Friday Five: Top-rated banks for service quality
Zone’s Rianna Mitchell handpicks and shares the five best new stories on digital trends, experiences and technologies…
1. Top-rated banks for service quality
Starling and Monzo beat established high street banks in a customer satisfaction survey conducted by the Competition and Markets Authority. The challenger banks peaked at number one for the best service for personal current account providers in the UK, while Starling secured the top spot for the most-ranked business current account provider, followed by Monzo.
Senior Director at CMA, Adam Land, believes that during the cost-of-living crisis the results reveal how customers are being treated. He advises, “if your bank doesn’t match up to the competition — you can vote with your feet and make a switch.” He also warns that banking giants need to kick it up a notch if they want to retain customers.
2. Aldi’s second pay rise this year
Grocery retailer Aldi has confirmed a second pay rise for thousands of warehouse workers amid the cost-of-living crisis. From September, wages will increase 9% for more than 4,000 staff in the supermarket’s distribution centres, with the hourly rate bumping up from £10.45 to £12.66.
The company plans to expand further in the UK due to higher demand after the pandemic provoked a growth in the online grocery and e-commerce sectors. Aldi seeks to launch an additional 32% of its stores by 2025 along with two new distribution centres. The pay rate exceeds Living Wage Foundation’s current recommended real living wage of £9.90, putting pressure on the UK’s Big Four supermarkets.
3. Woman returns from the grave with AI tech
Deceased holocaust campaigner, Marina Smith MBE, used AI video technology to communicate with mourners at her funeral. Produced by her son’s firm StoryFile, she appeared on a hologram discussing her life and responding to her family and friends’ questions who attended her ceremony. Mr Smith, CEO of StoryFile, says it’s possible to have a conversation with the deceased person “as if they are there, and they will answer you”.
The conversational video is created by doing a recording of the person while still alive, answering numerous questions about their life. After their death, an AI system selects relevant clips to play in response to questions from people interacting with the video, where the person on-screen appears to listen and reply.
4. Tesco launches UK’s largest digital display ad network
Tesco launches the UK’s largest digital display ad network, giving it a foot ahead of competitors. The supermarket giant will be installing another 100 digital screens in its stores, bringing more than 400 to the network in total. The SmartScreen technology will be available through the Tesco Media & Insight Platform, enabling advertising scheduling based on audience behaviours and sales.
The addition of new screens means advertisers have access to 63% of Tesco’s large format stores and can reach over 6 million shoppers every fortnight.
Tesco’s Head of Media and Campaign Planning, Nick Ashley, said that this type of media installation helps “deliver a more engaging shopping experience” for customers and provides “brand advertisers with a valuable communications channel.”
5. UK households cancel Amazon Prime
Over half a million UK households have cancelled their Amazon Prime subscriptions as the company prepares for a price hike in response to inflation. According to media watchdog Ofcom, UK Prime consumers reduced by 590,000 in the second quarter of 2022 after Amazon announced it was raising its Prime service fee for the first time in eight years come mid-September.
The monthly subscription cost will increase by £1 to £8.99 with an annual price going up an extra £16. Despite the drop in consumers, the broadcasting regulator said that lost subscribers may return, as a survey revealed that almost 75% of dropouts who cancelled earlier this year believe they would resubscribe.