In-Person Interactions Matter in Financial Services

June 24, 2016

Nielsen-Top-Reasons-Using-Physical-Location-for-Banking-Jun2016The physical in-person experience is still critical for financial services interactions, according to a recent report [download page] from Nielsen. In fact, in-person interactions are the most heavily used touch points for consumers when opening a deposit account, cashing or depositing a check in its entirety, and seeking financial advice.

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The results of the survey – conducted in Q4 2015 among roughly 7,500 consumers – show that almost three-quarters of consumers opening a new deposit account continue to do so in-person at a physical location. And, it appears, the customer experience is a key reason why physical locations remain important.

Indeed, personal service and interaction with an associate emerges as the leading reason for using a physical location (31%), followed by convenience (24%) and ease of use (14%). Only 6% said they use a physical location because their preferred method isn’t available.

Perhaps as a result, US banking executives say they’re more likely to increase than decrease their physical locations, per a recent KPMG study.

The results bring to mind data from MarketingCharts’ comprehensive report on marketing financial services to youth. Despite Millennials being above-average in their willingness to use digital-only banks and trial fintech solutions, convenient physical locations are the leading reason why they choose their primary bank.

And while affluent Millennials over-index older affluents in their use of robo-advisors (where investment advice is delivered programmatically absent human interaction), a new GfK survey of 1,000 consumers suggests that only 1 in 10 respondents would be more likely to trust a computer algorithm than a human to give them financial advice, with 5 times more (50%) respondents disagreeing.

In other results from the GfK survey:

  • Just 9% of consumers would be likely to use an investment advisory service that offered only digital (text or online chat) interaction with human advisors, with this figure highest among 25-34-year-olds (15%) and considerably lower among those aged 50 and up (5%);
  • Trust in robo-advisors was highest again among the 25-34 bracket (17%, versus the 10% average), while lowest among those aged 65 and older (6%);
  • Close to 4 in 10 (38%) would pay more for access to a person for help with financial services, and close to half (45%) would not be willing to give up live customer service in order to pay less; and
  • Consumers are as likely to disagree (26%) as agree (27%) that it’s easy to get the information they need from the websites of financial services firms.

MarketingCharts’ full report on marketing financial services to Millennials can be purchased here.


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