Customers Prefer Financial Services Websites to Mobile, According to ForeSee Landmark Study

Credit unions lead in mobile satisfaction; banks, credit cards, and brokerage firms follow closely; Apps beat mobile websites for customer experience

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (November 29, 2012) — Released today by ForeSee, the global leader in technology-driven customer experience analytics, a first-of-its-kind study of the customer experience of mobile apps and websites of 17 major financial services companies shows little differentiation and a lot of opportunity. Only credit unions, measured in aggregate, meet the threshold for excellence with a score 80 on the 100-point scale of the ForeSee Mobile Satisfaction Index: Financial Services Edition, which measured satisfaction of the customer experience with banks, credit unions, credit cards, and brokerage companies.

American Express and Wells Fargo follow credit unions in the banking industry category at 79, while American Express and Discover top the credit card industry with the same score. Charles Schwab is alone on top of the brokerage industry, also scoring 79. The aggregate score for the financial services Index is 77. Banks and credit unions (78), credit cards (76), and brokerages (77) are tightly grouped.

ForeSee’s research shows that apps provide a superior experience to mobile websites and may be the key to competitive differentiation and growth. However, all companies measured have a ways to go to provide a compelling mobile experience: traditional websites (as experienced on personal computers) still provide the best customer experience for financial services companies.

“As consumers put the power of the Internet in their pockets and purses in record numbers, there is no doubt that the future of customer engagement is mobile,” said Eric Feinberg, ForeSee’s director of mobile, media, and entertainment. “The mobile experience represents the biggest opportunity—and the biggest challenge—for financial services companies because consumers are getting more comfortable managing their finances via mobile devices. The company that can best understand how to meet the needs of the mobile consumer is going to succeed, and that’s going to require the right kind of insight. Right now it’s anyone’s game.”

Thus far, there is little differentiation between competitors, since satisfaction with all measured companies’ mobile experiences range between 73 and 79. A full set of scores is below:

When comparing highly satisfied users of mobile websites and apps to less satisfied users (consumers who scored their experience 80 or higher compared to those scoring 69 or lower), the study found that highly satisfied visitors are more likely to prefer the brand, recommend the mobile channel, use the channel again, or use the mobile channel before any other information resource.

“Apps are an important tool for serving financial services customers, but the mobile website is going to be more important as a mobile channel for serving prospective customers,” said Larry Freed, president and CEO of ForeSee. “This underlies the importance of measuring customer satisfaction, which can help a company improve its customer experience. App store customer ratings and 5-star scale reviews might be interesting and entertaining, but they don’t provide the kind of insights necessary for companies to distinguish useful feedback from the squeaky wheel.”

The study is based on 4,500 customer surveys collected in October 2012.

About ForeSee

As a pioneer in customer experience analytics, ForeSee continuously measures satisfaction across customer touch points and delivers critical insights on where to prioritize improvements for maximum impact. Because ForeSee’s superior technology and proven methodology connect the customer experience to the bottom line, executives and managers are able to drive future success by confidently optimizing the efforts that will achieve business and brand objectives. The result is better business for companies and a better experience for consumers. Visit www.foresee.com for customer experience solutions and original research.