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Research report

Banking Consumer Study: Reignite human connections

5-minute read

In brief

  • Banks can strengthen fraying customer connections with life-centric solutions and better engagement across digital and physical channels.
  • Most digital channels today are less than helpful in forging personal connections with customers.
  • Our research reveals bank customers across generations still value branches, which they use for specific, important transactions.
  • By taking steps to build more meaningful personal relationships, banks could boost revenue from primary customers by up to 20%.

Banks have a golden moment on their hands

Powerful forces, from rising rates to breakthrough technology, are converging to create an opportunity for banks to transform their relationships with customers. The revenue boost from higher interest rates may induce complacency, but forward-thinking banks can use it to ignite product innovation. Beneath the hype, advanced tech like generative AI might have enormous potential to revolutionize the customer experience.

Banks can harness these forces to explore the art of the possible and increase their relevance to set a new performance frontier. This golden moment is an opportunity for banks to redefine consumer banking in the 2020s; to play a more meaningful role in customers’ lives by understanding the forces that affect their individual lives and helping them achieve their aspirations.

RELATED: It’s 2023. Do banks still need branches?

Understanding the ever-changing customer and new competition

Accenture's latest global study of 49,000 consumers reveals crucial details about today’s banking consumers—chief among them growing customer dissatisfaction and industry fragmentation, leading consumers to seek out new providers.


of respondents rate their main bank's customer service as excellent


rate their main bank highly for its range of products and services and for the competency of its tailored financial advice


recently acquired a financial services product from a provider other than their main bank

Consumers’ relationships with their banks are becoming increasingly impersonal. The survey shows that most consumers use their bank’s digital channels for quick functional tasks only. This suggests that digital channels are functionally correct but emotionally devoid. They don’t help a bank turn a transactional relationship with a customer into a genuine human connection.

Consumers still value the branch

Our survey found that consumers across all generations and nearly all geographies still value physical bank branches in their neighborhoods. This surprising affinity for branches is clear evidence of consumers’ desire to have a personal interaction with their banks. 

In addition, more than six in 10 turn to branches to solve specific and complicated problems. Pain points are set to become more acute as the economic impact of the rising cost of living sets in. As consumers navigate those challenges, they will want to have genuine conversations with their banks. Most digital channels today don't offer that.


Three pivots to reimagine the customer relationship and unlock value

Banks can respond to these trends and boost their customer relevance with three distinct but related pivots. Each helps replicate what customers appreciate about the branch: an opportunity to have a personal conversation, discuss their needs, and receive tailored advice about products and services and ways to improve their finances.

From journey to intent

Moving from a frictionless digital customer journey to understanding customers’ motivations is as rewarding as it is challenging.

Personal conversations

Deeper understanding of customers' circumstances can enable advice that’s relevant. Next-gen tech like generative AI can play a crucial role.

Holistic experiences

Banks that remove silos can offer holistic propositions that mix products—including non-banking ones—through physical and digital touchpoints.

Together these pivots can build a more human connection, activating what we call the “multiplier effect,” where banks maximize the power of their relationships to achieve top-line growth.

Read the full report for more details, including four strategic plays for success that can help banks transform their customer relationships for future relevance and growth.

A multiplier effect can help banks increase revenues from primary customers by up to 20%, depending on the market. In the US, this translates to $100B in annual retail banking revenue at stake.


Michael Abbott

Senior Managing Director – Global Banking Lead

Kim Kim Oon

Managing Director – Accenture Strategy, Banking