Challenger Banks Have a More Positive Sentiment Attached Than Traditional Banks Finds Talkwalker

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Consumer intelligence Talkwalker has released its latest report, High Street vs Challenger Banks. It examines how the future of banking in the UK is seeing rapid and irreversible change, with challenger banks hot on the heels of high street banks.

High street banks lead the way with the lion’s share of voice in the sector, with Barclays (34.4 per cent) and HSBC (27.4 per cent) being spoken about the most. This is in part due to huge peaks and clusters in conversation around popular culture and sport such as football, with Barclays sponsoring the Premier League.

While challenger banks such as Starling and Revolut are often mentioned in the same sentence, Revolut sets itself apart as the brand being spoken about and engaged with the most with the highest market share of voice (8.9 per cent) amongst the challenger brands. Themes here are far more customer-centric, talking less about the world in broad terms and more about payments, platforms, and plans.

Overall, net sentiment for all of the banks is low. High street banks are spoken about more by consumers, but not favoured. Challenger banks come out on top with more positive sentiment than high street banks. Starling Bank has the most favourable net sentiment score (-4.4 per cent), whilst high street bank NatWest fairs the worst (-36.6 per cent).

The biggest issue for both high street and challenger banks and the number one factor driving the decision for people to switch banks is customer service. Sustainability and ethics are also seen as the big drivers, but for positive reasons.

HSBC can be seen advertising bank accounts for those people with no fixed address, and climate-crisis-fighting initiative Tech Zero attracting the likes of Revolut, Starling Bank, and Monzo.

Topic analysis identifies fraud, crime, and support as key conversation drivers; challenger banks are surrounded with far more operational conversations about the app, access, and their account.

The report distils twelve months of data by analysing shared and earned media as challenger banks experience significant growth and are increasing their share of the market.

Whilst the likes of Monzo, Starling, Revolut, and Monese are experiencing growth, it’s worth noting that these challenger banks combined, are the same size as NatWest – the bank with 12.5 million customers and over 1.8 billion log-ins to the app every year.

Jack Richards, marketing manager UK and Nordics at Talkwalker says: “The world is changing. Consumers are more demanding, more urgent, and more unpredictable than ever, and brands are struggling to keep up. By analysing up-to-the minute insights and pulling data from a range of sources, brands are able to obtain a holistic view of the marketplace and identify opportunities to help them close the consumer closeness gap. This in turn helps them challenge or maintain their brand position.

“The rise of challenger banks is an example of some of the most successful innovation, diversification, and differentiation any industry as established as banking has ever seen.”

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