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​Filipino Bank Consumers Slow to Embrace Digital Banking Channels, But Poised to Lead Mobile Banking Adoption in Asia Pacific – Unisys Survey

Unisys research reveals Filipino consumers prefer to bank at branches rather than online even though they are frustrated by long queues; but show strong readiness for mobile channels

MANILA, PHILIPPINES, 5 July 2017 – New research from Unisys Corporation reveals that consumers in the Philippines prefer in-person interactions with their bank at a branch rather than use online, mobile or telephone channels. However, as they say long queues in branches is their biggest annoyance (cited by 54 percent of respondents), the findings suggest there is substantial opportunity for banks in the Philippines to use digital banking strategies, particularly mobile, to improve customer experience and reduce operational costs. 

The Unisys APAC Banking Insights Survey is a study that provides insights into the attitudes of banking customers in the Philippines, Australia, Hong Kong, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore and Taiwan. 

Transaction type impacts preferred channel

The survey reveals that the type of a banking interaction impacts which channel customers prefer. To research banking products, the majority of consumers in all seven countries (61 percent on average) prefer to go online. Whereas the majority will go into a bank branch to apply for a home loan (58 percent) or open a deposit account (63 percent). When applying for a credit card or personal loan, they are almost equally likely to go online (42 percent) or into a branch (41 percent). 

"Branches still play a key role in educating customers on their financial future, but most bank transactions can be done via more convenient digital channels. This transition reflects a global trend as banks respond to these issues. Providing a seamless customer experience across all channels is key to delivering a positive customer experience," says Eric Crabtree, vice president and global head, financial services, Unisys.

Filipinos prefer to bank in person at the branch

Of all the countries surveyed, the Philippines has the highest preference for visiting the branch. It is the only country surveyed where the majority of consumers prefer to make payments in person at a branch, whereas in the other countries consumers prefer to use the bank's website. Filipinos also have the highest preference (17 percent of respondents) for going into a branch to simply check their account balance. 

Philippines poised to adopt mobile banking

In contrast, while across the region the preference to use mobile banking apps is low compared to online and branch channels, the Philippines and the mature banking markets of New Zealand and Singapore, are the most advanced in embracing mobile banking apps. Filipinos are the most likely in the region to use mobile apps to research banking products (13 percent) and check their account balance (34 percent). One in four Filipinos prefer make a payment under PHP 10,000 via a mobile app.  

Richard Parker, vice president, financial services, Unisys Asia Pacific says: "Although banks in the Philippines offer a range of digital channels, they do not yet provide a compelling enough experience for customers to replace visiting the branch. This is typical for other emerging markets such as Malaysia and Taiwan and means that the branch remains an important channel within an ever-evolving omichannel strategy. However, there is a real opportunity for Filipino banks to fast track their digital strategy particularly using mobile channels. While Internet penetration in the Philippines is relatively low (40.7%)1, there is a much higher take up of mobile services (118 cellular subscriptions per 100 people)2 suggesting that there will be an increasing appetite for mobile banking services once consumers see a clear benefit in convenience they can trust. Filipino banks can  leapfrog simple multi-channel banking strategies, and roll out true omnichannel models that provide consistent, personalised and secure customer experience across the full range of digital, mobile, social, ATM and branch touch points." 

Security vs convenience

The survey also examined the balance of security and convenience on the customer experience for anti-fraud measures taken by banks. When asked how they would feel if their bank blocked their credit card because of a suspected fraudulent transaction that turned out to be genuine, 51 percent of respondents in the Philippines said that they would be frustrated by the inconvenience of having their account suspended even though they were glad action had been taken to protect them. This finding suggests that banks need to improve the detection of fraud more accurately to prevent losses and unnecessarily inconveniencing customers.  

Unisys works with financial services clients across the globe to confidently transform the customer experience, leverage data analytics, fight financial crime and defend against cybercrime. Unisys serves more than half of the top 50 global banks. Unisys solutions protect more than five million Internet banking customers in Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia from banking fraud. 

1 – Internet users (per 100 people) – the World Bank

2 - Mobile cellular subscriptions (per 100 people) – The World Bank

Download full Asia Pacific Banking Insights survey results here

Research Methodology

Research firm OmniPoll conducted the online survey in September 2016, polling nationally representative samples of at least 1,000 people aged 18+ years in each of: the Philippines, Australia, Hong Kong, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore and Taiwan.  

About Unisys

Unisys is a global information technology company that specialises in providing industry-focused solutions integrated with leading-edge security to clients in the government, financial  analytics, cloud and infrastructure services, application services and application and server software. For more information, visit www.unisys.com. Follow Unisys on Twitter and LinkedIn.  

About Unisys Asia Pacific

In Asia Pacific, Unisys delivers services and solutions to clients in more than 15 countries across the region. For more information visit: www.unisys.com.ph. Follow us on twitter @UnisysAPAC, LinkedIn, and in China on: www.weibo.com/unisyschina and WeChat Official Account: Unisys China.