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8 in 10 Banking Customers Want to Know the Carbon Impact of Their Spending

8 in 10 Banking Customers Want to Know the Carbon Impact of Their Spending

The research indicates that banks have a *52 million strong retail customer pool interested in green banking features

New research has found that nearly 8 in 10 (75%) UK mobile banking users want to know more about the carbon impact of their spending. The findings indicate that there is an unfulfilled appetite in the UK retail banking market for green banking features and products.

The research, run by carbon footprint management experts Cogo and the Behavioural Insights Team, surveyed 2,007 UK mobile banking users to investigate customer attitudes towards banks encouraging them to reduce their environmental impact.

Emma Kisby, EMEA CEO for Cogo, says, “Banks are uniquely positioned to positively impact and help to turn around the climate crisis. Offering green banking solutions to customers can make a big difference. Their reach means huge numbers of people could be able to access carbon footprint management features through a provider that they already have day-to-day interactions with.

“As the competitive playing field for big banks evens out, extra benefits that help customers manage their environmental impact can make a big difference. We are only at the beginning of the rise of the conscious consumer. Newer, environmentally astute generations are already opening their first personal and business accounts. Banks offering the green solutions that customers want will be able to access a bigger pool of potential retail banking customers.”

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Competitive edge

The research found that 75% of mobile banking users would like to know more about the carbon impact of their spending. What’s more, 48% are specifically in support of their bank helping them to make more pro-environmental purchasing choices. When asked if they wanted to receive carbon spending information from banks, 57% were in favour, therefore presenting a great opportunity for banks to provide this support.

NatWest is a major UK bank that offers carbon footprint management features from Cogo in its mobile banking app. When the partnership launched in July 2021, David Lindberg, CEO, Retail Banking at NatWest said: “Our use of Cogo’s expertise in carbon tracking in the NatWest app is a really important first step in making it easy for everyone to live and spend in a greener way – using the power of their money to influence change.”

The trend towards conscious consumerism is affecting more than just banking products and services. The report found that alongside reducing their individual carbon footprint, customers increasingly want to see their bank taking action to reduce their own environmental impact. The changes that customers most wanted to see from banks are efforts to reduce the carbon footprint of their operations (76%) and investment in businesses with a low environmental impact (73%).

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Scaling up solutions

Given consumers’ appetite to understand more about their carbon footprint, it is expected that it will become more commonplace to receive this information through banks. Partnering with start-up solutions means an easier scale up for banks. Effective tools, based on proven technologies and approaches, can be built quickly and appeal to customers who expect more from their banks. To give a clear route to banks wanting to develop carbon footprint tracking features, Cogo has rolled out a financial services partnership model.

Cogo has partnered with NatWest, TSB and most recently, Hungarian bank OTP to help their mobile banking customers measure their impact, reduce their carbon footprint, and offset the rest. By integrating this information, banks can offer customers better money management tools that consider environmental impact.

Through this financial services partnership model, Cogo is on track to give over 3 million retail banking customers access to carbon footprint tracking features in their everyday banking experience by the end of 2022.

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