedestal. Banks have a huge role to play in the UK’s recovery post-pandemic – so customer experience should not be left by the wayside.”