It's irrefutable that in order to increase the emotional connection customers have with their bank, banks need to focus on increasing digital engagement across all segments. Increasing the emotional connection between customers and banks should be part of the banks' strategies and digital transformation agendas. 

Backing this up, Deloitte's recent Global Consumer Survey on Digital Banking, which received responses from over 17,000 bank customers across 17 countries, shows that 'digital adventurers' (the most digitally engaged segment) demonstrate a deeper emotional engagement with their primary banks compared to 'online embracers' and 'traditionalists'. Of particular note: 

  • Traditionalists: comprising 28% of the sample, they are light digital users who primarily use branches and ATMs for many of their needs.
  • Online embracers: representing 43% of the respondents, this group are digitally engaged, with a clear preference for online over mobile apps.
  • Digital adventurers: constituting 28% of the sample, adventurers use digital channels more frequently than traditionalists and online embracers. For some services, they use mobile apps as much as— or sometimes more than — online.

Such digital adoption is encouraging. 84% of consumers globally have used online banking and 72% have used mobile apps at least once to access their primary bank. Moreover, consumers across all generations and in all countries use online banking portals and mobile apps more frequently than branches and ATMs for banking services. It all shows that it's an imperative for banks to increase digital engagement if they want to strengthen emotional connection with consumers.

The real question for banks is how they turn transactional engagement with digital channels into more meaningful interactions?