According to a market research firm Roy Morgan’s ‘Digital Universe’ study, HSBC has the highest proportion of early adopters of new technologies of all the banks operating in Australia, with 27.9 per cent of customers doing so.
Coming in second is Citigroup with 20.3 per cent, beating the big four players ANZ (19.3 per cent), Westpac (18.4 per cent), National Australia Bank (NAB; 18.2 per cent), and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA; 17.2 per cent).
Buildings societies and credit unions, as a whole, recorded 13.7 per cent of its customers as adopters.
Commenting on the results, Roy Morgan industry communications director, Norman Morris, said early adopters “are more likely to be young people and mature adults aged between 18 and 30 who are well educated, employed full time, and earning an above-average income.
“As such, their combination of higher income and risk taking behaviour enables them to readily take up new only banking technologies and mobile apps.”
The Digital Universe report split consumers into six brackets: technology early adopters, professional technology mainstream, digital life, older tech explorers, technology traditionalists and ‘technophobes’.
In addition to identifying early adopters, the study also shows consumers on the other end of the spectrum should not be ignored as they constitute the majority of the sector’s customers.
Building societies and credit unions have the highest proportion of technophobes and technology traditionalists at 50.6 per cent, followed by NAB and Westpac (both with 42.4 per cent), CBA (41.7 per cent), ANZ (39.9 per cent), Citigroup (35.3 per cent), and HSBC (27.6 per cent).
“Technology traditionalists and technophobes hold conservative values, are wary of change and are usually the last to take up new technologies,” Morris said.
“Technophobes will only adopt technology when they are forced to, due to disinterest and lack of needing technology in order to fulfil their lives.”
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Roy Morgan said the findings indicate that banks need to understand the rapid changes in technology and the impact on their consumers.
The firm claims it shows that it has become increasingly evident that institutions must not only design innovative new banking technologies for the tech savvy customer but also cater to the needs of customers who are not so inclined or interested to use new technology.