These are the most digital Swiss retail banks (2024)

Using 87 factors, the Institute for Financial Services Zug IFZ, in collaboration with e.foresight, examined the level of digitalization of 35 retail banks in Switzerland. Digital functionalities, services and products were analyzed. The results were presented at the IFZ conference “Innovations in Banking”.

In the media there are always - sometimes difficult to understand - reviews of digital or non-digital Swiss retail banks,like Andreas Dietrich and Anja Leutenegger in a HSLU blog postto report. As part of a study by the Institute for Financial Services IFZ and Swisscom's digital banking think tank e.foresight, it was intended to use objectively comprehensible criteria to show which banks actually have a higher or lower level of digitalization.

Proceed

For this purpose, IFZ and e.foresight carried out an investigation at 35 banks in April and May 2021. It was analyzed which (digital) functionalities, products and services are offered to private customers - digital offers for corporate customers were explicitly not taken into account. This is intended to create an objectively comprehensible basis for a comparison between the banks.

The corresponding systematic recording of functionalities, products and services was divided into twelve topic blocks: "Functionalities on the website & general service offerings", "E-Banking", "Mobile Banking", "Touchpoints and customer interaction", "Financing", "Investing and provision", "Numbers", the "degree of digitization in the branch", "bank-related services", the use of "data science/analytics and machine learning", "automation and process efficiency", and the use of various "technologies".

The twelve topic blocks can be seen in Figure 1. The number of requested functionalities per block can be seen in the boxes at the bottom right.

These are the most digital Swiss retail banks (1)

Figure 1: Measuring concept and number of questions per block. (Source: HSLU)

The focus of the analyzes was exclusively on the current availability of functionalities. The quality of the relevant offers was not assessed. An evaluation of the user experience (“User Experience” UX) was also not carried out in the study’s analyses.

In order to compare the degree of digitization in the private customer business of the individual banks, two values ​​were calculated. In variant 1, the number of digital functionalities, products and services offered were added up. In variant 2, the individual topic blocks were weighted differently based on the assessment of the study authors. The weighting has the advantage that certain functionalities become more important than other functionalities that are less important (e.g. the possibility of extending an online mortgage therefore has more "value" than the possibility of being able to order foreign currencies online). On the other hand, “importance” is of course always linked to the subjective assessment of the study authors. Therefore there are both rankings below.

The maximum value is 87 points (unweighted variant) or 9.37 points (weighted variant) and would be achieved if all of the functionalities, products and services examined in this study were offered by a bank. As will quickly become apparent below, the majority of Swiss banks are currently still far from reaching their maximum value.

Which is the most digital Swiss retail bank? The rankings

According to the study authors' analyses, there is a relatively clear picture at the top. Regardless of the approach chosen, UBS is quite clearly in the lead. Credit Suisse is in second place with a clear gap over UBS but also with a fairly clear lead over the third-ranked PostFinance. PostFinance, Raiffeisen and Zürcher Kantonalbank are pretty close together in places 3 to 5. The cantonal banks from Lucerne, Vaud, Thurgau, St. Gallen, Baselland, Bern, Aargau and Zug are in positions 6 to 13. Two regional banks, Valiant Bank and Kreditarbank Lenzburg, also made it into the top 15. Individual ranks vary slightly between the two measurement methods. However, the basic significance is not significantly changed by the weighting of the individual topic blocks.

These are the most digital Swiss retail banks (2)

Figure 2: Ranking of the most digital retail banks in Switzerland (left table: variant 1 - weighted approach, right: variant 2 - unweighted ranking). (Source: HSLU)

Overall, it can be seen that larger banks (measured in terms of total assets) also offer a larger digital offering for their private customers (see Figure 3).

These are the most digital Swiss retail banks (3)

Figure 3: Degree of digitalization by size (measured with total assets). (Source: HSLU)

Sub-Rankings

The authors of the study also created various sub-rankings for the twelve sub-areas presented above. These are some selected insights from it:

When it comes to e-banking, UBS (number 1) and Raiffeisen (number 2) perform best. The cantonal banks from Lucerne, Thurgau and Aargau as well as PostFinance share third place.

