Trust gap still holding tech back, says HSBC

By Ryan Weeks on Wednesday 24 May 2017

Digital BankingSavings and Investment

Major bank highlights lack of trust and understanding as major barrier to the adoption of new technologies.

HSBC, the global bank with 4,000 offices spread across 70 countries, has unveiled a wide-ranging new report on innovative technologies.

The report canvassed the opinions of over 12,000 people from 11 countries. Chief among its findings was an apparent disconnect between the usefulness of new technologies and people’s ability to understand and trust them.

A headline pairing of statistics, for example, showed that while 80 per cent of people believe technology makes their lives easier, 70 per cent continue to rely on passwords for access and security, rather than shifting over to technology-based alternatives, such as biometric identification.

Blockchain is the least understood new technology, according to the report, with 80 per cent of respondents unable to explain what it is. 69 per cent were unable to define what a robo-advisor is.

Despite the progress of app-based banks like Monzo and Starling Bank, HSBC’s findings show that traditional banking channels continue to dominate. 67 per cent of respondents bank online using a website, with 55 per cent using ATMs, and 41 per cent banking in-branch. The shift to online is undoubtedly encouraging, but app-based banking as a channel failed to crack the top three.

In light of its findings, HSBC has made several commitments, in an effort to advance the adoption of new technologies.

The first of these is to introduce over 3,000 “digital champions” by the close of 2017, whose role it will be to help the bank adopt the latest in innovative technology, with a particular focus on “customer-facing front-line”.

Furthermore, the bank has committed to delivering “digital Thursday” training to more than 31,000 of its employees, again by the end of the year. The training will target branch employees and contact centres, and will be administered by its soon-to-be-appointed digital champions.

“We have a role to play in building our customers’ knowledge and trust so that they see the value to their lives in adopting a new payments app or the latest biometric security,” said John Flint, global chief executive of retail banking and wealth management at HSBC. “At HSBC we will continue to adapt as customers’ needs change, to provide banking services on their terms.”

The full Trust in Technology report may be downloaded here. 

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