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Bank customers prefer web and branch combo

Fujitsu Services has been researching the preferences of bank customers across Europe.

The survey, which based its findings on the experiences of 2,500 retail customers, found that account holders want the convenience and choice of Internet banking combined with face-to-face contact in High Street branches.

This suggests that plans for extending pilot mobile banking services could be misplaced.

Sixty-five percent of respondents to the survey preferred online banking to face-to-face contact in a branch (53%).

Telephone contact with a call centre came third, at 43%, but only 5% of those surveyed preferred mobile services (Internet or SMS).

According to Andy Stewart, European strategy director of financial services at Fujitsu “Not only are the web and branch the most preferred options, there is a strong desire that the experience should not fall down between the two …. the survey suggests that integration is most critical between the two most used channels, Internet and branch”.

The research also suggests that technology driven services that are easy to use are more important to customers than security.

Thirty-seven percent of respondents said that a good experience of automated services was paramount, while only 18% put security of personal details above all else.

The results of the survey have been compared with the views of senior executives at nine financial services companies across Europe.

This process revealed that while customers regard value for money (43%) and customer service (41%) as high priorities, financial service providers believe that product range is of primary importance, in terms of customer loyalty.

The survey also found that age, gender and income have little effect on customer attitudes.

There was consistency among age groups, sexes and income levels in a number of areas, with value for money and customer service emerging as the key issues.

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