Supermarkets could be the super banks of the future, new research reveals

Supermarkets could emerge as consumers’ bank of choice, according to new research into UK customer loyalty in 2012 by Ipsos Mori and The Logic Group.

It revealed, while banks top the list for customer loyalty, supermarkets are not far behind, opening the potential for loyal banking with supermarkets. 

Two thirds of consumers surveyed were loyal to their bank, while 62% feel loyal to supermarkets. 

With Tesco launching a mortgage service in August, and the recent announcement of Sainsbury’s and Lloyds launching two credit cards for Sainsbury’s bank, there is a suggestion supermarkets are gaining a significant foothold in the personal finance market, said researchers.

While the research shows more customers feel loyal to banks than supermarkets, this is not reflected in their loyalty scheme participation with these organisations. 

Sixty eight per cent of supermarket customers are part of a loyalty scheme, whereas only 16% of bank customers are part of a loyalty scheme. 

This gap is widened further amongst respondents who stated specifically they are loyal to their supermarket or bank. 

Of those who feel loyal to their supermarket, 48% are part of a supermarket loyalty scheme, compared to 14% of those who feel loyal to their bank being part of a bank loyalty scheme. 

Although undoubtedly explained in part by the proliferation of available supermarket schemes and the rarity of banking schemes, researchers said it leaves the question, can supermarkets leverage the information they have on their customers to improve their banking offer?

Sponsored by European customer interactions solutions specialist – The Logic Group, the independent research was conducted by leading market researcher, Ipsos MORI among 2,018 UK customers in 2012. 

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.”