Gartner: Fintechs are leaving US retail banks behind when it comes to digital performance

Digital transformation remains a work in progress for US retail banks according to a new report from analyst firm, Gartner, which found that 69% scored average or below for their digital efforts.

The report ranks the digital performance of 80 retail banking brands operating in the US market. Measured across more than 1,200 data points against four critical dimensions: site experience, digital marketing, social media and digital commerce, just three retail banks ranked as Genius (Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Chase), 22 as Gifted, 21 as Average, 25 as Challenged and nine as Feeble.

Fintechs and online banking brands are disrupting the existing business model by focusing their efforts on select digital strategies to outperform traditional banks. Generally, fintechs favour minimally designed websites and emphasise their mobile apps as primary touch-points — both for prospects and customers.

73% of fintechs and 60% of online banks prominently display mobile app download calls-to-action on the mobile sites’ homepages. This compares to just 53% and 42% of national and regional banks, respectively. Using this type of mobile app promotion, fintechs and online banks outperform the rest of the brands for both app downloads and monthly active users.

A majority of U.S. retail banking brands have a lot to worry about on the digital front. With new tech competitors on the horizon, digital first banks eating away at their margins and constantly rising customer expectations, it’s no longer good enough to deliver just basics, like online enrollment. Banks must take the next step in digital innovation to compete with fintechs and online banks.

Chris Bendtsen, principal in the Gartner for Marketers Practice