There is one positive takeaway from digital transformation outfit GFT’s Banking Disruption Index. That is that over one third of customers (37%) are checking their banking apps on a daily basis, with a further 27% checking them every two-six days.

The above numbers can be spun as a positive for a number of reasons. Such as customers at ease with digital banking and engaged with their bank. And customers able to check their account details easily are less likely to call the call centre-so a cost saving to the bank.

The GFT Disruption Index is a quarterly assessment of consumer attitudes towards their bank’s digital capabilities. The latest version also reveals some less positive numbers.

GFT Disruption Index key takeaways

  • 77% of consumers feel anxious checking banking apps;
  • 74% of people want their banks to provide more budgeting tools to help them manage their money, and
  • More than half (57%) of consumers would like their bank to be proactive in contacting them if their spending habits point towards financial difficulty.

Richard Kalas, Client Solutions Director of Retail Banking at GFT UK tells RBI: “Our data tells us that consumers want more tools to help protect their money this winter. People are facing a difficult start to 2023 financially and banking apps must incorporate more budgeting features to help in every way possible.

“The banks that offer the best digital methods to proactively support customers with their money will be the ones that benefit from increased loyalty.”

And it seems that younger customers are the most anxious.

86% of those aged 16-25 and 25-35 admit to feeling anxious when checking their finances on their banking app, alongside a further 87% of 35-44 year-olds.

Customers want additional budgeting tools

It does rather beg the question as to how the current generation of young adults would have coped back in the day when current accounts meant reliance on writing cheques on a regular basis. And checking the account balance meant reliance on the monthly printed statement. No matter, it does now seem that customers think their banks should offer more budgeting tools on their apps and mobile banking to help them keep on top of their finances.

The most popular tools customers wanted were options to flag upcoming bills and whether they had enough money to cover them (26%), daily / weekly insights into where their money has been spent (22%) and instant notifications after spending (21%).

In fact, people are willing to use their bank’s digital tools to manage their money – even those facing financial difficulty. The research found that almost half (43%) of consumers would liaise with their bank digitally, instead of visiting a branch or speaking to a customer service representative over the phone, if they were struggling with their money.

This demand for more tools and better features shows a clear appetite from consumers to manage their money independently, via their online and mobile banking apps. There may however be a degree of frustration on the part of some bankers. Consumer anxiety about finances during a cost-of-living crisis is understandable. But customers also need to take more responsibility-it has never been easier to check an account balance.