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Has Financial Services got the digital UX factor?

Philippa Whitham Senior Director 04/20/2023

Financial Services – leading or lagging?

The financial services industry has been through a digital revolution over the past decade, led by the implementation of open banking. The usage and reliability of AI, to underpin financial decision-making and customer service solutions, have both increased dramatically and these trends look set to continue.

In a world where the digital user experience is becoming increasingly vital, it is essential for financial services to keep up. However, whilst mobile banking has become the norm for the vast majority of the UK population, for other financial products progress has been slower.

In March 2023, Savanta interviewed over 2,000 UK consumers, in order to understand the types of apps they are using and to look at how financial services stacks up versus other industries and to understand differences by financial product type.

Four out of five have at least one financial services app on their phone, dominated by current account apps

Amongst consumers who have at least one financial services app, almost all have at least one current account app (94%, which equates to 76% of the UK population overall).

Q3 And thinking specifically about financial services, how many apps do you have for the following products or services? Base = those with financial services apps

Nearly three-quarters (71%) have at least one savings and investments app, whilst two-thirds (67%) have at least one credit card app.

Outside of the top three banking products, app-adoption is far lower. Only half of UK consumers have an insurance app, closely followed by comparison tools (46%) and pensions (46%). Meanwhile, fewer than 4 in 10 have mortgages, loans and currency apps.

Financial services app usage is high, with over three-quarters using at least once a week – again dominated by current accounts

84% of people with at least one current account app use it/them at least once a week. This includes 22% using several times a day. This represents a massive opportunity to delight or a potential risk of disappointing. Understanding and improving the user experience is therefore essential to maintain and/or build market share.

Q4  And on average how frequently do you access each type of app? Base = those with app for each product type

Credit card and savings and investment apps also have high usage levels with approximately two-thirds (66% and 64%) using at least once a week.

Consumers’ ability and desire to interact so frequently with their providers digitally should undoubtably be nurtured.

App usage frequency is lower for products such as insurance, comparison tools and pensions (39%, 42% and 44% using at least once a week). Nevertheless, apps for all financial product types are accessed at least weekly by over a third of people who have each app type, which represents a big opportunity.

It is therefore essential for financial service providers to continue to expand and develop their digital offering to ensure that experience matches needs and expectations.

An opportunity to build upon

Financial services app-adoption and usage is high overall and is one of the top three app categories. It comes as no surprise that this is driven by mobile banking, with the majority of UK consumers having at least one current account app and using it at least weekly. Uptake of other financial services apps is also relatively high and this represents a major opportunity if brands get the user experience right.

For further information and insights on financial services, please get in touch.

And for more information on Savanta’s approach to UX research click here

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