ATM survey finds French less loyal to their banks than English

Paris - 14 November 2007

A survey by Level Four Software today reveals that a staggering 70% of people in France would consider moving their bank account if their bank’s ATMs were repeatedly faulty (ie cash machines that are ‘out of order’ or ‘out of cash’). This figure is in stark contrast to results from the same survey in the UK where 38% of people would switch. The research highlights a huge difference in commitment across the Channel, revealing that customers in the UK show greater loyalty to banks than customers in France.

In France, some banks impose additional fees for withdrawing funds from their competitors’ ATMs which customers would be forced to use if their own bank’s ATM was not functioning. This contrasts with the UK where banks do not pass these fees onto the customer. As the range of transactions available in France is ever increasing beyond simple cash dispensing and as more and more consumers are adopting enhanced self-service functionality, additional transactions such as bill pay are not normally available from different bank’s ATMs, causing a more acute disruption to customer service if the ATM is out of service. The statistics revealing potential customer disloyalty are particularly surprising in France given the administrative effort required to change banks, although it clearly highlights how customers are placing more and more emphasis on both cash delivery and the additional range of services that banks offer at the ATM.

ATMs are critical customer touch points for banks, making network availability a key requirement. The issue of ATM downtime affects banks in terms of their inability to retain existing customers due to potentially decreased customer satisfaction. Moreover, banks cannot afford to neglect their ATM network uptime due to the lost revenues experienced during an outage and must therefore invest in effective monitoring solutions to minimise downtime and business risk.

Ian Kerr, CEO at Level Four, said: “The research indicates that customers are sensitive when it comes to ATM charging to the extent that they would consider moving bank accounts to avoid fees and to also have access to the services they desire. It seems that customers in the UK are less concerned about ATM downtime due to their ability to use most terminals in the UK free of charge. In France, network availability is more crucial to customer loyalty. These statistics reinforce the banks need to focus on the quality of their ATM service provision.”

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