UAE residents are ready to ditch their current bank if another one meets their desire for a 'bank in pocket', according to a new study.
Ernst & Young's (EY) research underlines how crucial it is for businesses to improve their customers' digital experience.
Some 81% if the 2,000 respondents from UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait, said they wouldn't think twice about switching banks if it meant they were able to do all their banking from their smartphone.
The 'GCC Digital Banking Report 2015', which also analysed 700,000 customer sentiments on social networks, also revealed that 60% of UAE residents are willing to shift to a digital-only bank.
The study confirms that "the future of retail banking in the GCC is a smartphone experience that delights", EY said.
"Customers are generally not impressed with the mobile proposition on offer, it appears, and this holds true for both traditional and Islamic banks," the report notes.
Less than half (45%) of the UAE customers quizzed said they were satisfied with their mobile banking experience – of which half said that difficulty in accessing mobile banking features is the main reason they don't use mobile banking as much as they would like.
Customers now expect banks to provide more convenience, less paper, more speed, pinpoint accuracy and a friendly service environment, the study suggests.
Smartphones are second nature for almost all surveyed customers in the Gulf Cooperation Council, with 98% of those surveyed found to own modern smartphones.
"Addressing customer needs in an increasingly digital world means disrupting and rewiring existing business models for a fresh customer experience," said Robert Abboud, MENA financial services advisory leader at EY.