Mambu study: banked and unbanked feel 'underserved’

Mambu's new report reveals 57% of banked customers research financial services online rather than asking their banks for advice

A recent study by the challenger bank, Mambu, has revealed that a high proportion of banked and unbanked individuals are dissatisfied with the services they receive from their providers.

The financial services platform’s report, which took the opinions of 2,000 global consumers, shows that both banked and unbanked people feel underserved, with a massive 56% of banked customers claiming they should be able to access more services through their providers. 

The report is the second, recent study to be carried out and released by Mambu, as part of the fintech’s research series, called Disruption Diaries. The research drive seeks to understand how customers are reacting to the latest key trends that are driving the innovations of the fintech space. The research is also aimed at identifying new opportunities for banks to provide more customer centric services.

Mambu and customer centric research

Speaking about the findings Elliott Limb, Mambu’s Chief Customer Officer, explained, “With more than 1.7 billion unbanked adults globally, the data that’s usually reported points us to emerging markets and geographical barriers to access; however, the gap in accessibility on a global level should not be ignored.”

He continued, “Personalisation is going to be key for banks if they want to avoid being sidelined by new entrants that give more inclusivity and access. Banks need to be using the technology available to understand their consumers’ habits and in turn, anticipate their needs, with hyper-personalised recommendations and services.”

Mambu’s banked and unbanked report findings

The study showed that despite recent developments in technology that enable more people to be ‘banked’, the financial accessibility over several marketplaces reveals areas in need of improvement. For example, data showed that 26% of unbanked people thought fintechs and banks should provide better personalised financial advisory services to help them get a bank account. 

“The difference between banked and unbanked may seem pretty distinct, but our research found a financial accessibility gap amongst both groups, as well as a gap in understanding of financial accessibility,” the report stated. 

It went on to say that 81% of banked customers felt their situation would be better if they knew more about how finances worked, with more than half (58%) of unbanked customers feeling the same.

And that the banked respondents, (57%) and unbanked respondents (36%) relied much more on the internet and/or online searches rather than their banks, to find more financial information and to learn about their access to the right financial products.

Report in brief

  • More than half of unbanked customers (65%) were less than pleased with their financial situation – even in the banked community.
  • One in four (25%) are not happy with their current level of understanding about their finances and options available to them.
  • Mambu found that in the median and above wage brackets (equalling $63,000 and above per annum), nearly half (48%) stated they didn’t know how to open a bank account.
  • More than one in four (28%) of respondents stated they think banks should make it easier to understand how to open an account – A further 26% of those that are unbanked believe that financial institutions can help them get a bank account by providing more personalised financial advisory services
  • The survey also found that 40% of unbanked consumers stated providing more specialised and mobile/web-based services would help them become banked

Covid and the unbanked

Data also pointed to the fact that the COVID-19 crisis had amplified the importance of financial literacy and knowledge of services, but that financial institutions and banks have not acted on this and have failed to increase their accessibility to new customers. 

“When we posed the question of who bears responsibility for financial education, a fair few — 56% in fact — feel that financial institutions should be responsible for educating consumers about their finances,” said Limb.

The report concluded by reporting the need for better financial services awareness and that banks need to improve their offerings to better serve their customers’ needs.


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