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Changing customer demands may prompt shift in banking priorities

Our global study of almost 33,000 banking customers across 18 markets found a striking change in behaviors and expectations.

Customers expect digital innovation, but banks could go further. They may need to transform their value proposition to meet distinct, emerging customer needs.

A comprehensive view of shifting consumer expectations

The banking report explores the changing marketplace for banks and financial firms. It highlights trends, key findings and implications for banks as they seek to understand—and market to—today’s banking consumers.

Download the banking report

Introducing today’s consumers:
Three distinct groups emerge

Our research has found three groups of consumers that vary in how they want to bank, and in what they want from banks.


This digitally active group is ready for new delivery models. They are willing to share their data in exchange for personalized services. Nomads are comfortable with computer-generated support and with receiving services from non-traditional providers. They make up 39% of banking respondents.

Nomads are looking for 5 key attributes from their bank:

  • Want banks to match tech providers’ digitally-driven service level

    Open to non-traditional providers

    78% would bank with a tech firm like Amazon or Google.

    Banks unwilling or unable to adopt digitally-based services may lose customers to non-bank competitors.

    Willing sharers but view data as a currency

    78% happy to share personal data with their bank but 66% demand faster, easier services in return.

    Banks may need to offer Nomads either improved services or compensation in the form of discounts or cash rewards.

  • Want banks to deliver data-driven real-time personalization

    Seeking added value in their daily lives

    59% want tools helping them monitor their monthly budget, with real-time adjustments based on their spending.

    54% want specific real-time offers based on their location (e.g. retail offers based on location and credit card activity).

    Banks’ offers to Nomads should be both specific and timely; too-general outreach may be ignored.

  • Seek new ways of accessing banking product advice and services

    Ready for computer-only advice on banking products

    41% are very willing to use entirely computer-generated advice for banking.

    Nomads want advice on bank products but are indifferent as to whether the advice comes from a human or from a computer.

    Want instant advice via mobile

    53% would like instant access to face-to-face banking advice via mobile.

    First movers that provide face-to-face banking advice via mobile may have an edge in attracting new Nomad customers.

  • Want technologies that put power in their hands

    Value new tools that enable self-service

    61% say person-to-person payment tools would be useful

    50% want tools providing direct access to digital money (e.g. Bitcoin)

    Banks introducing services that cut out the middleman and make direct payments can meet a clearly stated need.

  • Want a more digital offering in branches

    Demanding the branch goes digital

    64% say it’s important to have devices that allow them to access their online banking in the branch.

    66% say it’s important to have advanced ATM machines in the branch.

    Nomads are looking for a different, more highly automated branch experience, with humans playing a backup role to online access and sophisticated ATMs.


These consumers search for the best price. They want to buy financial services from traditional providers and, while they operate well in a digital environment, they also place value on one-to-one engagement. They make up 17% of banking respondents.

Hunters are looking for 4 key attributes from their bank:

  • Want banks to match tech providers’ digitally-driven service level

    Cost matters to them

    They care most about low cost (83%) but it doesn’t mean they will compromise on service.

    Banks may have to explore more differentiated offerings, with some of the more basic services offered on a low-cost basis.

    Expect price gains for sharing personal data

    76% say lower prices are important in return for sharing data.

    Banks may need to offer more competitive pricing as a trade-off for data sharing.

  • Not convinced by non-bank providers

    Tied to traditional providers

    None are willing to bank with Amazon or Google.

    Banks’ hold on Hunters is still strong, but banks offering a combination of quality and low price can gain share from other banks.

    Are dubious about new market entrants

    Only 23% think a payments provider could deliver quality banking products.

    Banks working with Hunters should focus on the basics of cost and service.

  • The human touch is important to them

    Value human advice

    Only 19% are very willing to accept computer-only advice for banking.

    Computerized advice on banking products can supplement but cannot replace human advisors for banks dealing with Hunters.


    70% use a smartphone less than once a week or never for banking.

    Hunters still see banking as a straightforward, specific set of business activities.

  • Seek practical added-value services

    Open to digitally-driven offerings with practical value

    38% would like their bank to help with major purchases by sending relevant information in real time.

    As is the case with Nomads, Hunters are very interested in tracking expenses and cutting costs.

Quality Seekers

These loyal customers value brand integrity and service excellence, and will work with providers who put customers interests first. Price is less important than elements such as data protection and responsive service. They make up 44% of banking respondents.

Quality Seekers are looking for 5 key attributes from their bank:

  • Are driven by service and trust

    Value a high quality service

    49% say a high quality customer service drives loyalty.

    Banks may need better training and motivation of branch and support people to attract and retain Quality Seekers.

    Need to feel their bank is trustworthy

    53% say confidence their personal data will be secure makes them stay.

    Banks should stress data safeguards, alignment with customer interests in their marketing outreach.

  • Trust banks over non-traditional providers

    Want to bank with specialist providers

    None would bank with Amazon or Google.

    As an industry, banks have advantages over non-banks with Quality Seekers, but competition among banks remains fierce.

    Trust firms with financial expertise

    26% think a payments provider could deliver high quality banking services.

    Banks marketing to Quality Seekers should emphasize the soundness and security of their banking services.

  • Expect innovative and traditional services

    Ready for part-shift to mobile

    37% want instant access to face-to-face advice via mobile.

    Mobile is an important adjunct service for Quality Seekers and may tip the balance in some relationships.

    Branch location is crucial too

    45% say convenient branch location is key.

    Quality Seekers value the physical presence of a bank as an indicator of quality service.

  • Will accept a mix of human and computer advice

    Open to if not fully-sold on computer-only advice

    21% are very willing to receive computer-only banking advice.

    For Quality Seekers, automated advice on banking services can be an add-on but it has not replaced human advice.


    35% value human advice most as it’s personalized.

    Banks may find the need for human advice rises as the complexity of the transaction increases.

  • Will adopt new tools that enhance their experience

    Value real-time data-driven assistance

    42% want banks to send them information about services exactly as their need arises.

    Quality Seekers are also value seekers, but they want their information at the right time and through the right channel.

    New apps appeal

    43% want mobile apps for person-to-person payments.

    More and more customers in each persona want to cut out the middleman in transactions and to track and control expenses more closely.

Shifting customer demands — Exploring Financial Services trends and implications

Our study looked across Financial Services to understand financial customers’ wants and needs. Five above-line trends emerged, as well as specific regional and financial industry findings. See what else our survey reveals.



Profile picture of Piercarlo Gera

Piercarlo Gera

Global Managing Director,
FS Distribution & Marketing

Piercarlo is Accenture’s global lead for its Financial Services Distribution & Marketing, which covers work in distribution channels (such as branch, mobile, web and social media) and marketing (such as big data, analytics and CRM).

Profile picture of Alan McIntyre

Alan McIntyre

Senior Managing Director
Global Banking

Alan is responsible for the industry group's overall vision and strategy, investment priorities, offering development and supporting network of alliance partners. He has more than 20 years of experience working with clients in the financial services industry.

Profile picture of Stephanie Sadowski

Stephanie Sadowski

Managing Director,
FS Distribution & Marketing, North America Lead

Stephanie has 20+ years of customer service experience, implementing and managing large scale technical and strategic solutions for clients across the globe in financial services, products, and communications and high tech.