What Do Your Members Want? Lessons from the FIS PACE Study


For CU2.0 


By Robert McGarvey


One word captures what today’s consumers want from financial institutions: digital.  

That’s a takeaway from the 2018 FIS PACE Study.  And FIS does not pull this punch when it identifies digital transformation as today’s number one priority. Said FIS: “Digital Transformation  – Consumers now expect the same digital capabilities – mobile deposits, transfers, account opening, digital payments, mobile wallets, etc.– from credit unions and community banks as they do from larger banks.”

Read the last bit again. FIS is saying that credit unions do not get a pass on digital because they are small. Consumers see the Chase and Bank of America ads, they say “that’s cool,” and they want it, from Zelle to realtime banking.

Many credit unions struggle to accept these realities.

The PACE report is a slap in the face.

Remember, too, PACE stands for: Performance Against Consumer Expectations.

How well do credit unions measure up against consumer expectations? FIS has the numbers.

The good news: people still love their credit unions.  Said FIS: “Overall, 82 percent of U.S. bank customers are ‘extremely satisfied’ or ‘very satisfied’ with their primary banking providers. Credit union members once again are much more satisfied, and customers from top 50 global banks are much less satisfied with their banks. Unsurprisingly, customers from large banks – top 50 or regional banks – are most unsatisfied with the fees they incur.”

In the FIS deep dive into satisfaction scores, 60% of us say we are “extremely satisfied” with credit unions.  Just 37% are same with community banks. A paltry 22% are with global banks. Credit unions score very, very high.

FIS also announced that “mobile is the main branch.”  It elaborated: “Digital Self-service is a high priority for consumers under the age of 53, so it should not be a surprise to learn that these
same consumers, from young millennials through Generation X, now use their mobile phones and tablets to interact with their primary banking providers far more than via desktop PCs, ATMs and physical bank branches.”

Note: Boomers lag in this regard but even among them, 34% of their digital contacts with an FI are via smartphone and 12% are via tablet which adds up t0 46%.  54% of Boomer digital contacts are via online banking.

Among young millennials, by contrast, 63% of digital contacts are via a smartphone. Just 2% are via tablet (and you wonder that Apple is struggling to sell iPads).  And 35% are via online banking.

FIS hammered the point home: “42 percent of consumers report that they use their bank’s mobile app more now than they did a year ago. This highlights a needed shift in strategic thinking for banking providers, especially smaller ones, as their mobile interfaces – not their physical locations or even their personnel – are now the ‘face’ of the bank.”

An oddity in the FIS data. 5% of us said that we use our credit union mobile app less than a year ago.  At global banks that number is 2%. Even at community banks it is 4%. Ask yourself: are your members using the mobile app less and if so, why? What can we do to remedy this?  Because the future of a financial institution is its mobile channel.

FIS also trotted out data that shows that we are ready for new features in digital banking, with significant numbers of us piling into p2p (look at Zelle’s rocketship trajectory), mobile wallets, virtual cards, and various other features that may have seemed the stuff of sci fi. The FIS conclusion: Add It and They Will Use It.

What’s the lesson in these data? Consumers are inclined to like – really like – a credit union. But they also expect state of the art digital from that credit union.  They want the credit union to provide a digital experience that rivals what Chase offers.

Not easy? Nope.  But more consumers – especially younger ones – are making it clear that they won’t accept less. A credit union that wants a long future had better get that message and get with upping its digital offerings.  

When you see that next Chase ad, ask yourself: is what we offer as good?

It had better be.


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