RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. — Trust your traditional bank a little less these days thanks to the Wall Street financial failure two-step? Pardner, you ain’t alone.
According to a new survey from Cisco, consumers trust online payment service providers such as Paypal more than traditional banks.
That survey is just another bit of bad news that bankers and bank shareholders don’t need to hear, especially in Charlotte, where Wachovia’s fire sale has turned Tyron Street into a mini Wall Street meltdown twin.
“The retail banking payments industry is ripe for disruption,” writes Jim Greene, vice president of the financial services practice at Cisco, about the survey. “Some analysts say the industry has not produced a game-changing innovation since the introduction of plastic. In the online/virtual space, the industry has proven particularly vulnerable to value propositions offered by players such as PayPal, Bill Me Later and Amazon Payments. Banks are at risk of losing customer interaction in this emerging payments value chain.”
Here’s a crucial paragraph in Cisco’s discussion of the survey findings:
“The threat to existing banks is evident: 87 percent of those who use the services of alternate payment providers (such as PayPal and Obopay) indicated a strong interest in using mobile Short Message Service (SMS) or a similar method to initiate payments in physical stores.”
Greene noted in his report on the survey that baby boomers already trust online service providers more than banks for e-commerce purchases.
“Consumers believe non-banks can provide at-par (if not better) payment solutions,” he wrote. “In our survey, the difference between those who “trust” or “trust very much” banks for payment solutions versus alternate payment providers (like PayPal) is negligible (67 percent for banks versus 64 percent for alternatives). Boomers (ages 45 to 64) actually show a level of trust in alternate payment providers that exceeds their trust in banks.”
However, the survey also finds that the banks still have an opportunity to avoid dreaded disintermediation. Among Gen Y (ages 18-29) and Gen X (ages 30-44), people still trust banks more for online purchases.
So how will banks respond to the growing competition for online sales and fees?
The world certainly is growing more mobile – and that means more purchases being made through portable devices. The Cisco survey notes there are reservations about this form of transaction, with concerns ranging from not understanding the value (42 percent) to fraud and identity theft concerns (30 percent) among those who have yet to go mobile in buying.
“Providers who effectively address [these] concerns will be well-positioned as commerce increasingly goes mobile,” Greene wrote.