Nearly three quarters (72 percent) of affluent middle class consumers in the UAE want more rewards from their bank in an increasingly competitive retail banking market, according to a new survey.
The customers said they do not see the value in bank reward programmes, don't find the benefits interesting and don't feel they can accumulate sufficient points to redeem rewards.
The poll by Collinson Group said 58 percent only have a basic main bank account with no fees but also no added benefits and 60 percent have credit cards that lack benefits such as cashback or air miles.
According to Collinson Group, this highlights an opportunity for banks and card providers in the region to differentiate themselves and offer additional services such as insurance, assistance and travel benefits.
The study found that while customers in the UAE are more satisfied with their banks than the other countries surveyed, they don't feel rewarded or recognised for their loyalty and look elsewhere for additional financial services.
Nearly two thirds of customers in the UAE said they feel more loyal to brands that provide access to rewards.
As a result, retail banks and credit card providers in the UAE are missing out on the opportunity to create powerful advocates and attract repeat business from loyal customers, said Collinson Group.
It added that banks are losing their position as a one-stop shop for financial services, with savvy consumers choosing a range of financial service providers.
Mark Roper, commercial director, Collinson Group, said: "Whilst the majority of customers in the UAE are satisfied with their banks, the emergence of alternative providers of financial services and the number of customers on more basic bank and credit card services, highlights the opportunity to retain and grow a portfolio of services with those within the top 10-15 percent of income. Customers see their accounts as a necessity but don't feel they offer additional value or reward.
"Our research found that not being rewarded for loyalty is the biggest frustration for consumers, as cited by two thirds of respondents globally, ahead of poor interest rates and charging unnecessary fees," added Roper.For all the latest GCC news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
Subscribe to Arabian Business' newsletter to receive the latest breaking news and business stories in Dubai,the UAE and the GCC straight to your inbox.