Is digital banking adding brand value for customers with disabilities?

By Mark Long

Almost 1 in 5 adults in the UK report living with a disability or impairment (18%), some of which limit a customer’s ability to engage with their banking provider.

For a number of years, BVA BDRC has been measuring the extent to which financial services providers have adapted their product and service propositions to meet the needs of this significant consumer segment (c.9.5m individuals), and to benchmark the performance of individual brands based on the views of their customers.

Following 30,000 consumer interviews in the 12 months to July 2018, BVA BDRC is able to share a wide range of insights with the industry, raising a series of questions and challenges to providers when they consider both proposition design and the customer inclusivity agenda.

Taking digital banking platforms as an example, fewer than 1 in 10 online bankers or mobile banking app users reported that they received any form of specialist treatment or service tailored to their individual circumstances when they last used their digital platform. This contrasts with 1 in 5 branch visitors and 1 in 4 telephone users reporting some form of tailored treatment.

But how does this impact on brand perception and translate into a Transactional NPS score? To what extent are this demographic prepared to recommend a brand based on a specific recent interaction (such as using online banking)? Drilling further into the data provides a more detailed link between the nature of a customer’s specific disability or impairment and their TNPS rating. In the table below, I’ve compared the TNPS outcomes for four different channels:

So, on the face of it, fewer customers with a disability ‘recognise’ they’ve received service tailored to their specific circumstances when using a mobile banking app or online banking, but their TNPS ratings indicate that most providers are offering a digital experience which does positively drive brand advocacy. Of course, some of the differences in the table can be explained by the complexity of the service experience taking place in each channel. We also see that some providers are clearly delivering a much stronger performance than others, but as the comments below illustrate, many customers recognise and welcome the initiatives being implemented to help make their lives a little easier:

“I don't get logged out due to inactivity as I can be slow. I also had a chat box with a person helping me do what I needed.”

“Barclays - helping blind people with talking ATMs which users can plug their own headphones into.”

“Cancer support from Lloyds, mental health support and awareness also from Lloyds.”

“NatWest offers a number of services for the disabled. From large print letters and statements, to audio recordings and braille for the visually impaired.”

“HSBC is very helpful towards people with disabilities. I have mobility problems. Because I can use online banking and the banking app I don't have to go into the branch which helps me.”

These insights are generated by BVA BDRC’s Moments of Truth Benchmarking system. Want to know more about it? Information and subscription details can be found on the Moments of Truth webpage, or by contacting Mark Long or Selena Bowdidge at BVA BDRC. Current subscribers include Lloyds Banking Group, Santander, TSB, Nationwide BS, Coventry BS and Clydesdale/Yorkshire Bank.

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