Why (and How) You Should Perform Banking Market Research

Because adopting the latest FinTech is not always the best solution.


Sophie Zoria

3 years ago | 3 min read

In recent years, a plethora of FinTech startups have entered the banking and financial sector, disrupting this market entirely. Responding to the changing market demands as well as trying to grasp the opportunity to grow their revenues, most banks have undergone (or are in the process of undergoing) disruptive digital transformations too.

Still, adopting or developing a FinTech solution is not always enough. What BFSI companies are often missing is the need to gain customer insights and understand intangible customer needs and perceptions.

Gaining such insights and using them to finetune corporate strategies is at the core of delivering sustainable products and services. With that in mind, let‘s walk you through the elements of a winning banking market research and the strategies to success.

Top metrics to know

Market research, just like the financial industry itself, largely depends on figures and metrics. Knowing the number behind customer needs and behavior, banks and other players of the BFSI industry can effectively sell their services, improve customer loyalty, and increase their share of a wallet.

Here are the top 5 metrics to know along with the research methodology used to get them:

Net Promoter Score

Net Promoter Score (NPS) is used to assess the performance of front-end teams and measure the loyalty of the customers. NPS takes the form of a full-scale qualitative study carried out using CATI or online survey software where customers indicate how likely they are to recommend the bank and why.

To confidently measure NPS, more than 400 responses are needed. Insights gained from NPS are used to improve customer experience and increase the number of promoters.

Reasons for account closures

Much insight into how to make people use your services comes from looking into the reasons why they abandon them. Knowledge of the exact drivers — for example, the unreasonable fees, unhelpful personnel, unsuitable physical location of a bank, lack of the mobile banking app, or switching to the spouse’s bank — can effectively support corporate decision making.

It is recommended to ask all customers that close their accounts to complete a well-structured customer survey that will give you a glimpse into all factors affecting the decision. Further, the bank should compare the monthly scores for each reason to assess the effectiveness of countermeasures.

Cross-selling rate

To assess the effectiveness of customer service and spot growth opportunities, banks should research how often the representatives cross-sell other types of financial services to the bank customers during the time of sit-down.

The most effective way to do this is via a mystery shopping research campaign. Using a comprehensive mystery shopping platform you will be able to find and manage the mystery shoppers, execute project workflow management and get instant data reporting and analytics.

Follow-up phone call methodology is also used to question bank visitors about cross-selling among other items.

Primary financial institution share

Another important metric to include in a banking market research project is the Primary Financial Institution (PFI) share. PFI shares tell how many people name the bank their primary financial institution, which is, typically, the bank where the customer has opened a primary checking account.

Banks can gain relevant information using an online or telephone customer survey. Making customers PFI users is the key goal of banks, so researching PFI shares can provide valuable insights and assessment of the measures taken to increase the PFI share.

Employee engagement

Employees are important bank stakeholders and their engagement and job satisfaction has a great impact on the sustainability of the institution. In particular, disengagement is associated with high turnover, absenteeism, and poor customer service, which cost banks millions of dollars and the loss of 20% of business to competitors annually.

Anonymous surveys are the best way to run the study of employee engagement. It is preferred to use a standard engagement survey and further compare the results to the average score for the banking and finance industry.

This will give you a good image of your standing and will help determine if any intervention is needed to improve the score.

Banking market research best practices

Of course, some general customer insights can be gained from ready-made reports generated for the BFSI industry. Still, if you want to leverage financial marketing research to grow the bottom line of your institution, fieldwork market research is indispensable.

The best way to carry out a fieldwork market research is by using a comprehensive market research platform that will:

1. Allow managing many types of research methodology, CAPI, CATI, online survey, and mystery shopping among them.
2. Ensure the security of sensitive clients’ data.
3. Prompt you on the survey design and sample quota requirements.
4. Automate data analytics and data visualization.

With the right tool, you can make banking customer insight a seamless process that integrates into day-to-day operations and informs managerial decisions.


Created by

Sophie Zoria

Sophie Zoria is a passioned journalist writing about tech and marketing trends, mobile apps, and design. Check out her Medium page:







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