Rights & Money

Digital Banking Is Catching On

More and more Canadians getting banking advice digitally

By Jennifer Hughes

Photo: iStock/shapecharge.

We’re often advised to consult a financial advisor about financial planning and investment decisions, and according to the J.D. Power 2020 Canada Retail Banking Advice Satisfaction Study, Canadians are largely happy with the advice they’re getting.

The survey solicited input from 1,685 banking customers who had gone to their bank for advice. Seven in 10 respondents (71%) said that they had acted on the advice they were given, and 59% reported having benefited from that advice.

Perhaps the biggest surprise is that while the level of satisfaction with advice given in person has neither increased nor decreased in the past three years, satisfaction with advice received digitally—via e-mail, a website, or an  app—increased by 10 points, from 773 on a 1,000-point scale to 783. Moreover, the proportion of those getting digital banking advice went from one if five customers (21%) in 2019 to one in four (25%). Among Generation Z customers (those 16 to 25), the figure is 35%.

And while the number of those going into a bank to open a new account dropped 7%, the number of accounts being opened digitally rose by 3%.

Not all banks fared equally in the survey: BMO Bank of Montréal ranked highest in terms of customer satisfaction, with a score of 806, followed by RBC Royal Bank of Canada (796), CIBC (795), Td Canada Trust (787), and Bank of Nova Scotia (786). The industry average was 793, up from 789 in 2019.

“At a time when the number of new account openings occurring in physical branches is declining and digital account openings are growing, it is critical that retail banks continue to find ways to nurture their digital relationships and build customer loyalty through the digital channel,” Paul McAdam, senior director of banking intelligence at J.D. Power, said in a statement.