Technophobia: The Fear of the Smartphone in Mobile Banking
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) recently published the latest analysis from its Financial Lives survey, which looked at the preferences and habits of nearly 13,000 people from the UK. Interestingly, the survey revealed that consumers in rural areas appear to be suffering from technophobia when it comes to banking services: they are far less likely to use their smartphones for banking than those living in urban areas. These findings are backed up with some of our own research, which found that more than half of UK consumers (62 percent) were only comfortable using banking apps for the most basic banking tasks, or not at all. The chances of rural customers applying for a mortgage or extending their credit limit could well be as remote as the locations they live in.
These numbers will no doubt fuel further conversations around the continuous closure of high-street banks, and how consumers will be affected, especially those in rural areas. The combination of testing industry conditions, changing consumer habits and the rise of challenger banks are all to blame. But as banks learn to navigate this tricky environment, they must remember to prioritise the customer and give them what they want when it comes to communication. It doesn’t matter if this is a face to face appointment about their current loan, or text notifications about their current balance, the bank needs to ensure it is communicating with the customer with the right message, and in a way that suits them. There will always be customers who don’t like to use certain channels, whether it be mobile, email or even letters, so to cater for all tastes, banks must be able to provide a great service in a wide variety of ways.