Banking on the future

Attitudes to retail banking are changing fast, with a recent online study revealing that adults would like to see the introduction of portable account numbers, designed to make switching between banking providers easier. The research, which surveyed more than 6,500 people in six countries also showed some interesting variations in customer attitudes in Asia Pacific  — particularly Hong Kong — compared to some European countries.

The Smart Service research, commissioned by BT, identified current and future consumer attitudes to mobile banking, alternative payments and customer service. The results showed that more adults surveyed online in Hong Kong would welcome interaction with their banking providers through social media than in Germany, Britain, the US, France and Spain.When asked which three tools they’d most like their bank to provide, 18% in Hong Kong with a bank account said social media tools to track their whereabouts, compared to just 4% in Germany.

And while there was resistance to using alternative payment methods in most European countries, in Hong Kong and Spain respondents were most likely to try them (54% in Hong Kong and 47% in Spain have used them in the past or would use them in the next 18 months).

Steve Rathborne, Vice President, Global Banking and Financial Markets

Steve Rathborne, Vice President, Global Banking and Financial Markets

Respondents in Hong Kong were also more likely to embrace mobile banking than their European counterparts who seem to still need convincing of how secure smartphones and tablet devices in the arena of banking. When asked to select the three technologies that they trust the most, in Hong Kong, respondents were joint second  in terms of the country most likely to trust mobile banking, a couple of percentage points below Spain at 19 per cent. Respondents in Hong Kong also place more trust in ATM machines (77 per cent), online banking (67 per cent) and branch self service kiosks (56 per cent).

And, like other countries, Hong Kong respondents (75%) also think it would be a good idea to introduce a banking infrastructure that would allow them to transfer banks more easily.

The higher trust that Asia Pacific users surveyed demonstrate is against the background of the fact that APAC is the fastest growing region for smartphone adoption, projected to grow by a fifth each year*. So the increased adoption of both smartphones and mobile banking in this area represents both challenge and opportunity in banking and technology


*Forrester Research World Smartphone Adoption Forecast, 2012 To 2017 (Global),

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 6,647adults in France (1010), Germany (1053), Hong Kong (518), Spain (1006), the USA (1000) and the UK (2060). Fieldwork was undertaken between 11-27 December 2012. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all adults (aged 18+) in each market.

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