Customer dissatisfaction with High Street banking is increasing – according to a survey published by Marketing Week earlier this year. In the last financial year, only 66% of bank account users in the UK were happy with their current account’s customer service level, but few are choosing to do something about it.
The market for current accounts in the UK is now bigger than ever and bank account users can benefit from competitive offerings both on and off the High Street.
Many smaller banks or alternative providers are now offering complete current accounts with leading digital and mobile capabilities – and more are set to follow this trend, with Tesco Bank, Virgin Money and M&S bank each launching a current account this year1.
So why aren’t more of the population taking advantage of this and moving away from their existing bank? According to figures released by the Payments Council earlier this year, the number of customers switching banks is still low – despite efforts to make it easier to do so.
Between October 2013 and March 2014, close to 600,000 UK customers moved their bank accounts using the current account switching service. On average, this means only 3% of current account holders are switching banks over the course of one year2.
In addition to this, 90% of consumers surveyed by the Payments Council had never considered switching3 – even with numerous banking scandals, technological failures and record numbers of customer complaints. The survey identified that a key reason behind this was the perception that switching could be a risk to funds.
Recent findings from the International Monetary Fund, also suggested that customers are still placing importance on having an established name looking after their money, thinking that some of the big banks are ‘simply too important to fail’.4
Where does this leave customers who are unhappy with their current bank account, but hold reservations over leaving?
By keeping an existing account open to use for savings or budgeting, and opening a second account for day-to-day spending, customers could benefit from improved customer service with a new provider and avoid the perceived risk of leaving the High Street.
And, by opening a prepaid card account, that offers services like Direct Debits, purchase protection and online banking, customers could benefit from features equal to, if not better than those of an existing current account.
CEO of Advanced Payment Solutions (APS), Rich Wagner said
While we may have a reputation for being a prepaid card provider, we’ve grown to be a serious player in the current account sector.
‘We’re now in our 10th year of operation and we’ve worked hard to deliver a safe and secure alternative to traditional bank accounts – by keeping our focus on what people need and stepping up where we can.
4Source: http://www.cnbc.com/id/101540290 (31/03/2014)
About Advanced Payment Solutions Ltd (APS)
With over millions of cards issued and more than billions in payments processed, APS is one of the world’s most innovative payment solutions companies and one of the most awarded card providers in Europe. The company has grown from launching the UK’s first and best known general purpose prepaid card for consumers, to providing businesses and local councils with digital and mobile banking solutions.