Neobank awareness extremely low

However, study finds significant potential for growth in the sector in coming years

Neobank awareness extremely low


By Madison Utley

A new study has confirmed the COVID-19 pandemic has not only caused Australians to become more engaged with their financial affairs, but it has pushed two-thirds (61%) to say now is a good time for disruptors to “shake things up” in the banking industry.

‘The Way We Bank’ study from strategic insights consultancy Nature found that more than a third of Australians say they are regularly reviewing the market for alternative financial products – paving the way for growth in the fintech space.  

However, the study also revealed a significant knowledge gap which may be preventing Aussies from accessing the innovative alternatives they’re so eager to adopt.

Nature managing director and partner – Melbourne, Justin Connally, believes the environment of change created by COVID is here to stay, even as the virus has been effectively contained within Australia.

“Australians’ lifestyles have inherently changed, so it’s safe to assume that the way in which they bank will not fall back into ‘traditional’ ways,” he said.

“Also, given that more Australians are working from home and will continue to do so, the demand for online banking services accessible from anywhere has increased and will stay that way.”

Yet even as Australians become more comfortable with online banking, awareness of neobanks remains low, with 67% of those surveyed saying they’ve never even heard of the term.

 To Connally, it’s clear neobanks have a “golden opportunity” to grow ahead of them, with 82% of Aussies aged under 55 open to the idea of using a digital-only bank – for at least one product; it remains unclear how willing people are to make a neobank their primary financial services provider.

“The heightened sense of uncertainty in the wake of the pandemic allows the traditional banks to retain a level of trust that neobanks are yet to build,” Connally did concede.

“Switching to a neobank as their primary financial institution could be too risky and complicated a change for people to undertake, which begs the question: are Australians looking for short-term fixes to ride the pandemic out before implementing any major changes to how they manage their financial affairs?”

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