New insights from the “Financial Pulse Survey” conducted by McKinsey & Company show that, Romanian consumers have immediate support needs from banks related to more convenient credit aid and improved service via digital channels. For example, 52% of them would want their bank to waive late fees on the credit card or loan payment during this period of uncertainties generated by COVID-19 pandemic.
21% of Romanians, the highest percentage among the European countries included in the survey, indicated a performance above expectations of their bank in recent months. Other 61% stated the interactions with the bank were in line with their expectations. This might partially indicate lower expectations of the local customers, since banks in Western Europe are more advanced in the service model via digital channels.
Hence, as Romanian consumer expectations will converge to Western Europe level, local banks will most likely need to improve their service level in terms of both credit conditions and service and advice tools soon. These emerging priorities are also supported by customer feedback, as digital channels that allow E2E online transactions for all banking activities would be a strong point for banks, according to 44% of the local customers. Also, 31% of the Romanians, most probably less digitally savvy, would feel more comfortable if the bank educated them on using the variety of mobile/online tools available for transactions or interactions.
“Banks have several clear options to support their customers, based on their current needs. An immediate one would be to continue to offer financial support by ensuring short-term relief for those clients who need it. In the long-term, banks should focus on improving user experience while moving beyond basic digitization and to improve the availability and accessibility of banking services to all categories of customers, regardless of their level of digital maturity ”, says Alexandru Filip, Managing Partner at McKinsey & Company’s Bucharest Office and Leader of the firm’s Digital and Analytics Practice in Central Europe.
Digital channels (both online and mobile) are already widely used; 70%+ of respondents connected to their banks’ websites or apps during this period, Digital channels also generate significantly higher customer satisfaction compared to traditional channels (at least very satisfied rating of 50%+ for digital channels vs. ~30% for non-digital), pointing out that higher adoption of digital channels could help banks increase customer satisfaction via focusing on developing them further.
The first set of findings from the local “Financial Pulse Survey”, communicated in July, showed that: 54% of Romanians consider their current financial situation as being weak. Almost 50% of consumers have experienced reduction in income and savings, while less than 33% have been able to reduce household spending. 60% have savings worth 4 months or less to handle a potential loss of job or income reduction. More details are available here.
The “Financial Pulse Survey” was conducted in Romania in June 2020 and included more than 500 respondents. Results have been adjusted so that figures reflect the overall Romanian population aged 18-80.