18 Jun 2024 02:35

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KPMG and DataEQ’s First GCC Banking Consumer Sentiment Index reveals Qatar as leader in regional Net Consumer Sentiment

KPMG has collaborated with DataEQ on the region’s first-ever banking consumer sentiment index, designed to quantify the experiences and sentiments of consumers within the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) banking sector.

The report analyzes consumer sentiment towards 20 banks in the GCC by tracking an extensive dataset comprising 3,965,821 X (formerly known as Twitter) posts, from 1 May 2022 to 30 April 2023.

Omar Mahmood, Partner, Head of Financial Services at KPMG in Qatar said: “in the digital era, banking consumer sentiment analysis is pivotal for shaping customer insights, product development, and brand reputation in the sector. Analyzing social media feedback provides valuable insights, driving informed decisions and aligning products with market trends.”

Mahmood further noted how “Qatar lead results with a positive Net Sentiment score of 7.8%, which was 14.9% above the GCC average, and driven by a digital drive, innovative services, and collaborations for cross-border payments.”

Net Sentiment is a composite metric gauging customer satisfaction, derived by subtracting negative sentiment from positive sentiment and adjusting for the total volume of conversation.

The survey was not short of negative complaints by consumers online from all countries, with comparisons between two or more banks visible in consumer shared experiences. Major areas of complaints for consumers overall included service issues and app downtime and long wait times.

While the UAE led with the highest proportion of positive mentions, garnering praise that accounted for 21.1% of its conversation. This was closely followed by Qatar, the next country in line only 0.9% behind. Praise was driven by successful partnerships, strong financial performance, Corporate Social Investment (CSI) initiatives and customer service. Furthermore, Qatar had the second highest conversation volume at 7.9%, behind Saudi Arabia, with more positive mentions than negative.

When it came to Net Sentiment, Qatar emerged as the clear leader with a positive Net Sentiment score of 7.8%. A variety of factors contributed to this, including favorable financial performance and the introduction of much-anticipated remittance services. One key driver was the implementation of UPI (Unified Payment Interface) remittance for instant fund transfers to India, a feature highly appealing to expats in the country. Collaborations with third parties to enhance cross-border payments also contributed to Qatar’s high Net Sentiment score.

The GCC banking sector has experienced steady growth due to infrastructure projects, economic diversification efforts, and a young, affluent population driving demand for various banking services. Cross-border banking activities are common within the GCC, facilitated by economic integration agreements. Additionally, regulatory bodies in each country closely supervise the banking sector to maintain stability and ensure compliance with international standards. Overall, the industry is characterized by innovation, strong regulation, and a focus on adapting to global financial trends.

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