Swiss universal banks top digital performance ranking ahead of neobanks and challengers
According to the latest edition of the Digital Index and Performance of Swiss Players report from Colombus Consulting, traditional banking institutions outperform digital challengers in terms of digital presence, engagement, social media and app usage.
The study, which focuses on the digitalization of the customer experience in Swiss retail banking, ranks the country’s best performing banks and neobanks each year, taking into consideration 50 metrics in four categories: web, mobile, marketing and social. The report also provides insights into how retail banks are digitizing the customer relationship and experience, and measures progress over time.
This year’s study places UBS, PostFinance, Raiffeinsen and Credit Suisse at the top of the list. These banks outperform their competitors in terms of monthly web visits, average time spent by visitors and average page load time of their websites, indicators of the usability and performance of their websites as well as customer experience . They also ranked high in the digital marketing rankings, leading the group in terms of estimated annual digital market budget, number of hits they get from banners, and number of hits from search.
UBS is again at the top of the 2022 ranking this year, recording very good performance on social networks and good results on the web (particularly in terms of performance) and on digital marketing. Social media involves looking at components such as a bank’s follower count and monthly engagement volume on popular social media platforms to gauge their reach and whether they are actively engaging with users online. .
After UBS, PostFinance, the financial services unit of Swiss Post, ranked second with a strong performance mainly in marketing, and partly in web and mobile applications. The criteria for mobile applications are centered on performance and reviews, and aim to get an idea of customer satisfaction with banks’ mobile tools. However, PostFinance underperformed on the social media side.
Raiffeisen ranked third, outperforming its competitors on the web, but underperforming in social media and marketing. The bank ranked honorably on mobile apps.
Credit Suisse maintained its fourth position this year, registering a more balanced profile than the rest of the players.
Revolut closed out the top 5 in the rankings, standing out for its excellence in mobile apps but lagging far behind in areas such as digital marketing and social media.
Apart from Revolut, Swissquote and Yuh are the only other digital banks to make the top 10 this year. Swissquote is a Swiss banking group founded in 1996 that specializes in providing online financial and trading services, and Yuh is a relatively new player launched just in May 2021.
A joint product of Swissquote and PostFinance, Yuh is an app-based, debit card-based online account that offers no fees for day-to-day spending and low fees for specialized services such as international transfers and investments.
Overall, this year’s study found that the digitalization of customer relationships is accelerating in Switzerland and the gap is narrowing between traditional retail banks and digital banks, the report says. However, differences remain, with digital challengers keeping the upper hand in terms of innovation and digital customer relations.
Revolut, for example, was the first bank to offer a training program that rewarded customers for completing training modules. It also provides innovative features on its mobile app like the ability to generate unique virtual cards for online purchases which are automatically destroyed once payment is made.
Looking at trends over the past year, the research firm notes that digital account opening has become the new industry norm, with the majority of banks nationwide now offering fully remote onboarding.
He also notes that hybrid banking offerings have become a popular strategy at traditional banking institutions, with Credit Suisse, for example, operating a dedicated digital banking brand called CSX that provides online banking services at more competitive prices.
The CIC is one of the latest establishments to have entered the niche, having launched its CIC ON offer in September 2022. CIC ON offers a full range of services ranging from “day-to-day banking” to thematic investments and personalized advice.
Others, like UBS, have adopted a multi-application strategy. The bank currently offers 15 different mobile apps geared towards different needs and users.
The UBS Mobile Banking app, for example, allows clients to manage their accounts; UBS Twint is a free mobile payment app; UBS Access is a security application that allows users to confirm new payment recipients and online purchases; UBS Safe allows users to securely store their passwords as well as emergency documents such as identity papers; UBS Welcome allows clients to verify their identity and/or electronically sign documents; and UBS Financial Services enables users to manage their cash and accounts, establish budgets and track expenses.
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