GFT opened its Regional Innovation Hub in Greater Manchester in September 2021 and is driving the digital transformation of the world’s leading companies in sectors including financial services and manufacturing. 

GFT’s latest Banking Disruption Index highlights the frustration consumers feel with their bank when spending abroad. New research has shown that many Brits think their bank’s fees for spending money abroad are unfair or unreasonable, and a high proportion don’t even understand the fees being charged.

Specifically, the research found:

  • Only 26% of consumers understand their banking providers' foreign spending fees

  • 32% of consumers do not think their banks' fees for spending abroad are reasonable

  • 38% do not even know what the fees are

  • 25% of consumers want their bank to provide better transparency over transaction and exchange charges

  • 39% of those who use new digital-only banks (neobanks) whilst abroad, do so because they offer the lowest fees The research comes from digital transformation specialist GFT, as part of its latest Banking Disruption Index; a quarterly assessment of consumer attitudes towards their bank’s digital capabilities.

It found the confusion around banking fees has been a major driver in people opening accounts with neobanks. More than two in five (42%) of consumers surveyed currently have a neobank account and half of those that do, opened their account for the currency exchange benefits it offers whilst spending money abroad.

Card payments continue to be the most popular method of payment whilst overseas, with almost half (47%) of consumers using a bank card from a traditional or neobank to make transactions. This high usage highlights why transaction fees are so important, and why increasing numbers of people are choosing to use neobanks whilst travelling abroad.

Over a third (34%) of consumers also said that the ability to choose whether to pay in the local currency or in GBP is the main factor for using a neobank whilst abroad.

Given the focus consumers are placing on how they spend whilst abroad, GFT set out to discover the additional services customers want to see more of from their banks whilst overseas, including:

  • 28% of those surveyed said they would like their banking apps to offer real-time currency exchange rates
  • 29% of 25-34-year olds want the ability to pay in GBP or local currency from different ‘pots’

Richard Kalas, Client Solutions Director, Retail Banking at GFT UK, said:

“It's clear there is a significant difference between the offerings provided by neobanks and traditional banks when customers are spending their money abroad. More digitally savvy customers are already taking advantage of neobank capabilities and it is inevitable adoption will only increase in future.”

As part of the Banking Disruption Index, GFT also assesses consumer sentiment towards their bank overall. In Q1 2023, the sentiment score dropped two points since Q4 2022, down to 77 points, signifying a downward change in consumer attitudes towards their banking provider. The full Banking Disruption Index report including further detailed analysis is available here.

The GFT Banking Disruption Index will be released each quarter. For more information about how GFT can help you with your digital banking needs, please visit our website here.


About GFT – Shaping the future of digital business.

GFT is a digital transformation pioneer that develops sustainable solutions based on new technologies including artificial intelligence and blockchain/DLT. Services range from core system modernisation and migration to open cloud platforms, as well as the introduction of carbon-conscious coding.


GFT's strengths include deep technical expertise, strong partnerships and comprehensive market insights. The company uses them to design digital transformation for clients from the finance and insurance sectors as well as the manufacturing industry. The intelligent use of technology adds value and increases productivity for clients. GFT experts create and implement scalable software applications that make access to innovative business models safe and easy.


With locations in more than 15 markets around the globe, GFT ensures proximity to its clients. The company draws on over 35 years of experience and a team of over 10,000 determined experts. GFT provides them with career opportunities in the most innovative areas of software engineering. 


The GFT Technologies SE share is listed in the SDAX index of the German Stock Exchange (ticker: GFT-XE).