FICO Survey: UK Borrowers 31 Percent More Likely to Open Account Digitally Than in 2020



  • UK consumers today are 31 percent more likely to open an account digitally than a year ago, FICO survey finds
  • Just 13 percent of Generation Z respondents would use a bank’s website to open a new account
  • Generation Z shows greater preference for in-person account opening, compared with older age groups

A new study in the UK by analytics software firm FICO shows that UK consumers today are 31 percent more likely to open an account digitally than a year ago. However, the surprising outliers in the rush to digital-first account opening are Generation Z (Gen Z). Financial education is key as it appears that digital savviness is not enough to counter the need for in-person help and advice when selecting banking providers.

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However, while some members of Generation Z (Gen Z) are eager to use a bank’s app to create an account, most prefer to open accounts offline. When asked about their preferences for opening a current account, just 13 percent of Gen Z said they would use a bank’s website, compared to 43 percent of respondents across all age groups. Gen Z showed a greater appetite than other age cohorts for opening an account in a branch, over the telephone, and through the post.

“While it may come as surprise to many to see Gen Z more interested in face-to-face account opening than older age groups, this is not so unexpected when you consider that they have had little experience in using financial services and help and advice that is personal to them is harder to access in digital channels,” said Cox. “Banks that can find a compelling way to offer highly personalized, financial advice to younger people within digital channels could gain a competitive advantage.”

“There’s a real myth that young people are exclusively banking online, that they all embrace this new wave of digital-only banking, and they know how to make the most of fintech,” said Iona Bain, British founder of the award-winning Young Money Blog and a leading commentator, writer and authority on millennial finances. “It’s only a small minority of young people who are totally clued up about digital finance, and a lot of this is based on whether or not they are talking about money at a young age.”

When younger people do want to use digital means to open accounts, they are more likely to want to use mobile apps rather than websites. 35 percent of this age group selected this option compared to just 20 percent across the other age groups, however this was more than offset by the large number of older people (43 percent) who were keen to use providers’ websites to open accounts.

“Gen Z is more familiar with the internet than the older age groups involved in this study were at the same age. They live their lives online,” Bain added. “This, however, does not automatically mean they are more comfortable with using it for their financial activity. Their knowledge means they are also more likely to be aware of certain scams and the risks facing their personal data. This can make them hesitant to create a new account online.”

This online survey was conducted in January 2021 by an independent research company adhering to research industry standards. 1,000 UK adults were surveyed, along with 13,000 consumers in the USACanadaSouth AfricaIndonesiaVietnamPhilippinesMalaysiaThailandAustraliaNew ZealandBrazilColombia and Mexico.

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