It stands to reason, then, that having great-value credit cards and transaction accounts is vitally important, so each year CANSTAR researches and rates New Zealand financial institutions of the everyday banking facilities they offer New Zealanders.
The CANSTAR Bank of the Year – Everyday Banking Award gives recognition to the institution that provides the best combination of transaction products, including both deposit accounts and credit cards, across its relevant CANSTAR star ratings profiles, as well as providing online banking and close access to branches and ATMs.
This year, our overall award for the institution offering the best value everyday banking across the country goes to BNZ. In light of its win, CANSTAR caught up with BNZ for some insight into customer use of both physical and digital banking channels.
Q: Do ATM withdrawals remain as popular as ever?
A: Yes, they do – although the volume of withdrawal transactions are pretty flat, the values of these transactions are increasing all the time. We know from the Reserve Bank that cash in circulation is rising so what we’re seeing here makes sense.
For BNZ, we are fortunate to have a really well positioned network of ATM’s that are easily accessible for BNZ and non-BNZ customers alike (including our international visitors). And with exciting innovations in payments and the choices of denominations we offer customers, our ATM’s will continue to play a key role ensuring that our customers have easy and convenient access to cash.
Q: When it comes to transactional banking, it seems that online is it. What has the trend been towards online banking over the past few years? And what is breakup between desktop and mobile?
A: There’s no doubt that a bank’s digital capability and its products are now inextricably linked. Our digital channels are the primary place where customers interact our products. In fact we often talk about the interface being the product. At BNZ we care deeply about the experiences we create for our customers, so with You Money we’ve tailored the product to reflect the experience we wanted to create online. It’s not just a case of taking what you’ve got and making it available online. Most of our digitally active customer base are now using a combination of both desktop and mobile, so it’s not really a case of one channel being more important that another. Instead it’s about respecting the context the customers are in when they are using that channel, that’s why at BNZ we build native apps, because the experience we create for our customers is paramount
Q: Touch ID: can you tell us more about it? Why are you introducing it?
A: The digital world is all about convenience. With Touch ID we’ve been able to improve the customer experience associated with accessing the BNZ mobile app, without compromising security. As a result, our customers are already telling us they love this new feature.
Q: When it comes to term deposits versus at call savings accounts, what seems to be the customer preference at the moment?
A: There is clearly a demand and a need for both. Savings accounts are generally more flexible and suit those that either need to add to or withdraw from their accounts regularly. As term deposits are more suited to customers who are able to invest a fixed amount for a fixed term there will always be a need for high quality and innovative savings accounts. However in a falling interest rate environment we would expect more customers to fix their returns and for longer than a few months ago, and this is what we are seeing.
CANSTAR congratulates BNZ on its well-deserved win. Customer can download the Everyday Banking Award report here.