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2014 North America consumer digital banking survey

Learn the banking trends shaping consumers’ demands for digital banking services.


According to the 2014 North America Consumer Digital Banking Survey of nearly 4,000 bank customers in the US and Canada, evidence suggests that traditional banks have a somewhat uncertain relationship with their customers despite the fact that in the US nearly 40 percent of customers—64 percent in Canada—have been with their current bank for over the past decade or more.

Results of the survey indicate that customers want a bank that’s nimble and proactive, one that can be a part of their daily lives. The idea of “convenience” in banking is undergoing a shift away from branch locations and toward digital products and services that mesh with consumers’ “smart” mobile-empowered lives. Also, banks that cling to the status quo risk being viewed more like utilities that conduct financial transactions.


A new survey from Accenture confirms that the North American banking industry is in the midst of a major transformation. Digital technologies are creating new ways of interacting with the customer, and these shifts will only accelerate in the coming years. Branches are not going away. Yet the future will be far more digital and far more competitive, as disruption in the financial sector allows for new players.

If banks are to win in this environment, they need to defend their customer base from outside threats by strengthening their relationship with customers. This entails using digital to learn more about what their customers want.


Four specific findings emerged from the study:

  • Branchless banks are gaining acceptance. More than one in four customers would definitely consider a branchless digital bank if they were to switch from their current bank. This is particularly true among younger customers, who are less interested in convenient branch locations and more interested in accessing digital services at the time and place of their choosing. Nearly 40 percent of younger people ages 18 to 34 say they would consider a branchless bank.

  • Banking is viewed as transactional, not relationship-driven. Nearly three-quarters of US customers—two-thirds in Canada—consider their banking relationship merely transactional, rather than driven by advice or a broader relationship.

  • Most customers are not getting actionable advice. Fewer than half of bank customers believe that their bank provides them with actionable advice.

  • Customers want proactive advice for their whole financial lives. More than half of customers want their bank to proactively recommend products or services that can help meet their financial needs. Among those interested in these services, 55 percent say that it would strongly increase their loyalty to the bank.


Consumers are calling for a new service proposition – they want banks to help make their life easier, enable them to manage their money more effectively and strengthen the overall relationship with their banks.

To respond to today’s challenges, banks should advance in the following ways:

  • Create more relevant experiences that are seamlessly integrated across in-branch, assisted, and digital channels

  • Extend their services deeper into consumers lives in their daily interactions, becoming a truly Everyday Bank

  • Offer more proactive advice and counseling to their customers to support them in better management of their daily financial needs


According to the new Accenture 2014 North America Consumer Digital Banking Survey, digital banking trends are changing traditional relationships between consumers and banks. In fact, the research suggests the relationship is increasingly uncertain as consumers are intrigued by branchless digital banks, define their relationships as merely transactional and generally want more advice and proactive financial services from their Everyday Banks. Watch the video to learn more about the results of the survey, and how banks can respond to these threats.

Digital Disruption in Banking

Consumer expectations vs realities

Customer expectations are increasingly defined by digital. Customers want banking experiences that work seamlessly for them across digital and traditional channels. They want their banks to interact with them proactively—in real time—by recommending products and services that match their financial needs. And they want relationships with their banks that make them feel like individuals, not transactions.

Currently, however, banks are failing to meet these requirements. Two 2014 Accenture surveys (the CMO Insights Survey and the North America Digital Banking Consumer Survey) highlight a digital divide between banks’ digital capabilities and their customers’ expectations.

Our research shows that four of the five most challenging areas for banking CMOs are related to managing customer relationships. Acquiring new customers, providing consistent omni-channel, improving customer loyalty and increasing sales to existing customers are all front-of-mind issues. So how can digital capabilities make a difference?

This infographic highlights critical areas in this digital divide—and suggests how these can be bridged. Drawing on recent research by Accenture amongst banking consumers and bank CMOs, it shows how important it is for banks to invest in digital transformation. Otherwise they risk losing out to more agile, digitally disruptive competitors.

The keys to bridging the customer expectation gap are closely linked—digitalization, focusing on customer relationships and investing in analytics. By developing skills across these areas, banks can move toward delivering the seamless experiences their customers want, while providing personalized services that meet their needs. In an increasingly competitive marketplace, these are essential capabilities.

Download the Digital Disruption in Banking: Consumer Expectations vs CMO  Realities Infographic.