A side view of a curly fancy businessman in a formal suit using an outdoor cash dispenser to withdraw money from his account, with a copy space place on the left for your text or logo (A side view of a curly fancy businessman in a formal suit using an

The shift to digital transactions during the Covid-19 pandemic has eroded Canadians’ trust in banks and further commodified the sector, a survey from Accenture says.

However, Canadian consumers still have a positive perception of the advice they receive from banks.

Accenture’s 2020 Global Banking Consumer Study, which surveyed 47,000 consumers globally and more than 2,000 in Canada in July and August, found that price was the most important factor for Canadians when dealing with a bank. More than four in 10 respondents in Canada ranked price as a top-three factor, up eight percentage points from the 2019 survey.

The report suggested the lack of face-to-face interaction at branches is eroding trust. Two years ago, almost half of Canadian respondents said they trusted banks “a lot” to look after their long-term financial well-being; this year, that proportion was reduced to one-third.

Advice appears to be somewhat of an exception. Nearly seven in 10 Canadian respondents said their bank has their best interest in mind “always” or “most of the time” when providing advice; roughly the same number said the advice was smart, personalized and well-informed.

The shift to digital interactions has allowed banks to meet customer needs efficiently, said Robert Vokes, who leads Accenture’s financial services practice in Canada. However, some of these interactions “do the trick functionally but are lacking in the human touch,” Vokes said in a release.

“To maintain strong customer connections,” Vokes said, “banks will need to reimagine the digital experience to make interactions more personal and relevant.”

Canadian respondents were more likely to trust advice regarding products from a human advisor over the phone (47%) or in person (58%) than over a video call (33%).