Fragmented Brand Experiences Make Financial Institutions Less Trustworthy; Legible Fine Print Increases the Trust Factor According to New Surveys

Press Release

Press Release

Monotype/CITE Research Survey Draws Parallels Between Consumer Behaviors and Branding Decisions made by Financial Institutions

WOBURN, Mass. – Monotype today released the results of its “Financial Services Branding” surveys, conducted by CITE Research. The objective of these surveys was to determine key factors for building trust and long-term relationships between consumers and financial institutions, and the role that design and typography plays in shaping consumer perceptions. Nearly two thirds of consumers said legible fine print makes a financial institution more trustworthy and nearly one fourth said they’ve stopped a transaction with a financial institution when the fine print was illegible. 

“Design and branding play such an impactful role in building trust between consumers and financial institutions,” said Brett Zucker, CMO at Monotype. “Brand makers are focused on ensuring their brands are not only unique and consistent, but that their type is legible and not easy to spoof for financial scams. Consumers put a lot of equity in legibility as they’ve determined that it’s a key indicator of trust – particularly as mobile banking becomes more prevalent.”

The first survey polled 1,000 consumers aged 25-60 across the U.S. and U.K. who currently have an account with a bank or financial services organization. The second survey polled 200 design and marketing professionals at financial services institutions in the U.S. and U.K. to determine the role that design plays in building brand trust with consumers. 

Consumer Survey Findings

Brand Recognition and Reputation Come First, So Don’t Settle for Sloppy Branding

  • For 84% of consumers, total brand recognition is the most important factor when choosing a financial institution. 
  • 56% cited the financial institution’s logo as the most identifiable brand element (over its slogan, spokespeople or jingles).

Additionally, consumers are wary of financial institutions that appear to have a disconnected brand presence. Of the 1,000 respondents, 43% said a fragmented brand experience makes a financial institution seem less trustworthy.

Consumers Care about the Fine Print 

When asked about the role of legibility in the materials provided by their financial institution:

  • 65% of respondents said legible fine print makes a financial institution more trustworthy.
  • Nearly a quarter of consumers have stopped a financial transaction because of illegible fine print.
  • About 50% of consumers always or almost always read the fine print.

Mobile Matters

When asked about mobile-first banking: 

  • 49% of respondents said they primarily conduct business with their financial institution via a mobile device
  • Nearly a quarter of consumers have stopped a financial transaction because of illegible fine print.
  • That finding surges to 58% for 25-35-year-old consumers.

About one-third of consumers would stop doing business with a financial services institution if they had a poor digital experience. 

Design and Marketing Professionals Survey Findings

Be Consistent, Be Unique

Competitive differentiation and consistency are top-of-mind for brand makers:

  • Nearly one-half of respondents said that being both unique in design and consistent in brand execution are the biggest branding objectives for financial institutions. 

Brand Risks

Design and marketing professionals identified a number of risks when it comes to building brand security and trust among consumers:

  • 37% reported that the most significant risk to financial services brands is having their branding replicated by scammers for spoofing and phishing schemes.
  • 27% said the second biggest risk was inconsistent branding that results in a fragmented consumer experience.
  • 88% say fine-print legibility is important to their branding strategy, given the essential role it plays in building trust and establishing a positive brand reputation. 

To get the full “Financial Services Branding” report, comprising findings from both surveys, visit:

About Monotype 

Monotype empowers creative minds to build and express authentic brands through design, technology and expertise. Further information is available at Follow Monotype on Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Monotype is a trademark of Monotype Imaging Inc. registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and may be registered in certain other jurisdictions. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. ©2019 Monotype Imaging Holdings Inc. All rights reserved. 

Public Relations:
Amy Aylward
[email protected]
Alyssa Niemiec
Havas Formula for Monotype
[email protected]