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Forrester report: Digital banks gain the edge on traditional players

08 Aug 2019

Digital-only banks and insurers will shape the future of financial services within Asia Pacific, according to new data released by Forrester this week.

Out of 14,900 online adults in Australia, Mainland China, Hong Kong, metro India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand, 73% believe that they should be able to complete any financial task on a mobile device.

“Digital financial services are mainstream and accelerating. Digitally empowered customers prefer to interact with their financial services providers on digital channels over physical ones but still expect world-class experiences that are consistent across touchpoints,” Forrester states.

“Established retail banking and life insurance providers face competition from non traditional players such as technology giants, digital-only players, and eCommerce and payment providers that are already gaining market share by offering simple, convenient, and more personalized digital experiences.”

Forrester says that consumers prefer to interact with their financial services providers on digital channels, especially in mobile-first countries like Mainland China, India, Thailand, and Indonesia. 

Additionally, 77% of banking customers in Asia Pacific prefer digital channels, which are also preferred by life insurance customers in countries such as Mainland China, Thailand, India, and Australia.

"Consumers are more likely to engage with firms that prioritize helping them improve their financial well-being," comments Forrester VP, research director and region manager Dane Anderson.

"We expect that customers will dynamically deconstruct their personal financial services ecosystems and reassemble them with newer and better players. Traditional institutions have several advantages but will be left behind if they do not transform faster to meet the challenge."

Forrester found that many customers trust payment firms and technology firms over traditional financial services providers to help them better manage their finances. 

Furthermore, global technology giants, payment providers, ecommerce players, and even ride-sharing leaders are already threatening established firms by offering simple, convenient, and more personalized digital experiences.

While banks lead in consumers' trust to act in the best interest of their financial well-being, a surprising cast of digital characters is not far behind. In India, Google beat out banks as the most trusted company to act in their best financial interests. In Mainland China, Alibaba and WeChat are slightly behind banks, and across all regions, insurers break into the top three in just two regions: Hong Kong and Malaysia.

Forrester Analytics Consumer Technographics Asia Pacific Financial Services Survey, 2019 was fielded to 14,900 online adults in Australia, Mainland China, Hong Kong, metro India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand.

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