How the banks use social media
Published 29 March 2012 by Lucy Bower
Would you tweet your bank if you had a problem? Banks aren't taking up social media as quickly as other sectors, according to research - but is there a demand for it?
A recent survey found that 69% of people with a bank account would not use Google Plus, Twitter or Facebook to contact their bank's customer services department, as reported by computerworlduk.com.
In fact, most people prefer to use online banking and telephone banking. BT and Avaya surveyed 700 bank account customers in the UK and found 69% wouldn't use social media sites to speak to their bank. That compares with 62% of people in the USA, 64% in Germany and 47% in Spain, making UK bank account customers the least likely to 'Tweet' their bank.
Only 17% of those surveyed said they used all the sites to contact their bank all the time. Most people (77%) used their bank branch during the last year, and then 60% used the internet and 42% phones a call centre.
The results were discussed this week among banking experts, who believe the lack of take-up is due to banks not offering enough social networking services. There is a great deal of regulation for banks on social media networks, which poses risks for banks.
The Director of Retail Banking of the British Bankers' Association (BBA), Patricia Easterbrook, commented: "They [banks] are listening, but there is a lot of sensitivity about getting it right."
Stephen Satchwell, client partner for BT Global Services, Global Banking and Financial Markets agreed that social media isn't the easiest thing for banks to do. He said: "The financial services industry is very risk averse because of stringent regulation. Most social media accounts are locked down for people working for these banks anyway."
Ian Williams, of thinkbanking commented: “If thinkbanking customers tell us they want to use social media to communicate with us we'll look for ways of making that work. We are very conscious that more and more of our customers have smartphones and want to use them for their banking, so in the first instance we are focusing on mobile optimised internet banking."