A new report has found that bank customers in Nigeria are the heaviest users of Automated Teller Machines in the world. The study by EY, a global business and financial advisory firm, also shows that Nigerians have the highest sensitivity in Africa and the second highest globally to close accounts based on poor experience.
The EY’s 2014 Global Consumer Banking report surveyed over 32,000 bank customers in 43 countries, including Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa. The study also finds that Nigerian bank customers are among those from the top three countries that use social media when making decisions on selecting a financial service provider.
After a number of years of sharp decline, confidence in the banking industry is on the rise, trust in individual banks is high and most customers across the globe are satisfied enough to recommend their main banking provider, according to the report of the survey. Banks are providing traditional banking services well but are viewed as falling short on important aspects of the customer experience, and are also increasingly vulnerable to competition from new providers of banking services, the report states. The survey finds customer experience to be a main driver of trust, and customer experience is also the single most common reason that customers open and close accounts, adding that it is more important than fees, rates, locations, press coverage or convenience.
The report read in part, “Fifty-two per cent of customers globally have opened or closed at least one product in the past year and 40 per cent plan to in the coming year. In South Africa, 44 per cent of clients surveyed said they intend to open or close an account in the next year. This is higher than the average for the African countries surveyed (34 per cent) and the global average of 40 per cent. “Experience with a service provider is not only a key driver of trust; globally, it is also the single most common reason for opening and closing accounts.” On the country, the report states, “Nigerian bank customers have the highest level of trust for primary financial service providers in Africa and second globally behind India.
“Twenty-four per cent of Nigerian customers have experienced a problem with their banks that required resolution. Seventy-two per cent of customers were either very satisfied or satisfied with the response that they received. However, 28 per cent were less than satisfied. EY’s Advisory Banking Sector Leader for Africa, Mr. Colin Daley, said in a statement, “Despite another challenging year for banks globally, confidence in the banking industry among African customers has experienced a significant increase, most notably in Kenya and Nigeria, with South Africa tracking the global trend.” The survey finds that there are three key improvement areas for banks: make banking simple and clear through transparency of fees, simplicity of offers and communication, and delivery of an omni-channel experience; help customers make the right financial decisions in a complex environment through more and better advice, and through greater use of data and digital channels to empower customers; and work with customers when problems arise and become their advocate through improved problem resolution capabilities.