Challenger banks are still thriving and in 5 years 44% of British customers will have a digital-only bank.
UX expert Peter Ramsey from Built for Mars has researched whether challenger banks do actually make the process of opening an account better. He applied at 12 banks, finding huge disparities between providers in how they handle the process.
Ramsey found out that it takes about two working days to have an active account at Monzo and Starling. Barclays and Lloyds managed to match the neobanks. However, most traditional lenders did not, with laggard HSBC requiring horrific 36 days.
In his study, Ramsey also tested how many clicks does it take to open the account. Here Revolut, Starling and Monzo are at the top three positions, ranging from 24 to 45 clicks. Bottom of the pile was first direct, once the brave new face of ‘direct’ banking, which required Ramsey to make 120 clicks.
“This is immensely subtle and clever. That simple change of perspective makes opening an account with Monzo, Revolut and Starling feel instant, even if it really does take a few days to get full access to your account. You get an immediate feeling of ownership and objective success,” writes Ramsey.
The study also shows, that challengers are offering their customers better access to Apple Pay and similar service. The so-called high street banks mostly lack the option of digital identity verification as well.
“It’s not even close: opening an account with any of the challenger banks is considerably better than with any traditional bank,” concludes Ramsey his study.