Middle East banks not meeting expectations

SunGard Research reveals Middle East banks lagging on customer expectations

New consumer research undertaken by SunGard, one of the world’s leading software and technology services companies, has found that banks in the Middle East are still struggling to meet evolving customer expectations.

This is a conclusive finding of the research, which surveyed more than 1,000 consumers in ten countries across the Middle East and South East Asia about current attitudes and expectations of the consumer banking relationship.

Key findings of the research revealed mixed interactions and missed opportunities between banks and their customers.

The Bank Readiness research was undertaken in Q3 2013 and based on a survey of 1,000 consumers undertaken by Loudhouse Research. The survey covers areas of the Middle East and southeast Asia, focusing on Bahrain, Kuwait, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates; and Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, and Thailand.

Trust high, but consumer perception modest

While 73 percent of respondents in the Middle East trust their bank, less than half of respondents (45 percent) felt their bank understands their needs well. This is evident in the increasing trend towards multiple banking relationships, driven partly by growing demand for service personalization.

Banks are not seen as the primary financial advisor. Consumers in the Middle East are more likely to turn to family for help in personal financial decision making than to their banks. 40 percent of respondents claim to have little or no financial knowledge, presenting an opportunity for banks to educate and advise their customers more to deliver an improved client service and drive agile growth for their businesses.

Banks ignoring customer demand

Reportedly, 95 percent of respondents in the Middle East still regularly visit the branch. When asked to select one or more reasons for doing so, 57 percent said they went primarily to get help and advice. Avoiding security concerns with digital channels was another key concern, with 28 percent of respondents flagging it. Face-to-face interaction was also important to 31 percent of respondents.

Despite such high usage, the branch was ranked as a top three improvement area, with a quarter of Middle East respondents unhappy with the level of service around a complaint.

Dissatisfaction with digital channels is also high. When asked to name one or more areas they would like to see their banks improve, 42 percent highlighted mobile banking and 49 percent online banking services. This is another area of opportunity for banks, as 51 percent of respondents in the Middle East are currently not using mobile banking and could be targets for this increasingly popular banking feature.

“Despite the fact that banks in the Middle East enjoy a high level of consumer trust, this research illustrates that they are not yet capitalizing on this. It is clear that banks must invest in enhancing their multi-channel propositions to empower staff to serve customers more effectively and drive greater revenue from existing relationships and prospective customers,” Wissam Khoury, managing director, Middle East, SunGard Financial Systems, said.

Can you make the below into a creative table or presentation somehow, maybe as speech bubbles:

 Bank Breakdown: Readiness based on customer survey

“I trust my bank”

Bahrain – 80 percent

KSA – 75 percent

Qatar – 74 percent

Kuwait – 73 percent

UAE – 72 percent

Jordan – 64 percent

Middle East – 73 percent

“My bank understands my needs well”

KSA – 55 percent

Qatar – 48 percent

Kuwait – 47 percent

Bahrain – 46 percent

UAE – 40 percent

Jordan – 37 percent

Middle East – 45 percent

“I have little or no financial knowledge”

Bahrain – 47 percent

Kuwait – 45 percent

Jordan – 43 percent

KSA – 38 percent

Qatar – 36 percent

UAE – 32 percent

Middle East – 40 percent

“I regularly visit my branch”

Jordan – 97 percent

KSA – 96 percent

Qatar – 95 percent

UAE – 94 percent

Bahrain – 93 percent

Kuwait – 92 percent

Middle East – 95 percent

“I visit the branch to get help and advice”

Qatar – 62 percent

Kuwait – 59 percent

UAE – 55 percent

Bahrain – 55 percent

KSA – 55 percent

Jordan – 54 percent

Middle East – 57 percent

“I visit the branch to avoid security concerns”

KSA – 37 percent

Jordan – 29 percent

Kuwait – 28 percent

Qatar – 28 percent

UAE – 28 percent

Bahrain – 21 percent

Middle East – 28 percent

“I prefer in-person contact”

Qatar – 37 percent

UAE – 37 percent

Bahrain – 34 percent

Kuwait – 33 percent

KSA – 24 percent

Jordan – 23 percent

Middle East – 31 percent

“I have made a complaint and been dissatisfied with level of service”

Jordan – 28 percent

Kuwait – 28 percent

Qatar – 27 percent

UAE – 27 percent

KSA – 26 percent

Bahrain – 18 percent

Middle East – 25 percent

“I think mobile banking services could be improved on”

Kuwait – 46 percent

Bahrain – 46 percent

UAE – 45 percent

Qatar – 43 percent

Jordan – 39 percent

KSA – 34 percent

Middle East – 42 percent

“I think online banking services could be improved on”

Kuwait – 60 percent

KSA – 55 percent

UAE – 55 percent

Qatar – 51 percent

Bahrain – 41 percent

Jordan – 35 percent

Middle East – 49 percent

“I have never used mobile banking”

Jordan – 70 percent

Bahrain – 55 percent

KSA – 49 percent

UAE – 45 percent

Kuwait – 45 percent

Qatar – 43 percent

Middle East – 51 percent

About: SunGard is one of the world’s leading software and technology services companies. SunGard serves approximately 25,000 customers in more than 70 countries and has approximately 17,000 employees. SunGard provides software and processing solutions for financial services, education and the public sector. SunGard also provides disaster recovery services, managed IT services, information availability consulting services and business continuity management software. With annual revenue of over $4.0 billion, SunGard is one of the largest privately held IT software and services companies. For more information, please visit www.sungard.com.


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