Banking satisfaction improves as technology steps up

A Consumer NZ study shows just how popular online and smartphone banking is.

It may be a sign of people’s changing banking habits that smartphone apps have made it on to Consumer New Zealand’s latest bank satisfaction survey.

The survey, for the year to June, questioned 13,000 people on their banking satisfaction levels and covered four areas, including:

  • Online banking.
  • Smartphone banking apps.
  • Branch service.
  • Telephone banking.

Overall, 92% of those surveyed were satisfied with their banks and banking services. The result topped other recent satisfaction surveys, including electricity suppliers (78%) and appliance retailers (55%).

Respondents who bank online were the most satisfied, with 95% more than happy with the service, while just 84% of people were satisfied with their bank’s smartphone app service – the lowest score in the survey.

Bankers Association ceo Kirk Hope says the app service is new and it is still being developed and fine-tuned.

He told NBR ONLINE the survey is a significant one because most usually sample between 500 to 1000 people.

Over the past five years, bank customer satisfaction has risen 8%. Mr Hope puts the improvement down to a strong focus on customer service and interaction.

He would not comment on the tug-of-customer war between banks to attract disheartened National Bank customers, except to say banking was very competitive.

The major banks, including Kiwibank and TSB, have been specifically targeting National Bank customers in advertising, while others are dropping rates.

ASB has reduced its two-year mortgage rate to 5.25% and is offering $1000 cash to customers and will include a free Samsung Galaxy Notebook.

National Bank’s parent company ANZ is also advertising in a bid to keep customers of the prancing horse as the Melbourne-based giant absorbs it.

Mr Hope says something which needs more attention is just how easy it is for customers to switch banks if they are unhappy.

“Two years ago, banks agreed to implement switching rules to make it easy for customers to move between banks. That’s another feature of the market and the competitive nature of the market.

"The banks have agreed to put teams of people in place to facilitate switching.”