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Is bank customer loyalty helping supermarkets become ‘superbanks’?

17th Oct 2012
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With banks topping the customer loyalty list, is this now paving the way for supermarkets to become ‘superbanks’?

Ipsos Mori and The Logic Group surveyed over 2,000 consumers and found 66% of consumers were loyalty to their bank and 62% to their supermakrets.

According to the report, Tesco’s recently launched mortgage service and Sainsbury’s credit card initiative suggests that supermarkets are gaining a significant foothold in the personal finance market.

However, perhaps an indication that customer allegiance to banks is more entrapment than genuine loyalty, the research showed that just 16% of banking customers take part in a loyalty scheme compared to 68% of supermarket customers.

Jon Worley, director of customer interactions at The Logic group, said: “From loyalty schemes, supermarkets have a wealth of customer information including their spending habits, which can be an invaluable asset in finance management. Sainsbury’s and Tesco already offer bank services, which are seeing a great amount of traction, suggesting consumer familiarity with the brand is impacting on their banking choices. Partnering with known high street banks also adds credibility to their banking services.”

However, whilst the resarch showed that habit is a factor in supermarket loyalty, the findings suggest that joining a loyalty scheme does not necessarily lead to customers trusting an organisation.

Worley added: “For supermarkets to offer an independent banking service to rival high street banks, they need to ensure customers feel they can trust them. Customer insight is a double edged sword. While supermarket banks can use their insight to advise customers on their spending and offer them rewards/promotions based on their habits, a potential barrier to consumers choosing to bank with a supermarket may be that they feel the supermarkets have too much information about them, or that their data could be compromised through a security breach.”


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