On March 16, D-Rating, rating agency of companies’ digital performance, will publish the results of its 2020 rating campaign. It will cover all European retail-banking brands retained in the D-Rating’s Euro-58 aggregate. These results will disclose the 2020 digital performance of each brand including traditional banks, 1st generation online banks and neo-banks.
The outcomes from D-Rating research are bringing this event into sharper focus. They confirm the increasing link between digital banking usage and revenue generation, to the profit of banksthat better invested on banking offering digitalization and customer journeys optimization.
These banks achieved the most favourable evolutions in terms of Net Banking Income(NBI) & operational profitability (Cost / Income ratio).
From daily banking basic operations (account management …), digital channels became the necessary vehicle of a full banking experience, including complex services (credit, saving, exchange transactions, …).
Confirmed short term effects on revenue and profitability
About 200 (197) of the 700+ indicators assessed by D-Rating are used tp measure the adoption level of digital channels (Web, mobile apps & social networks) proposed by the 21 evaluated banks (Usage Status).
The analysis of 2020 interim financial results shows that 2019 top-performers in terms of digital usage with customers are also the brands that achieved the best Net Banking Income (NBI) evolution.
Bankinter (SP), BBVA (SP) & BPCE (FR) are particularly well-positioned in this area.
A similar correlation is observed between the reference KPI of banks’ operational profitability, the Cost to Income ratio (C/I ratio), and the performance of the digital proposition measured with 500+ indicators (related to customer journeys, contact channels, available features).
Caixa Bank (SP), Belfius (BE) & BBVA (SP) are European top performers in this area.
 Performed in 2019 & 2020 for 21 banks in Belgium, France and Spain : ARKEA (fr), BANKIA (es), BANKINTER (es), BBVA (es), BELFIUS (be), BNPP (fr), BP (fr), CAIXABANK (es), CE (fr), CIC (fr), CM (fr), CRCA (fr), FORTIS (be), IBERCAJA (es), ING (be), KBC (be), LBP (fr), LCL (fr), SABADELL (es), SANTANDER (es), SG (fr)
 Period : 9M 2020 when available or H1 2020
Towards full banking on digital
Not surprisingly, the sanitary crisis specific context is more and more systematically moving customers to use digital banking services, as they cannot easily access to branches.
During the first 9 months of 2020, compared to the same period in 2019, the number of visits on web sites and mobile apps of the 21 evaluated banks increased by about 7.5%, to reach a total of more than 1,5 billion of visits. As in other industries, mobile usage is more andmore dominant (80% in 2020 compared to 74% in 2019). D-Rating also observed about one third increase (+32%) in the average duration of monthly visits of customers to manage banking operation remotely.
As it is more difficult to visit branches, customers are increasingly using digital channels for managing complex operations: between 2019 and 2020, in particular, the average duration of sessions on app nearly doubled (+91%).
The fluidity of onboarding journeys, key factor for new customer acquisition
Account opening journeys are systematically analysed by D-Rating, with real tests performed bymystery shoppers to factually evaluate complexity, completion time, level of digitization, time toget payment means…
In view of the multiplication of possibilities offered to the consumer, the performance of these journeys has more and more impact on the capability to acquire new customers. In that respect, D-Rating identified in 2020 a strong link between the performance of the account opening journey and new customer acquisition dynamics (0.6 correlation).
Finally, four brands are identified as Digital CX top performers in 2020 and merit special attention in 2021 : Bankinter (SP), Fineco (IT), Nordea (FI), mbank (PL).
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