Most credit card issuers are failing to meet expectations, survey finds

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Consumers want more digital help to meet growing economic challenges

There’s no question we are in turbulent economic times. Inflation is at a 40-year high, and shortages of everything from cars to baby formula are keeping consumers on edge. 

A new survey suggests that consumers expect help from their credit card companies and digital payment apps but don’t feel they are getting it. According to a series of recent studies of bank and credit card mobile apps and online users by J.D. Power, overall satisfaction with most digital channels has declined as usage has increased.

The studies tracked overall customer satisfaction with banking and credit card providers’ digital offerings. Jennifer White, senior consultant for banking and payment intelligence at J.D. Power, said they reveal a lot of volatility in customer satisfaction scores.

“Based on their experiences with other consumer apps and websites that anticipate their needs and offer a highly personalized customer experience, bank and credit card customers are expecting more from their digital solutions,” White said. “The tough economic climate has amped up the urgency of those expectations.”

Decline in financial health

In less than a year, the percentage of consumers who could be defined as “financially healthy” has dropped 10 percentage points, to 43% from 53%. The percentage of consumers identified as “financially vulnerable” has increased to 32% from 25%. Bank customer satisfaction scores are 113 points lower, on average, among financially vulnerable customers than among financially healthy customers, the survey found.

Customers appear to be more satisfied with banks’ websites than with their apps. Website satisfaction scores improved slightly, but satisfaction with apps plunged by 17%.

Among national banks, Capital One ranked the highest in banking mobile app satisfaction, followed by Chase and Wells Fargo. Discover ranked the highest in credit card mobile app satisfaction, followed by American Express.

ConsumerAffairs reviewers weigh in

Among consumers posting reviews at ConsumerAffairs, here’s how reviewers generally rate those five companies using our 5-star rating system:

Nathaniel, of Sayre, Penn., recently posted a ConsumerAffairs review of Capital One that reflects what the JD Power surveys found.

“I would start by saying Capital one is the best card company out there for the middle-class struggling trying to repair their credit,” Nathaniel told us. “I found them to be the best for me. No annual fee. A little high on the interest side but approved is what we all want. A fresh start. A chance for the hardworking American. I have always been approved when others say sorry.”

The J.D. Power surveys identified one key area where banks can improve their scores. The authors recommend that banks need to find ways to increase personalization for app users.

Among retail bank customers who visit their bank’s branch, 73% say they have a personal relationship with that bank. Among those who primarily use the bank’s digital channels, that percentage falls to 53%.

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