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Independent research published to assess customers’ account switching needs

The research confirmed that the Payments Council’s new account switching service should deliver all the main features that customers have identified as being essential in any successful transfer system. September 07,2013: New research, published today, provides findings from qualitative research commissioned by the Payments Council. The research, undertaken by leading independent market research company Optimisa, was tasked to explore customers’ requirements for the ideal current account...

The research confirmed that the Payments Council’s new account switching service should deliver all the main features that customers have identified as being essential in any successful transfer system.

September 07,2013: New research, published today, provides findings from qualitative research commissioned by the Payments Council. The research, undertaken by leading independent market research company Optimisa, was tasked to explore customers’ requirements for the ideal current account switching experience, against three potential switching models. In addition, Optimisa tried to understand why the various aspects of the switching experience were considered valuable by customers.

The research, conducted during February, asked participants to compare and contrast three different switching models – with particular emphasis on account number portability to explore customers’ views of this. The three models were:

  • Changing account numbers but with a payment re-direction service (as will be provided by the new industry-wide switching service being launched this September).
  • Account number portability (customers retaining their sort code and account number when they change provider).
  • The use of portable unique proxy customer ID’s, which would be used to make and receive payments instead of using sort codes and account numbers.

The research confirmed that the Payments Council’s new account switching service, due to be launched in September, should deliver all the main features that customers have identified as being essential in any successful transfer system. However, the Payments Council does not view this as yet conclusive and has committed to provide support for the independent review of the new account switching service that the OFT will be undertaking in 2015.

In the meantime, the other models for switching accounts will be incorporated into the Payments Council’s Roadmap analysis. The Roadmap, launched on 17th June, is looking at various options for overhauling or evolving the existing payments infrastructure over a five and 10 year period to deliver a number of customer requirements and benefits. The Roadmap will ensure potential future options are properly considered.

Key findings from Optimisa’s qualitative research:

  • Customers thought that all three models provided the features that they identified as being essential and, therefore, critical components of a successful switching service. The research shows that customers simply require a switching service that delivers their desired outcome – to move their account in a quick and hassle free manner. The way it is achieved is of limited interest to them.
  • Customers liked the fact that the new switching service being delivered this September will be free and will be completed within seven working days on a switch date the customer and bank have agreed beforehand. They viewed it as a substantial improvement on the 18-30 day switching timescale which has existed to date.
  • The provision of an industry ‘switch guarantee’ was viewed particularly positively. The guarantee means that if things do go wrong, the customer will be refunded any interest or charges on either their old or new account.
  • The provision of an automatic 13 month re-direction service was particularly well received by customers. Any payments made to the customer’s old account will be automatically redirected to the new account. Whilst the account portability option was viewed as the most simple and straightforward model from the point of view of the customer experience, it was seen as a ‘nice to have’ rather than an essential feature of an effective account switching service.
  • Most customers thought that the account portability scenario delivered the same end result for them as the new current account switching service will provide.

About Payments Council

The Payments Council is the body with responsibility for ensuring that payment services work for all those that use them in the UK. This unique role ensures that we listen to a wide range of stakeholders to drive innovation in payments and implement change so that individuals and businesses have access to payments for their current and future needs. We are, by nature, a collaborative body so we work with the financial institutions in the payments industry as well as listening to the voices of our external stakeholders.The Payments Council has three core objectives: to have a strategic vision for payments and lead the future development of co-operative payment services in the UK; to ensure payment systems are open, accountable and transparent; and to ensure the operational efficiency, effectiveness and integrity of payment services in the UK. Later this year the Payments Council is launching a new Current Account Switch Service and next year a new way to make account-to-account payments by mobile without sharing account details.

About Optimisa

A seamlessly integrated full service agency, Optimisa Research delivers ‘inspired intelligence’ to UK and international businesses with a commitment to actionable recommendations that drive commercial success.  Forming in April 2010, from three highly respected market research businesses – Quaestor, Buckingham Research and AIA, Optimisa Research has since integrated the unique capabilities and approaches of these three brands to create one client centric agency with 30+ years’ experience of conducting qualitative and quantitative research for public, commercial and third-sector clients.

As a company, Optimisa Research has extensive experience of conducting qualitative financial research looking at attitudes of consumers, businesses and charities towards a range of financial issues and products.  As well as working extensively within the commercial financial sector, Optimisa Research also has significant experience of conducting related projects in the public and not for profit sectors, having conducted projects for clients such as ABI, Consumer Futures, FCA, Payments Council and Money Advice Service.

Source : Payment Council

– See more at: http://www.internationalfinancemagazine.com/article/Independent-research-published-to-assess-customers-account-switching-needs.html#sthash.KVgYDUXd.dpuf

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