Customer satisfaction with online-only banks is “climbing steadily” despite turmoil in the wider banking sector and the pressures of inflation and rising interest rates, according to JD Power.
The market research firm found that satisfaction with direct banking services in the US had increased by 14 points year-on-year, on a 1,000-point scale.
Paul McAdam, senior director of banking and payments intelligence at JD Power, said “attractive fee structures and focus on seamless digital customer experience” had helped banks in this sector offer better interest rates and flexibility than “brick-and-mortar” competitors.
“While satisfaction is high among existing customers, it is important to note that new customer growth has slowed 2% this year, suggesting that in addition to offering attractive deposit interest rates, direct banks may need to up the ante on generating word-of-mouth recommendations,” he added.
Direct banks had seen significant improvements in customer satisfaction with automated and live telephone assistance services. Staff knowledge, speed of resolution, and ease of use were all cited as positive elements by customers.
However, satisfaction with online chat support functions declined slightly, as did satisfaction with email support.
Charles Schwab Bank ranked highest in terms of customer satisfaction with checking account providers, scoring 732 out of a possible 1,000. This marked the fifth straight year in which Charles Schwab has led JD Power’s rankings.
Discover Bank and Ally Bank also scored strongly, with 730 and 729 respectively.
For savings account providers, Discover ranked top with 748, followed by Goldman Sachs’ Marcus savings service with 736. Ally Bank again came third, with a score of 731.
The survey follows research from Technavio that indicated that community banks needed to leverage technology and online banking in order to grow in the years ahead.