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Sixty One Percent Of US Banking Customers Favor Portable Banking Account Numbers

IRVING, Texas, Feb. 28, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Portable account numbers, designed to make switching between banking providers easier, would be welcomed by customers across the world, according to an online YouGov study conducted by BT.

The research, which surveyed more than 6,500 people across six countries worldwide, found that the majority of consumers in Spain (76 percent), Hong Kong (70 percent), France (64 percent), Germany (61 percent) and the UK (62 percent) all agree that a portable identity number — allowing them to switch banks without changing account details — would be useful. 

Despite this, there are mixed feelings about the prospect of banks sharing their IT infrastructure and having access to customers' personal information, which reflects a concern about the security and protection of personal data. In fact, many respondents felt that banks sharing infrastructure would be a bad idea (38 percent), whilst a significant number were undecided (28 percent), even though it would have the potential to improve competition and allow them to switch banks more easily.

Of those countries surveyed, only in Hong Kong (75 percent) and Spain (54 percent) did a majority of respondents think that a shared IT infrastructure for banks was a good idea.

Meanwhile, the majority of respondents across all markets did not consider engaging in dialogue or sharing information with their banks over social media channels as a priority, despite the explosion of sites like Twitter and Facebook across the globe. On the contrary, when asked which three tools they would most like their bank to provide, customers indicated that they would like to see more sophisticated online tools such as peer review sections (32 percent), webchat facilities (23 percent) and 'compare-my-bank' type services (29 percent) to give them better information and help them make informed decisions.

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