Banks in Thailand must reestablish personal relationships with customers amid shift to Digital: Survey Finds
Banks in Thailand can capture untapped revenue by transforming their service channels to improve interactions with customers and offering more relevant products and services to meet consumers' evolving financial needs, according to a report from Accenture.
Based on a survey of 49,000 consumers globally, including 1,000 respondents in Thailand, Accenture's Global Banking Consumer Study reveals that only 41% of Thai respondents rated their primary bank's customer service as excellent and more than half (53%) had problems getting human support when they needed it.
At the same time, the research found that just 38% of local respondents rated their bank highly in terms of the range of products and services offered. This is leading consumers to seek out new providers. More than eight in ten (81%) recently acquired a financial services product from a provider other than their main bank, versus 59% of global respondents. Meanwhile, 89% of Thai respondents have a digital-only bank account, far higher than the global average of 54%.
The revenue opportunity for banks
The report notes that consumers' relationships with their banks are becoming increasingly transactional and impersonal. Banks can reverse this by investing in a digital core steeped in artificial intelligence, cloud, and data and analytics technologies to better identify customers' financial intents, have more personal conversations that flow seamlessly across physical and digital channels, and deliver relevant products and services, including non-banking offerings.
Accenture estimates that by taking these steps to reestablish personal relationships, banks could increase revenues from primary customers by upwards of 20%.
Consumers – across all generations – still value bank branches
The desire to have a conversation with their bank is evident based on consumers' surprising affinity for bank branches. While many banks continue to reduce their overall branch footprints, more than eight in ten (82%) consumers in Thailand — across all age groups — like seeing bank branches in their neighbourhood, as they portray stability and availability. This was higher than the global average (66% of consumers). In addition, 80% of Thai consumers turn to branches to solve specific and complicated problems.
As interest rates rise and economic uncertainty persists — 71% of respondents in Thailand said that rising costs of living had significantly affected their ability to repay loans in the past 12 months — consumers are more likely to want to connect with their bank for help. The report suggests that branches be repositioned as advisory centres, with employees leveraging technology to deliver a more personalized experience.
Other key survey findings from the report include:
Approximately one-third of consumers said they would purchase big-ticket non-financial products — such as properties (30%), cars (30%) and travel (21%) — from or through a bank.
78% said the majority of their mobile banking logins are simply to check account balances.
Wichaya Chao, Financial Services lead, Thailand, Accenture, said "With an increasingly affluent and digital savvy population, Thais are expecting intuitive, effortless, and engaging experiences with their banks. Banks that come out as leaders will be those that put the customer at the heart of their innovation. These banks draw on data-driven customer insights to deliver integrated propositions that address core customer needs, and in turn, capture customer mindshare and trust. With digital banking licenses expected to be announced in 2024, banks that prioritize meeting Thais' needs and delivering an exceptional digital experience will be the ones to succeed in the market."