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Sia Partners and Happydemics: Future of the Banking Sector

As part of a close collaboration, Sia Partners and Happydemics conducted a survey about the image of the banking sector among its customers.

This survey focuses on services provided today, but also tries to uncover the future of the banking sector; topics such as innovation, sustainability, data sharing and technology are discussed. The survey has been conducted in the Benelux, with results for the Dutch, Belgium and Luxembourgish markets. In this article, the results of the Dutch market will be discussed.

In this article, the three following key insights regarding the future of the banking sector will be discussed:

  1. Sustainable Bank Accounts
  2. Virtual Advisors
  3. Customers’ willingness to share data

Are Customers Willing to Choose Sustainable Bank Accounts?

A positive development in terms of sustainability among the Dutch banking customers, is the increasing willingness to switch to “green” or “social” bank accounts. Customers are becoming increasingly aware of the investments of their money and would like to see this reflected in green, sustainable and socially desirable projects too. When focusing on the “Next generation”, customers under the age of 35, the survey shows 56% is willing to switch to a sustainable bank account, even if they have to pay a premium for this type of bank account. The “35+ generation” is less willing to switch if this results in a financially negative impact with only 32% of willingness to switch to a sustainable bank account. Nevertheless, it is clear that people are starting to think responsibly about their choices in the banking sector and it is expected that this trend will continue in the future. Otto van ‘t Loo, Director Financial Services at Sia Partners, concludes the same: “The “Next generation” and “35+ generation” clearly indicate they are willing to invest in sustainability. Banks should seize this opportunity by offering new customized banking products that stimulate sustainable behavior through smart loyalty programs.”


Customer willingness to open a less profitable but sustainable savings account

Customers are Open to Working with Virtual Advisors

Customers are ready to embrace the world of artificial intelligence in the services the banks provide. The survey shows that 63% of the customers indicate they are ready to receive services that are (partly) provided by virtual advisors. If we zoom in on the “Next generation”, this percentage is even higher with 72%, of which 52% thinks services fully provided by virtual advisors is sufficient and 20% indicates they would like to have a mix of virtual and personal advisors. The willingness to work with virtual advisors is higher among the “Next generation” when comparing to the “35+ generation”, which suggests that the willingness to receive services via virtual advisors may increase in the future.

Customer willingness to receive advice from a virtual advisor

Data Sharing for Financial Incentives

Customers are increasingly willing to share their data with their banks. The survey found that 73% of Dutch customers is willing to share their data with their bank in exchange for a form of compensation. Among the “Next generation”, this percentage is even higher with 85% that is willing to share their data with their bank.

When we dive deeper into the type of compensation that customers would like to receive in return, the majority of customers choose for lower interest rates on bank loans with 23%. Special offers from advertisers and monetary remuneration are also popular choices for types of compensation.


Customer willingness to share personal data

In addition to the conclusions on the various sub-questions, it is interesting to see that the differences in needs between the generations are decreasing, though it is, of course, limited to typical groups joining these kind of surveys. We are more than happy to discuss in depth characteristics of the interviewees with the banks..

Paul Geerts, Associate Partner Financial Services | Sia Partners

Results of the complete survey

In addition to the results discussed, we also investigated the future of banks by cooperating with third parties in providing services like health, (cyber-)security, leisure and real estate. Furthermore, we surveyed which banks were most innovative according to the customers. Clients of the following banks were included in the survey:

  • Rabobank
  • ING
  • ABN Amro
  • Bunq
  • ASN Bank
  • Regiobank
  • N26
  • SNS Bank
  • Revolut

Would you like to discuss these and the remainder of the results further? Please fill in the contact form and we will get back to you.

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