Barely half of banks’ own employees would recommend their international payment services to customers

  • A recent Censuswide survey, commissioned by Wise, finds that barely half of bank employees believe the fees they charge to send money abroad are fair
  • 62% favour a fintech’s services over their own bank’s when travelling abroad

A recent survey has revealed that only 51% of employees at the UK's top banks would recommend their respective institutions' international payments services. These findings serve as a wake-up call for traditional banks to prioritise improving their international payments offerings in the years to come, or risk losing out to more specialised cross-border payment firms.

The research, conducted by Censuswide and commissioned by global technology company Wise, set out to understand whether banks’ employees are bought into their own international payment products. As it turns out, many struggle to stand by what they’re selling. Barely half believe that the fees they charge to customers sending money abroad are fair, with 19% of respondents explicitly stating that they are not proud of their international payments services. A further 32% admit that although they have recommended their bank’s services in the past, they would not do so again.

On top of the lack of confidence bank employees have in recommending their products to others, the survey revealed an even greater lack of confidence in using their own products themselves; 62% of respondents claimed that they would consider using a fintech’s card abroad this summer in favour of their own bank’s.

Steve Naudé, Head of Wise Platform, said: 

“This research clearly shows that those working within banks are dissatisfied with how they serve customers’ cross-border needs - a problem that will become more pronounced over time as people and businesses increasingly live and operate globally. If such a large number of banks' own employees - those closest to their products - wouldn’t recommend their own services, and a majority prefer using fintechs, there is clearly a significant opportunity for banks to better serve this growing customer need.

"But enhancing international payment services is no easy task, and often falls outside of banks’ immediate priority list - particularly when they are working with inflexible infrastructure. At Wise Platform, we make it easy for banks to innovate by allowing them to leverage Wise's global payments network seamlessly, without needing to implement any major changes to their systems."

Wise Platform, Wise’s infrastructure solution for financial institutions and major enterprises, partners with over 70 banks and enterprises worldwide, including Bank Mandiri, IndusInd Bank and Groupe BPCE, to bring faster, cheaper international payments to millions of bank customers directly within their existing app.


About the research

Research conducted by Censuswide, on behalf of Wise banking between 08.06.2023 and 13.06.2023 with 1001 people working in UK banks aged 18+, with 10,000+ employees (Targeting all job departments/type and Targeting all levels of seniority). Censuswide abides by and employs members of the Market Research Society which is based on the ESOMAR principles.

About Wise

Wise is a global technology company, building the best way to move money around the world. With the Wise account people and businesses can hold over 50 currencies, move money between countries and spend money abroad. Large companies and banks use Wise technology too; an entirely new cross-border payments network that will one day power money without borders for everyone, everywhere. However you use the platform, Wise is on a mission to make your life easier and save you money.

Co-founded by Kristo Käärmann and Taavet Hinrikus, Wise launched in 2011 under its original name TransferWise. It is one of the world’s fastest growing, profitable technology companies and is listed on the London Stock Exchange under the ticker, WISE.

16 million people and businesses use Wise globally, which processes £9 billion in cross-border transactions every month, saving customers around £1.5 billion a year.

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