In Tech We Trust: How Banking Disrupters are Reshaping Consumer Preferences
It wasn’t that long ago that ATMs were objects of suspicion. The newfangled, impersonal tan boxes did not inspire trust among customers who had built personal financial bonds with their branch representatives. Even after ATMs became commonplace, the introduction of mobile banking was greeted with similar skepticism.
But the ground has shifted. A recent interview from the Gramercy Institute — a think tank for financial marketers — features Google’s managing director of financial services explaining how banking disruptors such as Chime and Varo aren’t just attracting customers, they’re building trust.
Mike Henry, the Google finance leader, draws on the company’s research to show how advances in user experience, evolving consumer preferences and the pandemic have combined to push customers into the arms of financial startups. Increasingly, those disrupters are viewed not simply as a convenience but as a trusted, primary financial resource on par with some of banking’s biggest names.
According to Henry, “Our research shows 77% of U.S. financial consumers believe disruptors are delivering the most innovative products and features, and 80% of early-adopters believe disruptors care about making their financial lives easier.”
As an example, Henry points to Chime, whose customer base grew from eight million in February 2020 to 12 million in February 2021. Henry says that puts Chime on par with Citibank in terms of number of customers that consider Chime their primary bank.
For bank marketers, the message is that the disrupters are gaining ground. User experience is tantamount to customer satisfaction — and, increasingly, trust and loyalty. The pandemic accelerated consumer trust in digital products and services — and it’s reshaping the landscape of where and how people want to bank.