The rapid changes in how customers now deal with their banks, through mobiles, the internet and now the threat from fintech providers, pose a major challenge to existing banks. Roy Morgan Research has found that less than one in five (18.7%) Australians can be classified as ‘Technology Early Adopters’ but this is likely to be a critical segment to the success of banks in the new digital environment. Early Adopters are always first to purchase and use new technologies and generally set the trend for the broader market to follow, making it crucial for banks to understand how they are performing among this group. These findings are the latest from Roy Morgan’s Single Source survey of 50,000+ people pa.
Our research shows that there are in fact major differences in the proportion of each bank’s customers that belong to the Technology Early Adopter segment, which is likely to impact on their success rate in entering the new digital financial world.
The smaller banks lead in attracting Early Adopters
The six banks with the highest proportions of Early Adopters among their customer base are all the smaller or regional banks. Teachers Mutual Bank leads with 29.2% of its customers being from this group, which is 56% higher than the population average of 18.7%.
‘Technology Early Adopters’ by bank
Source: Roy Morgan Research Single Source: March 2015 - February 2016 (n=15,052)
The other two strongest performers are ING Direct (41% more likely than average) and Citibank (34% more likely).
Of the four major banks, Westpac (8% above average), followed by the ANZ and CBA (both 7% more likely than average) were the best performers. The NAB is 3% less likely than average.
Among the other major banks there are a number of below average performers, with Bendigo Bank well below average (33% below), Heritage Bank (23% below) and Bank SA (13% below).
Norman Morris, Industry Communications Director, Roy Morgan Research says:
“Although the smaller banks currently appear to be leading in attracting customers from the Technology Early Adopter segment, they are likely to face challenges from the better resourced big four and the new fintech disrupters who are likely to be more nimble and experienced at adapting quickly to customer needs, thus posing a potential problem for all banks.
“The success of all players in financial services will not only depend on their ability to attract early adopters but will depend ultimately on moving to the ‘mass market’ stage and ‘market maturity’, where the majority of the population have transitioned to this new era in banking.
“Roy Morgan Research interviews approximately 2,000 Technology Early Adopters p.a. across a wide range of products and services, which enables anyone in the financial services sector to gain unique and customised insights into this key market segment.”
Roy Morgan Research
Roy Morgan Research is Australia's best known and longest established market research and public opinion survey company. Roy Morgan Single Source is thorough, accurate, and provides comprehensive, directly applicable information about current and future customers. It is unique in that it directs all the questions to each individual from a base survey sample of around 55,000 interviews in Australia and 15,000 interviews in New Zealand annually - the largest Single Source databases in the world. The questions asked relate to lifestyle and attitudes, media consumption habits (including TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, cinema, catalogues, pay TV and the Internet), brand and product usage, purchase intentions, retail visitations, service provider preferences, financial information and recreation and leisure activities. This lead product is supported by a nationally networked, consultancy-orientated market research capability.
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