PHOTO - Dean Young, vice president of product management for SunGard's banking business.
According to research from banking solutions firm SunGard, customers of Malaysian banks use Facebook to air their views and expectations. The research, conducted by Celent on behalf of SunGard, discovered that banks in some emerging markets are using social media for better engagement with their customers.
Malaysia, which was one of the markets that was covered in this research, has scored the highest in the new Bank Readiness Index (BRI) within Southeast Asia, according to SunGard vice president of product management, Dean Young, who said that the research investigated how prepared banks are to respond to the needs of their retail customers.
"Building on the research, Celent has developed the Bank Readiness Index (BRI) on behalf of SunGard, an online tool to help banks benchmark their ability to cater to customer expectations. The SunGard BRI uses 17 parameters and aggregates banks' capabilities across four metrics, including multi-channel and customer metrics," he said.
Consumers are talking on Facebook, but banks were not 'listening': 90 percent of consumers surveyed use Facebook at least weekly, with about half of respondents confirming they would use it to share banking experiences, said Young. "While 76 percent of banks agree that innovation in mobility and digital technology is a key opportunity to personalise offerings, only 21 percent have a fully developed social media strategy and just 13 percent believe they are sing social media to its fullest potential. Only 38 percent monitor social media."
Online channels give freedom to shop around
"Increasingly, online channels present consumers with more freedom to 'shop around'," he said. "Banks need the ability to understand their customers' needs in order to create a better user experience, which, in turn, will help to capitalise on cross-sell opportunities, build customer loyalty and improve profitability. The SunGard Bank Readiness Index will help banks in emerging markets gain a true picture of just how ready and capable they are to meet customer demands and develop offerings to meet their customers' needs and preferences."
"Banks lag customer demand for a multichannel experience: Most consumers are prolific online and mobile users yet many of the surveyed banks do not offer a fully integrated multi-channel experience," Young said. "The research revealed that smartphone ownership exceeds traditional cell phones in Southeast Asia at 54 percent. While 63 percent of banks in Asia now offering native apps (i.e. built for Android or iPhone), only 34 percent of banks in Asia currently have tablet offerings. Malaysia achieved a high score in mobility, including native mobile and tablet apps. However, most mobile banking offerings are still basic."
Celent senior analyst, Bob Mear, said: "Consumers in emerging markets feel that banks are not doing enough to understand their needs. While consumer trust is evident, banks need to capitalise on this opportunity to get a better handle on changing customer habits and engagement strategies in order to help maintain customer loyalty in the future."
The Bank Readiness Index research was undertaken in March - April 2012. The study is based on two surveys, a survey of 102 banks undertaken by Celent, and a survey of 1,073 consumers, undertaken by Loudhouse Research. Analysis of the research findings was then undertaken by Celent. The surveys cover the following eight countries: Southeast Asia: Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, and Middle East: Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates.
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