German banks out of touch on social media

A new report by goetzpartners reveals that 28 percent of German bank customers wish their banks were more strongly represented on Facebook, Twitter and co. German banks have so far failed to make adequate use of social media. As a result they could in future lose up to 40 percent of their customers who are active social media users.

“Social media are nowadays an important factor for bank customers,” concludes Burkhard Wagner, Managing Director of consultants goetzpartners with responsibility for the banking and insurance sectors. The results of the latest goetzpartners investigation into “Crowdbanking – the revolution in the banking world between now and 2020 and the consequences of social media for the financial services industry” clearly make the point: An overall 12 percent of all customers would already be interested in purchasing bank products via social media. 39 percent recommend banks and bank products via social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and co. 43 percent trust recommendations received via their network. And “among the real digital natives these figures are more than twice as high,” Burkhard Wagner continues, with 43 percent willing to buy bank products via social media and 44 percent prepared to change banks on the strength of their social media offerings. And the number of social media users continues to rise.

“German banks are making a mistake. Up to now they have seen social media almost exclusively as an information and communications channel, not as the driving force behind a strategic change in their business model,” Wagner warns. As a result, German banks are at risk of losing touch – and losing around 40 percent of their customers who are social media-oriented. Bank customers have quite specific ideas about what to expect from their bank: the current state of their own finances, personal dialog, and the opportunity to recommend and evaluate products, services and bank advisers.

“Banks need to be working right now to prepare for the future,” commented Tom Gellrich, Senior Manager at goetzpartners. “They must make it easier to carry out transactions such as transfers, and integrate customers more strongly into their product development.”Companies in other industries are much further ahead, from the restaurant chain McDonald’s to specialist auto manufacturer Local Motors. The trend towards Internet interaction also continues in the field of financial services: 50 percent of bank customers surveyed are not satisfied with their opportunities to participate in product development. However, Burkhard Wagner also has some good news: When it comes to financial products, consumers do not place their trust in companies such as Facebook or Google.

The full report on “Crowdbanking – the revolution in the banking world between now and 2020 and the consequences of social media for the financial services industry” by goetzpartners is available free of charge HERE.

About the report

The report on “Crowdbanking – the revolution in the banking world between now and 2020 and the consequences of social media for the financial services industry” by goetzpartners considers the potential of social media for Germany’s financial institutions. A total of 1002 private bank customers in Germany were surveyed online.