As They Embrace Digital Banking, Canadians Expecting More From Their Banks

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Canadians are embracing digital banking at a rapid rate, and as they do, their expectations from digital banking continue to rise. 77% of Canadian consumers welcome robo-advice from banks to determine how to allocate their investments, according to a new report on the banking industry by Accenture.

43% of Canadian bank customers are open to using automated recommendations for banking services—such as computer-generated advice and services, independent of a human advisor—and 70% want robo-advisors to help them plan for retirement.

The report, titled “Banking on Value: Rewards, Robo-Advice and Relevance,” ound that speed and convenience (50 percent for Canada vs. 49 percent for US) and lower costs (33 percent for Canada vs. 27 percent for US) were cited by respondents as the primary benefits of robo-advice, with millennials and mass-affluent consumers expressing the most interest in the service.

“Robo-advice is gaining significant traction in the wealth management industry in Canada, and our research shows that consumers are open to working with robo-advisors for their retail banking needs,” said Bob Vokes, managing director of Accenture’s Canadian financial services practice. “Consumers are excited about the potential savings and accuracy that robo-advice offers.”

Further, the survey found that Canadian consumers are increasingly willing to bank with non-traditional players, closing the gap with those switching to national banks. Nine percent of Canadian consumers broadened their banking relationship with a new financial services provider in the past year.

“Consumers no longer view using multiple financial service providers as a hassle, which now puts pressure on these firms to not only attract new customers, but also to find ways to retain existing customers,” continued Vokes. “According to our research, 77 percent of Canadian consumers consider their relationship with their bank to be purely transactional – this is a missed opportunity for banks which now have access to technology that can help them provide more tailored offerings, particularly as more consumers are open to receiving value-added services from their bank. In fact, 41 percent of Canadian consumers said the top reason they would stay loyal to their bank is if it offered discounts on purchases.”

Among Canadians, 23 percent would consider switching to a branchless bank, which is up eight percentage points from last year.

“Today’s consumers want it all, and those expectations are equally high when it comes to their bank,” Vokes concluded. “Online banking remains the most popular channel. Consumers expect a seamless experience that can blend their digital and physical channels, and the banks that are able to deliver this experience will earn the loyalty of their customers.”

2016 Canada Consumer Digital Banking Infographic_English

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