Unlocking the Digital banking Experience

As the financial landscape continues to evolve, Australians are increasingly seeking banks that offer Open Banking powered features. Our recent consumer survey reveals that Open Banking offers unique opportunities for mutual banks to gain a competitive advantage. Leveraging Open Banking enables them to:

  1. Attract new customers from younger demographics
  2. Retain and increase their share of wallet among existing customers

The research

To gather these insights, we conducted a comprehensive survey among 1,030 Australians, approximately 50% of whom are mutual bank customers—meaning they identified a mutual bank as their primary bank. The results were re-coded to reflect the demographics of the Australian population according to the latest ABS statistics.

Key findings

From our survey, we identified five key takeaways that shed light on consumer preferences and trends:

  1. Complete financial overview in banking apps: Australians expect their bank to provide a holistic view of their finances within their banking app. They are willing to switch banks to gain access to this crucial feature.
  2. Cross-sell and personalised offers: Australians want their bank to help them get a better deal on their finances with products and services that are better suited to them
  3. Attracting a younger customer base: Younger generations are most excited about Open Banking powered features and are most likely to switch to get access. 
  4. The mortgage application process: Despite limited awareness, Open Banking emerges as the preferred method of sharing financial information in the mortgage process
  5. The mutual bank opportunity: Cross-sell and personalised offers are the highest-valued feature among mutual bank customers, closely followed by a complete financial overview.
Open Banking for customer owned banks

Australians want to see all of their finances in one app

Australians most valuable digital banking features
20% of Australians rank a full financial overview as the most valuable digital banking feature their bank could offer them.

Having a comprehensive view of their finances within a single app can be extremely valuable for Australian consumers. On average, they hold financial products with 2.5 different institutions. This figure increases to 2.8 for Millennials while decreasing to 2.4 for Baby Boomers and Gen X.

Mutual bank customers have accounts with more financial institutions than customers of non-mutual banks

When asked about their most desired feature, a full financial overview in their banking app ranked highest among Australian consumers. Approximately 20% of Australians deemed this feature as the most valuable, while almost half (44%) ranked it in their top three. In fact, 48% of banking customers in Australia would consider switching to a different bank if it offered this feature.

Financial well-being tools are also popular, with money management tools topping the list for 11% of Australians and financial insights for 10%.

Australians want to see all of their finances in one app

Digital banking features worth switching for
48% of Australians would consider switching to a bank that offers a full financial overview in their banking app.

What this means for mutual banks

Mutual bank customers, on average, have accounts with more financial institutions (2.7) compared to customers of non-mutual banks (2.3). Consequently, the potential value of a full financial overview in a single banking app is even greater for this group. 

Although mutual bank customers exhibit higher loyalty and are less likely to switch banks for features, providing a complete financial overview serves as both a retention strategy and an opportunity for customer acquisition. This is particularly true for younger generations: Among Gen Z, 58% expressed their willingness to switch banks for this feature, while 70% of Millennials shared the same sentiment.

The cross-sell opportunity

Mutual bank customers most valuable digital banking features
15.7% of mutual bank customers rank personalised offers as the most valuable digital banking feature their bank could offer them.

When mutual bank customers were asked to pick the feature they would most value from their bank, personalised offers that notify them of better banking deals and products topped the list.

Older generations placed the highest value on personalised offers from their bank, with more than half of Baby Boomers ranking it within their top three most valuable features. Notably, 22% of Gen Z and 35% of Millennials also included this feature in their top three preferences.

What this means for mutual banks

For mutual banks, Open Banking presents a significant opportunity to cross-sell and increase their share of the customer’s wallet. By leveraging Open Banking data, mutual banks can access detailed financial information beyond transaction data, including product details, rates, fees, and repayments. With this information, mutual banks can identify customer segments that can benefit from better financial deals on products held with other institutions.


Personalised offers in top 3 most valuable features
55% of Australians rank personalised offers in their top 3 of most valuable digital banking features.


Let’s consider Fictional Credit Union (FCU), which provides customers with a full financial overview in its banking app by allowing them to link accounts from other financial institutions. Customers can now view all their financial information within FCU’s banking app.

An analysis of customer data reveals that many of FCU’s customers are paying the ‘lazy tax’ by leaving their savings in low-interest rate accounts at Other Bank. By switching to FCU’s Super Saver account, they could earn significantly more interest.

FCU decides to send those customers a message, showing them exactly how much more interest they could earn by switching. As existing customers, they can easily open a Super Saver account at FCU.

Many of FCU’s customers take up the offer and immediately start to earn more interest on their savings.

Low awareness – High preference

Open Banking awareness
55% of Australians have never heard of Open Banking

Perhaps unsurprisingly, our research reveals that a majority of Australians (55%) have not yet heard of Open Banking. Among the remaining 45% who are aware, only 18% possess at least a basic understanding of the concept.

Much more interesting are the answers we got to our follow-up question, which includes a mortgage application scenario:

Imagine you’re applying for a mortgage, and the lender needs your financial information to assess your application. Your lender offers you three options to share your data, including ‘Open Banking’, which is a Government regulated way to securely share financial information in just a few clicks. Which of the following options to share your data would you prefer?

  • Open Banking
  • Emailing or uploading PDF bank statements and payslips
  • Sharing physical copies of bank statements and payslips
  • I don’t know


Data sharing preference for a mortgage application
32% of Australians prefer Open Banking to share financial information for their mortgage application.

With only a short explanation of what Open Banking is, 32% of respondents picked it as their preferred way to share financial data for their mortgage application, ahead of digital copies (29%) and physical copies (17%).

What this means for mutual banks

Among mutual bank customers, Open Banking is the second most popular method of financial data sharing for 28% of respondents, behind digital copies (32%) and ahead of physical copies (17%). This is despite a low awareness and understanding of the concept.

These results indicate that with little effort, customers see the benefits of Open Banking in the mortgage application process and prefer it over more time-consuming and less secure alternatives.

For mutual banks, this offers an opportunity to streamline the mortgage application process, offer an improved customer experience and save time & money.

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