A study of 2,000 global consumers released by Mambu revealed that both banked and unbanked individuals feel underserved, with 56 per cent of banked customers claiming that there are other services they should be able to access.
Despite technology bridging the gap of financial services to more people, one in four or 26 per cent of those surveyed believed that financial institutions could help them by providing more personalised financial advisory services.
“With more than 1.7 billion unbanked adults globally, the data that’s usually reported points us to emerging markets and geographical barriers to access, however, the gap in accessibility on a global level should not be ignored,” Mambu’s chief customer officer Elliott Limb said in a media statement.
“Personalisation is going to be key for banks if they want to avoid being sidelined by new entrants that give more inclusivity and access.
“Banks need to be using the technology available to understand their consumers’ habits and in turn, anticipate their needs, with hyper-personalised recommendations and services.”
The difference between banked and unbanked may seem pretty distinct, but Mambu’s research found a financial accessibility gap amongst both groups, as well as a gap in understanding of financial accessibility.
This proved true when we found that 81 per cent of banked customers felt their situation would be better if they knew more about how finances worked, with more than half or 58 per cent of unbanked customers feeling the same.
The study also found that 77 per cent of respondents noted that the pandemic has exemplified the importance of being able to understand and access a wide range of financial services.
However, Mambu found that according to consumers, financial institutions aren’t taking the necessary steps to boost accessibility.
“More than half of unbanked customers or 65 per cent were less than pleased with their financial situation, while one in four or 25 per cent are not happy with their current level of understanding about their finances and options available to them.
“Interestingly, we found that in the median and above wage brackets equalling $63,000 and above per annum, nearly half of 48 per cent stated they didn’t know how to open a bank account,” he said.
“When we pose the question of who bears responsibility for financial education, a fair few or 56 per cent of those surveyed felt that financial institutions should be responsible for educating consumers about their finances.”
Limb said there needed to be a clear need for better awareness and education around financial services, and banks need to step into this role in order to serve their customers’ needs better.
Currently both the banked or 57 per cent and unbanked standing at 36 per cent respondents are relying on the internet and online searches, not their banks, to find more financial information and to learn about their access to the right financial products.
This is the second study of Mambu’s recently launched research series, Disruption Diaries.
The series seeks to understand what customers think of the key trends driving the development of the financial services industry, in an effort to identify opportunities for banks and others.
The full report on financial accessibility can be found here.