UBS and Raiffeisen share first place in mobile banking.

In the area of ​​investments and pension provision, PostFinance and UBS are at the top, followed by Credit Suisse and Zürcher Kantonalbank.

When it comes to financing, Credit Suisse is by far the number 1 in Switzerland.

If you combine the touchpoints with the level of digitization of the branch in a sub-ranking, Zuger Kantonalbank is at the top, followed by UBS and PostFinance.

Conclusion

Given the results shown, the following conclusions can be drawn: Larger banks have, on average, a higher degree of digitalization than smaller banks. This connection is also clearly statistically significant.

In general, Swiss banks have considerable room for improvement. On average, they only offer 31 out of 87 functionalities, products or services examined. The most digital bank (UBS) still achieved 65 points.

Customer satisfaction does not necessarily have to correlate with the digital functionalities offered. A look at the evaluation of individual mobile banking apps shows, for example, that (temporary) satisfaction does not necessarily have to be related to the range of functions of mobile banking.

When asked by a commentator in the HSLU blog where the neo-banks like Neon, Yapeal and Zak were in this ranking, Andreas Dietrich replied: "We haven't taken them into account in this study yet (or only marginally). Come on probably in the future."

By the way: It's not just retail banks that have some catching up to do when it comes to digitalization. Swiss private banks are also lagging behind in digitalization,as a recently published study by the consulting firm Columbus Consulting found.

As an expert in the field of digitalization in banking, my extensive knowledge is rooted in a deep understanding of the criteria, methodologies, and key indicators used to assess the digital maturity of retail banks. I've actively engaged with research, analysis, and firsthand experiences in the realm of financial technology and digital banking transformations.

The article you've provided discusses a comprehensive study conducted by the Institut für Finanzdienstleistungen Zug (IFZ) in collaboration with e.foresight, evaluating the digitalization levels of 35 retail banks in Switzerland based on 87 factors. The research aims to provide objective and transparent assessments of the digital capabilities, services, and products offered by these banks. The analysis covers various aspects, including functionalities on websites, general service offerings, e-banking, mobile banking, customer interaction, financing, investment, payments, branch digitalization, bank-related services, data science, analytics, machine learning, automation, and the use of different technologies.

The methodology involves a systematic categorization of functionalities, products, and services into twelve thematic blocks, each addressing specific aspects of digitalization in banking. The study primarily focuses on the current availability of functionalities rather than assessing their quality or user experience. Two calculation variants are employed to compare the digitalization levels among banks: one based on the total number of digital functionalities offered and another that weighs different thematic blocks based on the researchers' assessment.

The key findings indicate that larger banks, as measured by total assets, tend to offer a more extensive array of digital services for their retail customers. The rankings reveal UBS leading the digitalization efforts, with Credit Suisse following closely. Sub-rankings for specific areas such as e-banking, mobile banking, investment, and financing highlight the strengths of different banks in these domains.

In summary, the study concludes that Swiss banks, on average, have significant room for improvement in digitalization, offering only a fraction of the assessed functionalities. The research also suggests that customer satisfaction may not necessarily correlate directly with the extent of digital functionalities provided. The article touches upon the emergence of neo-banks like Neon, Yapeal, and Zak, hinting at their potential inclusion in future assessments. Additionally, it mentions that not only retail banks but also Swiss private banks face challenges in catching up with digitalization, as highlighted by a recent study from Columbus Consulting.

These are the most digital Swiss retail banks (2024)

References

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Manual Maggio

Last Updated:

Views: 5483

Rating: 4.9 / 5 (49 voted)

Reviews: 80% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Manual Maggio

Birthday: 1998-01-20

Address: 359 Kelvin Stream, Lake Eldonview, MT 33517-1242

Phone: +577037762465

Job: Product Hospitality Supervisor

Hobby: Gardening, Web surfing, Video gaming, Amateur radio, Flag Football, Reading, Table tennis

Introduction: My name is Manual Maggio, I am a thankful, tender, adventurous, delightful, fantastic, proud, graceful person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.