Direct Banking Satisfaction Declines

Customer satisfaction with direct banks—those without a branch network—declined 12 points from last year, falling to 852 on a 1,000-point scale, according to a new survey by J.D. Power. The U.S. Direct Banking Satisfaction Study, now in its fifth year, found that the decline in satisfaction was due in part to historically low interest rates and a tough economic environment. Overall, declines in satisfaction were most pronounced among direct banking customers who say they are worse off financially than a year ago and those with deposit-only accounts.

The direct banking study pointed out that direct banking customers found shortcomings when it came to clarity of information, ease of navigation, and the appearance of the interface provided by the institution.

Despite the decline in satisfaction with direct banks, J.D. Power observed that the pandemic has pushed bank customers increasingly toward digital channels. The percentage of traditional bank customers who use online and mobile channels only—with no branch use—increased to 41% from 28% in 2018, according to data from the J.D. Power 2021 Retail Banking Study, “setting the state for continued growth of direct banking.”