• Southeast Asian banks trusted by customers

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    Banks in the emerging markets in the Middle East and Southeast Asia, including the Philippines, enjoy the trust and satisfaction of its customers, findings from the latest SunGard Bank Readiness Report showed on Thursday.

    The report said that over 75 percent of consumers in the regions agree or strongly agree with the statement “I trust my banks.” For the Philippines, 92 percent of respondents also trust their bank.

    In terms of satisfaction, more than 50 percent of consumers in the emerging markets in the Middle East and Southeast Asia are “fairly satisfied,” while 93 percent of Filipino respondents expressed their satisfaction with their primary bank.

    The report also showed that less than half of the respondents in the regions felt that their bank understands their needs, while 73 percent of Filipino respondents also felt that their bank understands their needs.

    Meanwhile, 60 percent of the respondents in the emerging markets expressed their willingness to share more personal information to receive customized products and services. The same percentage was also observed in the Filipino respondents’ willingness to share personal information.

    On banking relationships, the report said that 40 percent of the respondents in the regions have accounts or products with three or more financial service providers, while 68 percent of Filipino respondents said that they hold more than one banking relationship.

    “Banks in the Philippines enjoy a positive reputation on customer service and personalization. However, the competitiveness of each bank is a driver for consumers to hold more than one banking relationship,” said Dean Young, vice president of product management for SunGard’s retail banking business.

    Young added that customer’s trust is an opportunity for banks in the region, noting that in order to use channels as differentiators, banks in the Philippines need to focus on building capabilities to deliver the right products through the right channels, and to deliver a consistent multi-channel experience to customers.

    Importance of the branch
    Furthermore, the report said that in Southeast Asia and the Middle East, the branch remains an important channel for customers of retail banks, with 95 percent of consumers visiting the branch network on a regular basis.

    It also found out that getting help and advice is by far the highest motivator for a branch visit, with security concerns and the preference for human interaction a close second and third, respectively.

    “A positive face-to-face service experience during a new account opening process is almost as critical to customers as the simplicity of the process itself and strong online banking features,” it said.

    The Bank Readiness Index research was undertaken in the third quarter of 2013 and based on a survey of 1,000 consumers.

    The surveys covered the following 10 countries: Southeast Asia’s Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand, and Middle East’s Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Jordan and Bahrain.

    The survey was conducted by SunGard Retail banking, one of the world’s leading software and technology services companies in partnership with Loudhouse Research.

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