Majority of consumers feel anxious checking banking apps as cost-of-living challenges bite

In the three months since our inaugural Banking Disruption Index, it’s safe to say the economic challenges facing banking customers have only been exacerbated. The UK has officially entered recession, the cold winter months have meant the cost of energy is squeezing household finances more than ever and wider cost-of-living challenges continue to impact consumer spending. As a result of these economic difficulties, banks have the opportunity to support customers and help them navigate this challenging financial landscape.

In this quarter’s Banking Disruption Index, it was only right, therefore, that we focused on the financial and budgeting support banks provide their customers through their digital offering. Are banks’ mobile apps and online banking platforms doing enough to help customers manage their money? What more would consumers like their banking apps to provide? How would customers in financial difficulty prefer to liaise with their bank? These are all questions we answer in this latest Banking Disruption Index.

The challenger banks have, until recently, led the way with their money management support. The likes of Monzo and Starling Bank have continuously launched new budgeting tools to help their customers stay on top of their spending, with traditional banks following suit more recently. This support is being embraced by customers and what was apparent from our research is there continues to be increased appetite from consumers for banks to go even further.

Looking at the year ahead

As we enter 2023, there is ample opportunity for these banks to invest in even more ways to support their customers further to weather the most challenging financial storm to hit the UK in decades. The financial institutions that rise to this challenge, and do so quickly and sensitively, will forge loyal and long-term relationships with their customers.

With inflation reaching a 30-year high, interest rates peaking and a recession all impacting consumer finances, banks are under increased pressure to provide a helping hand to their customers this year. Alongside additional financial support, providing added assistance to help customers budget and better manage their money will be a core focus for banks – both traditional and challenger – in 2023. The reputational damage the banking sector suffered following the financial crash in 2008 took several years to repair.

Now, 15 years on and amidst another recession, the industry has built trust with its consumers as a result of continuous investment in its customer offering and technology. There is a real opportunity now for banks to continue building this trust and show customers they can provide a helping hand during challenging economic times.

Checking bank account causes anxiety

Our latest Banking Disruption Index looks at where this added support is most needed and how it can be delivered through the use of technology. Our research shows that there is a real gap in budgeting support from banks through their apps and online offering, presenting a key area of opportunity for financial institutions this year.

One of the greatest benefits to consumers of the digitisation of banking is the simplified means of checking bank balances and financial activity, which can now be done in a matter of seconds through an app or online banking. In light of the current financial challenges facing customers and uncertainty for the year ahead, this ease of access to their finances is having a real impact on consumer wellbeing.

Our data found that three in four (77%) banking customers are feeling anxious when checking their mobile banking apps. What’s more, this anxiousness is exacerbated in the young generations. More than 85% of those aged between 16-24 (86%) and 25-35 (86%) admit to feeling anxious when checking their finances on their banking app, alongside a further 87% of 35-44-year-olds.


This is a preview of GFT’s latest Banking Disruption Index report. Download the full report via our website here

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