Global analytics software provider, FICO, today released new research1 examining the level of communication and support US consumers received from their financial service providers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Overall, the survey found that US banks received high praise from customers with the vast majority of consumers (84 percent) satisfied with the level of support their banks provided during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The pandemic has had a significant financial impact on households across the country. While almost half of consumers in the US remained fully employed during the pandemic, almost a quarter said they were not at all or not very confident about their finances remaining stable in the next three months. In fact, 42 percent of consumers said they had to contact one of their financial services providers to help manage repayment of existing credit commitments since the start of COVID-19.
“2020 has been a challenge for all, with a large percentage of consumers struggling to pay their bills. Banks and financial service providers play a critical role in helping their customers navigate these uncertain times,” said Michael Magaard, vice president, Customer Communication Services at FICO. “It’s critical that lenders are ready to respond quickly to customers across multiple channels, while providing flexible payment options – otherwise they risk losing them.”
Credit card commitments were the primary reason consumers reached out to their financial service providers to help manage repayment, with 48 percent of respondents having had to reach out to their credit card provider. This was followed by mobile phone service at 21 percent and auto loans at 20 percent.
Financial service providers were quick to provide support during this time, with the majority of consumers able to arrange a payment holiday within 2-3 days of the option being announced. Additionally, an overwhelming majority of respondents noted how easy it was to get a hold of their providers to arrange a payment holiday or other arrangement to manage their existing debts, with auto loans (93 percent) and online loans (91 percent) being the easiest, followed by credit cards (88 percent), personal loans (86 percent) and mortgages (84 percent).