Aussies want more from online banking

September 29, 2014

A new survey has confirmed the growing appetite for banks to offer more digital services, particularly the option to open bank accounts at the click of a button.

According to the survey, while 74% were satisfied with their bank’s existing digital capabilities, 47% of young people want to be able to open a transaction account online, 49% a savings account online, and 37% a personal loan account online, services offered by only a few Australian banks and usually with limitations.

Younger generations were generally more in favour of online account opening and men more than women.

 

 

% who would prefer to open an account online


Account type

All respondents

(%)


Gen Y

(%)


Gen X

(%)

Baby Boomers

(%)


Men

(%)


Women

(%)

Credit card

45

60*

50*

32

51*

38

Transaction account

43

47*

53*

31

45*

42

Savings account

39

49*

45*

28

44*

34

Personal loan

30

37*

36*

21

33*

27

Home loan

24

29*

29*

15

28*

19

* denotes above the all-respondent mean

 

ME Bank CEO, Jamie McPhee, said the level of interest in online account opening was high considering it’s a service not widely available in the Australian market.

“Opening a transaction or deposit account is moving from a manual days-long operation that can involve visiting a branch or calling a call centre, to a few minutes without speaking to anyone, which is a huge leap in convenience.

Other digital banking services being demanded included real time transactions, chat facilities and budgeting tools. 

 

Other online banking wish-list items

  • 53% want real-time online banking (as real-time inter-bank transfers)
  • 27% want access to online customer service chat facilities
  • 26% want budgeting or money management tools (alerts, analysis of spending habits)
  • 27% want to make payments with their mobile phone (through a mobile site or app)
  • 25% want to be able to switch banks through online/mobile banking.

 

“Basic digital banking services have proven reliable and convenient but we’re moving toward a model where consumers want to do everything from a digital device that they can in a branch,” said McPhee.

“Some consumers will always prefer face-to-face services, particularly for more complex products like home loans, but there is undoubtedly a growing demand from younger people,” he said.

The survey also showed comfort with branchless banking is growing among younger people: 30% of Gen Ys said they’d be happy to never visit a bank branch again, compared to 24% of Gen Xers and 18% of Baby Boomers.

Respondents cited ‘convenience’, ‘ease’ and ‘speed’ as the most valuable characteristics of digital banking.

McPhee said there was a race among banks to digital services.

“While people are generally happy with digital banking services, we’ve only just scratched the surface of what can be done. Innovation in online services will become a key battleground between banks in the years to come. 

“Applying for home loans online and automated credit decision-making processes are areas undergoing massive innovation and are services ME Bank is working to offer customers in the near future.”

ME Bank is due to complete its four-year, $70 million technology transformation program in 2015 and recently launched online account opening all our deposit and transaction accounts, with loan products soon to follow.

 

– Ends –

 

Note about the survey: Survey conducted in July 2014 via iView Research using an online survey method. Survey completed by 1000 Australian adults. 

 

MATTHEW READ, MEDIA AND COMMUNICATION MANAGER

P 03 9708 3334 M 0432 130 338 Email

ME Bank is the only bank which is 100 per cent owned by Australia’s leading industry super funds. ME Bank provides industry super fund, union and employer association members with a genuinely fairer banking alternative.