In line with global trends, Asia-Pacific customers are also migrating quickly towards digital channels – with mainland China, India Hong Kong and Malaysia leading across the region in terms of digital adoption and usage.
In India for example, 67 per cent of customers said they had used online and mobile banking more frequently over the past year, compared to a global average of 37 per cent.
While these results make it clear banks need to deliver on digital experience, the need for offering different forms of engagement still remains.
Up to 70 per cent of respondents in mainland China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore indicated the importance of having multiple channels to connect with their banks. Additionally, 54 per cent of respondents in Malaysia and 52 per cent in Singapore said they would not yet trust a bank without branches.
Such statistics illustrate the importance of a truly omni-channel experience. Digital cannot simply replace but rather should complement human interaction. Banks need to make sure their distribution network enables customers to interact and transition seamlessly and consistently across channels, whether online, over the phone or face to face.
But, it’s not enough for banks to segment customers based on digital savviness. Another important factor is their level of financial savviness – their level of understanding of and comfort with financial products.
By looking at a combination of these two factors, banks can get a clearer picture of customer needs and expectations.
One of the key insights from our research is 42 per cent of the digitally mature customers in Asia-Pacific are not financially savvy (and to a much lesser extent, 8 per cent are financially savvy but identify themselves as non-digital natives). This brings to light the challenge facing banks in catering to different types of customers.
While the make-up of customers in each country varies when viewed through the dual lenses of financial and digital aptitude and comfort - across Asia-Pacific as a whole, the largest segment is the aforementioned group of customers who are digitally savvy but financially non-savvy.
This suggests the need for better advice and more hand-holding through digital channels than is currently available in the market. In fact, it is precisely because of a lack of compelling offerings and financial guidance from conventional banks that make this segment ready to migrate to non-banks.