Nearly 70% of Consumers Prioritize Trust Over Convenience When Choosing a Bank

banking, trust, retail banking, consumer preferences, financial institutions

In the retail banking industry, convenience and trust are two pivotal elements that significantly influence customer satisfaction and the acquisition of new customers.

In the report “Credit Union Membership and Credit Profiles,” PYMNTS leverages insights gathered from a survey of over 4,000 U.S. consumers and 100 credit union (CU) executives to examine consumers’ interest in alternate and innovative payment methods from their financial institutions (FIs). 

Findings captured in the joint PYMNTS-PSCU study reveal that while convenience holds the top spot for 36% of moderately satisfied respondents with their primary checking or savings account, trust closely follows at 27%. Among CU members, however, trust takes a narrow lead, with 31% considering it the most important factor, compared to 30% for convenience. 

A closer look at the data further reveals that the significance of convenience and trust varies depending on consumers’ credit personas. 

Subprime consumers, characterized by lower credit scores, prioritize convenience more than trust, with 43% ranking convenience as the most important factor. Conversely, prime and super-prime consumers, who possess higher credit scores, place greater importance on trust.

For super-prime consumers in particular, trust is a key factor when deciding where to keep their accounts, with 67% of these consumers pointing to the trustworthiness of an FI as a key consideration in their banking decisions, ahead of other factors such as ease and convenience, ability to innovate and access to lines of credit. 

Protection of personal data and protection of financial assets also rank high among this group, with 66% and 65% of super-prime consumers, respectively, deeming each an important factor to consider when selecting a bank or CU. 

In contrast, subprime consumers are less likely to perceive these factors as crucial in their choice of an FI. “Instead, these consumers tend to prioritize seamless mobile experiences and fee-free use of ATMs,” the report explains.

Overall, trust emerges as a vital component in the banking industry, significantly impacting both customer satisfaction and the acquisition of new customers. And with nearly 70% of CU members citing trust as a decisive factor in their banking decisions, FIs need to prioritize building and maintaining trust with their customers to ensure long-term success.