Would you bank with Facebook?

A fifth of consumers would buy banking or insurance services from Google, Amazon or Facebook, a new study has revealed.

In a Europe-wide study of 7,000 consumers, 37% said they would leave their banking or insurance provider if they don’t offer up-to-date technology – and many would not hesitate to go with a brand with strong digital credentials but no background in financial services.

While traditional payments still remain popular – with 44% of consumers still using cash to pay daily – new digital payment methods are coming to the fore.

Consumers are showing they are open to innovative services to make their lives easier –32% are already embracing mobile device payments, while 22% have adopted wearable technologies and 20% crypto-currencies.

Consumer attitudes to innovation have also impacted data sharing. Across Europe, 97% of those surveyed said they were happy for banks or insurers to use their data to offer them a wider range of services. This marks a huge shift in consumer mindset.

>See also: The rise of digital challenger banks – are they just for millennial ‘mobivores’?

Three in five said they would be happy for their bank or insurer to use their data to lower their mortgage premium, and 47% would allow banks or insurers to use their data to recommend relevant products and services.

More than two in five (44%) said they want their data used by banks or insurers to keep them informed of their spending habits and offer relevant advice, while 36% would like their data used by banks or insurers to amend their credit rating.

This progressive consumer attitude has also led to a shift in expectations from financial service providers and a willingness to buy more services from them – offering a wealth of opportunity to current providers.

One in three said they would consider buying energy for their home, while 30% said they would purchase broadband services from their bank or insurer.

Yet with this progressiveness comes a warning bell to traditional providers. Already a fifth of respondents said they would buy banking or insurance services from potential disrupters like Google, Amazon or Facebook.

This digitally open attitude also extends to day-to-day interaction with banks. Online banking is the most popular channel across Europe, with three in four using it at least once a week.

>See also: Digital transformation: how banks are cashing in

Yet, while traditional channels are declining in comparison, they still represent a huge swath of consumers. A third visit their bank branch at least weekly, while 36% use the telephone to speak with their banking provider.

“Today’s customers are no longer guarded,” said Francois Fleutiaux, senior VP and head of sales for EMEIA at Fujitsu, which commissioned the research. “When it makes interaction more convenient, they are willing to embrace innovation.

“They may not know where they need it until it is offered, but this is where technology comes to the fore – it is the engine that is driving consumer expectations forward and the financial services sector has to live up to this new pace of change.

“Providers that will be successful will be the ones who modernise their back office to integrate these various channels to create ‘banks and insurers of the future’ that provide their customers with all options.”

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Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...

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