Bain's annual Customer Loyalty in Retail Banking report surveyed 150,100 consumers in 14 countries. Specific country findings are detailed in these individual snapshots. Globally, the survey reveals a surge in mobile banking and tepid loyalty scores by affluent customers in many markets, with implications for how banks should redesign their channel strategies.
We surveyed 2,400 customers of 15 banks, and we have included the 11 that had a sufficient sample size. Here are the highlights.
Loyalty leaders. Private banks lead the loyalty scores in India, save for one high-ranking public sector bank, SBI (see Figure 7.1). Citibank runs a very profitable business focused on wealth management for high-income households. Axis Bank has successfully differentiated itself with select segments such as small business owners and entrepre neurs. By delivering relatively effective service in its branches, Axis has built strong loyalty ties. By contrast, SBI, the largest bank in India, serves a mass market through its vast network of branches and ATMs. Recently, SBI invested substantial sums in technology and improved service at the branches, which may be reﬂected in its NPS scores.
Channel usage and its effect on customer referrals. While 37% of Indian customers reported mobile usage, smartphone functionality remains limited. Customers can get alerts and send text messages, but mobile banking applications remain rare, and accessing a bank's website through a smartphone is tedious and awkward. Most digital banking, then, is done online, with 79% reporting online usage (a level that's likely skewed upward because the survey was conducted online). ATMs figure prominently among Indians' banking experience (see Figure 7.2). Indian ATMs provide only routine functions, but they are widespread and government regulation mandates free service for up to five transactions per month. Heavy regulation may also account for the slow pace of branch innovation in India.
Loyalty among afﬂuent segments. In contrast with many other countries surveyed, loyalty levels rise sharply among more afﬂuent customers in India (see Figure 7.3). Wealth management or priority banking services are well developed, with many banks offering special treatment for afﬂuent individuals, such as handling transactions at one's home. Yes Bank, which has a high-income customer base, earns India's highest loyalty score among this group.
A note about loyalty scores worldwide
As banks review their Net Promoter scores, those with high scores may be tempted to compare across markets and declare themselves "best national bank" or "best credit union" globally. But that would be misleading. Click here to learn more.