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Research: Consumers Want FI Access, Personalization
SAN JOSE, Calif. (4/29/13)--What do consumers want from their financial institution?  Credit unions take note: They want personalization to help simplify managing finances over multiple channels and they consider three attributes as key. They also don't mind providing private information to get what they want.

Consumers surveyed identified availability (63%), competence (65%) and efficiency (68%) as key attributes in interacting with a financial institution (FI) or financial adviser, said the 2013 Cisco Customer Experience Report, which surveyed 1,514 banking customers and 405 bank managers in 10 countries.

They indicated they would be willing to exchange more details about their financial habits and have FIs as more active advisers in exchange for:

  • Greater protection from identity theft, 83%;
  • Increased savings, 80%;
  • Personalized service, 78%; and
  • Greater simplicity in managing finances, 56%.
Fifty-four percent wanted automated systems for financial advice or recommendations, and 59% would be more comfortable with location-sensitive recommendations delivered to a mobile device, said the San Jose, Calif.-based Cisco.

Most (71%) were comfortable with the increasing use of virtual communications in addition to in-person financial conversations.

In the U.S., consumers surveyed wanted:

  • More simplified personal financial services, 69%;
  • More identity theft security, 77%;
  • Advice for increasing savings, 73%;
  • More financial education, 67%; and
  • An assessment of their financial status compared with other clients, 47%.
Bank managers surveyed had predicted the consumers' desire for these services would be roughly 20% higher than the actual results.

Of consumers were willing to share private information with FIs, 53% said they would provide a fingerprint or other biometrics to verify transactions and protect against identity theft, while 60% would trade information for simplified money management. However, 57% did not want their FI to share personal information outside the FI--even if it improved quality of service in other areas.

Other findings related to U.S. consumers:

  • 63%  were comfortable communicating with their FI with technology such as texting, e-mail or video (instead of in-person);
  • 48% would be comfortable securing a loan or mortgage using technology like video to communicate with their FI;
  • 21% would favor a smartphone for video conversation with FIs, while 79% preferred a laptop or desktop computer; and
  • 46% would open an account at a completely virtual FI if it offered the best or more secure services.
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