Are Banks’ Digital Challenges Unmet In The UK?

Challenges remain in the United Kingdom when it comes to using digital channels to drive both customer sales and customer acquisitions, a recent study found.

On Wednesday, as noted by, and citing a study published by Misys and Efma, most banks – that is, 87 percent – grab less than 10 percent of sales through the digital channel, and for about 20 percent of banks, that ratio slides to less than 1 percent of sales. Drilling down a bit, only 12 percent of the customer acquisition is done through digital channels. As much as 40 percent of new customer acquisition is done in the bricks-and-mortar setting, i.e. the actual branch of a bank.

The forecasts by the banks themselves remain a bit more sanguine. Taken as an industry across the globe, the group forecast that sales through digital channels will jump from 13 percent today to as much as 75 percent a scant three years from now. But as the study noted, there are significant barriers to overcome, with 39 percent of those financial institutions citing culture and another 26 percent noting technology barriers as the key reason they have yet to achieve greater digital sales penetration.

Looking at lasting challenges, core banking systems were cited as the biggest outstanding obstacle, with 61 percent of those surveyed saying this was an obstacle to sales performance – and 12 percent said their legacy systems were in fact “highly incapable” of meeting sales demand. Other issues surfaced in the study, with a nod toward slow time constraints in bringing new products to market.

And yet, according to the study, 75 percent of banks stated that they have not in fact focused their efforts on boosting the customer experience when it comes to digital banking.

[bctt tweet=”75 percent of banks stated that they have not in fact focused their efforts on boosting the customer experience.”]

In a statement that accompanied the results, Mark Yamin-Ali, Retail Banking Solution Lead at Misys, said: “Banks can leverage new technologies in more sophisticated ways that not only enhance customer-relevant interactions but also drive bottom line impact. The real issue here is core banking – banks which focus only on digital to achieve customer-centricity will have a beautiful shop window, with outdated stock. Customer-centricity must be from channels to the core. And only with core modernization, can banks reap the full benefits of digital innovation.”