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Would consumers use crypto services if banks offered them through their existing products?
We asked US consumers about what might encourage (and discourage) them to use bank-provided crypto features.
Welcome to Attest Investigates! This is a series where we use the Attest platform to test your burning questions and explore literally any topic.
As a scientist, I am obsessed with experimentation, empiricism and using data to make decisions. We’ll delve into all things consumer research to lift the lid on the most important unknowns for brands, as requested by you!
As cryptocurrencies continue to make waves around the world, is it time for traditional banks and financial institutions to offer customers greater access to crypto features and services?
To find out if consumers have the appetite for this—and if not, why not?—we asked a nationally representative sample of 1,000 Americans for their views on banks offering crypto options.
Over on the Attest dashboard you can see the full results from this research, break it down with the demographic filters and run significance tests to check for headline differences.
To whet your appetite, here are four top takeaways from this research:
Which features do people most want from their financial services provider(s)? Asked to rank key bank features, investment in stocks and crypto came bottom in our list of importance: a sizable 39% placed this in last position. A signal here of crypto’s still-emerging status.
What are people’s top bank features? The overall ranking of features was:
In line with some other Attest Investigates on other topics recently, consumers often value the simple things—and we can clearly see that there’s great opportunity for financial services providers to do those simple things better (before getting jazzy with new, cool and sexy things like crypto investing).
We asked how often, if at all, people purchase with or trade cryptocurrencies. Of the 34% who said they don’t invest, their top reason is lack of information (45% selected this). Lack of trust and fear of losing money are also key factors, with 39% and 31% choosing these respectively.
This echoes trends we’ve seen in previous research on ‘How US consumers will be won over by cryptocurrencies’, which highlights lack of knowledge as a key reason people have for not investing in or using cryptocurrencies. This is something crypto providers must tackle if they stand any chance of bringing the format truly into the mainstream.
In this new research we also found that lack of disposable cash might also be holding people back. We asked ‘Under what circumstances would you most consider investing in cryptocurrencies?’, and the top response was ‘If I had extra money every month to invest’. Could this open the door to offers like new customer cash incentives for using banks’ crypto features—borrowing some market expansion and marketing tactics from players like Hello Fresh (and their famous ‘$35-50 off your first box’ promotional cards)?
If banks started adding crypto investment options to their existing product sets, would this help consumers dip their toes into the crypto waters? It appears so, with nearly half (49%) of people saying they’d be likely or very likely to use or try a feature like this.
On the other side of the crypto coin, almost a fifth (19%) say they’re unlikely or very unlikely to use this feature. That’s also a significant amount of unwilling customers—not something for banks to ignore. But I’m sure the fact that half of people are interested in this will come as welcome news to Commercial and Product leaders of financial institutions.
There’s also the potential to win over currently indifferent consumers with a feature like this. A third (33%) of respondents are neither likely or unlikely to use an in-app crypto feature, and when we filter the results to see how these particular respondents answered the rest of the survey, we see that they over-index for lack of knowledge as a key deterrent—49% chose this, compared with 45% overall. Certainly an opportunity here to win over the neutrals with that all-important education.
Something of a consistent theme we see in a lot of research is that lack of knowledge is a primary factor holding back growth for many new products and services. And we see this most emphatically for financial services—people are (likely) rightly cautious about adopting new offerings when their financial wellbeing is at stake.
Our new crypto research here has only emphasized this—it’s up to brands to make sure their market education and marketing campaigns are genuinely informative and easily understood by a mainstream audience, especially when it comes to opening-up new products, concepts, ideas and addressable markets.
And although we’ve found that explicit appetite for crypto tie-ins with incumbent banks is relatively low, we also found that there’s a pretty huge group who might value and use these features. Educating consumers in the processes, benefits and risks of crypto is crucial, because the growth potential is massive… so, are you listening, banks… and what are you going to do about this?!
Download our digital magazine for the latest fintech insight, interviews and more. The consumer trends and business stories you need to know for fintech success.
Jeremy founded Attest in mid-2015, following 9 years leading global teams across industries at McKinsey & Company. He holds an MBA from Harvard Business School, originally trained as a scientist with a focus on genetics, ecology and animal behaviour, and also helps to improve state primary schools with his charity work.
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