Banks fall short in emerging markets

25 June 2012

SINGAPORE: Banking brands in many emerging markets are failing to keep pace with the digital demands of their customers, a report has revealed.

SunGard and Celent polled 1,000 web users and 102 senior banking executives in eight countries, including Indonesia, Malaysia, Qatar, Thailand and the United Arab Emirates.

A slim majority of Asian participants agreed the providers they traded with "understood their needs well". But this total fell below 50% in the Middle East.

Roughly half of the panel in each of these areas regarded these firms as being "technological innovators", but only 28% perceived them as having a "360 degree customer view" across all product and delivery channels.

This came despite the fact 76% of banks believe that "mobility and digital technology" is a major opportunity to develop more personalised experiences. In evidence of the failure to convert this idea into practice, only 39% create personalised landing pages for customers online.

Similarly, an even more modest 31% of banks have integrated shopping and discount programmes, and 27% offer tailored financial management tools on the web.

Elsewhere, some 90% of interviewees used Facebook at least once a week, and half would share information about banking experiences online.

A 21% minority of companies, however, have a fully developed strategy in place for the social network, and only 13% thought they were using the site to its "fullest potential". Meanwhile, some 38% of organisations monitor buzz on these platforms.

But only 34% of banks in South East Asia and 17% of their counterparts in the Middle East provide bespoke tools for tablets. While 63% of banks in the first of these regions boast mobile apps, this fell to 25% in the latter.

"Increasingly, online channels present consumers with more freedom to 'shop around,'" said Dean Young, vice president of product management for SunGard's banking business.

"Banks need the ability to understand their customers' needs, in order to create a better user experience, which in turn will help to capitalize on cross-sell opportunities, build customer loyalty and improve profitability."

Data sourced from SunGuard; additional content by Warc staff