Although Spain’s bank account switching rate was 14% in 2015, which is lower than the global average of 17%, around 19% of Spanish consumers are willing to switch to an innovative provider as ever-more digitally proficient banks, including new entrants, win customers from less tech-savvy institutions, according to financial services research and insight firm Verdict Financial.
The company’s latest report states that Spanish consumers traditionally tend to choose providers based on branch location and reputational factors, which has kept switching rates relatively low to date. However, investment in banking infrastructure is likely to improve convenience and minimize risk, as well as opening up opportunities for new entrants.
Resham Karira, Verdict Financial’s Analyst covering Retail Banking, explains: “Spanish consumers place considerable weight on personal experiences and are cautious savers, with around two thirds saving to protect themselves against unforeseen events and one third saving for retirement.
“A desire for value for money tends to trump brand loyalty. In this way, providers in Spain should price their products on a par with competitors in order to maintain market share, and focus on superior customer service, which would improve acquisition rates and promote overall stability. It must also be noted that recommendations by other customers online or in print media is one of the most influential drivers of provider choice in Spain.”
Verdict Financial’s report also states that mobile financial services represent a major opportunity for new entrants to gain a foothold in the Spanish banking market. Indeed, a significant proportion of consumers in Spain are now using online and mobile as part of their mortgage application process.
Karira continues: “Digital channels are popular for mortgage arrangement compared to other products. Mobile usage is particularly high and providers in Spain are starting to promote and market their products through this channel. As a result, mobile has now become an important touchpoint during consumers’ mortgage journey in Spain.”