If and when American consumers dump their banks for new ones, the majority of them would like to be able to keep their bank account numbers.
That was one of the major findings in research published Thursday by British Telecommunications (BT), a company that sells communication services globally.
Indeed, 61% of U.S. consumers polled said they would like a portable account number. BT likens the unique bank account number feature to the way consumers can keep their mobile phone numbers when thy change mobile network or phone providers.
The survey, commissioned by BT and conducted by YouGov, polled 6,500 people across six countries in December. Of those polled, 1000 were from the U.S.
When looking to switch banks, consumers across the globe dubbed "the presence of a local branch" as the most appealing factor (45%), trailed by "good online banking facilities" (39%) and "the ability to access banking services 24/7" (29%), according to the study.
The survey also showed that the majority of respondents across all markets said they are not that interested in engaging with their banks over social media channels. In the U.S., only 10% viewed their banks giving them tailored advice or personalized information via social media as a priority.
What consumers most want in online banking features, according to the study, are: peer review sections (32%), web chat facilities (23%) and bank comparison tools (29%).
"There is clearly an appetite for technology and services which help increase transparency and competition, such as number portability and richer online comparison tools," said Tom Regent, president of global banking and financial markets at BT Global Services, in a release. "But there is also a significant level of apprehension around the creation of a shared banking infrastructure. With any new solution that the industry moves forward with, they will need to be mindful that consumers need reassurance around security and protection of their data."