More than half of all banking customers have turned to fintech startups to cater for their financial needs, according to a global survey by Capgemini. But despite the considerable momentum enjoyed by niche providers, overall trust remains a key barrier to more widespread adoption.

The World FinTech Report (WFTR) from Capgemini and LinkedIn, in collaboration with Efma surveyed 8000 financial services customers in 15 countries and conducted more than 100 interviews with senior industry executives at both fintech firms and traditional financial institutions.

In particular, the WFTR found that new providers – classified as less than five-years old – are being adopted prominently by younger, tech-savvy, and affluent customers, with emerging markets leading the way. Over 75% of customers in China and India report using services provided by fintech firms, followed by the UAE and Hong Kong.

The greatest inroads are being made in investment management, where 17.4% of customers use them solely and more than a quarter as an adjunct to services provided by incumbents.

With so many niche providers to choose from, the WFTR also found that as many as 46.2% of those who had already tried one firm had then shifted assets to at least three others.

Despite the gains, only 23.6% of customers say they trust their fintech provider compared to 36.6% for traditional firms. Positive perceptions around fraud protection, quality of service, and transparency are playing a key role in customer retention at incumbents.

Nonetheless, traditional financial institutions continue to face challenges, with less than half of executives expressing confidence in their innovation strategy.

Thierry Delaporte, head of Capgemini’s global financial services business unit, comments: “With the exception of a handful of industry leaders, most firms are struggling to achieve positive results from their innovation initiatives with only 10 percent of executives stating they have been very effective at achieving desired innovation results