The number of people using subscription services like Amazon Prime, Netflix, Spotify, Birchbox, Dollar Shave Club continues to soar. Can financial institutions take advantage of this new business model?
We actively track, quantify, rank and analyze nearly 4 million checking account relationships of community financial institutions nationwide. See our latest research that reveals the bottom line reality of checking.
When Beneficial Bank, well known as one of the oldest banks in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, set out to revamp its brand in 2013, they also shifted their entire culture to be more relevant to the Millennial audience. By deeply defining this group of people through consumer research, introducing purposeful creative focused on serving Millennials’ financial needs and working to change the mindset of every employee from top to bottom, they created a brand that enhanced their most traditional values and gained the attention of this new, valuable audience.
Recent report from Accenture shows customers want advice-driven banking, including 54% of customers interested in banks locating discounts.
"Most consumers (79%) define their banking relationship as transactional... This trend is bad news for banks. It reflects a fundamental problem for the industry. When customers think about what the bank offers, most think about commodity banking products and services rather than unique value for their broader financial lives."
By out-marketing and out-innovating retail products, larger banks know the battle is on to attract profitable or quick to be profitable customers, traditional ones right down to millennials, by offering an attractive “earned” incentive to move and providing better mobile products along with a wider variety of other retail products and services.
Big banks have been committed to working out their mobile strategies over the past two years and are now unveiling the dramatic results they’ve achieved. According to AlixPartners, big banks controlled 67 percent of the primary banking relationships by the second quarter of 2014, while credit unions had 14 percent. Mid-size banks controlled 11 percent, community banks 4 percent and all others at 4 percent.
For consumers, having an interest checking account these days is, well, uninteresting.
Financial institutions only pay a few basis points of an interest rate at most, which requires a significant balance to generate meaningful interest income to customers. Even high-yield checking accounts average just 1-2 percent, but with qualifying balances capped around $10,000, customers annually make barely enough to go out for a nice dinner for two.
Facebook isn’t just satisfied with having more users than any other social media in the world. They’re craving their piece of the future of mobile payments. With the recent announcement to offer peer-to-peer payments through its Messenger app, Facebook is seeking to establish a deeper connection to users’ finances and to take a bite out of traditional financial transactions.
By researching what their customers wanted in an online and mobile banking platform, Ally Bank has delivered a unified experience that is purposeful to users, enhances their product strategy and has obvious competitive advantages, all while living true to the Ally brand.
The five biggest retail banks — recognized by the brand names U.S. Bank, Chase, Bank of America, Citi and Wells Fargo — control over 50 percent of total assets in the U.S. and are driving the mobile banking agenda. In a race to meet the mobile transaction needs of their customers, these banks have all conquered the most basic services that soon almost all banks will have—mobile banking, mobile bill pay, mobile deposit, ATM and branch locators and P2P payments. Now in phase two of mobile banking, these banks are in an arms race to further engage with customers’ mobile lifestyles, particularly by helping people save money when they shop.
Startup companies like Birchbox and Uber are winning the game of consumer marketing because of one single variable – they are marketing in the year that we actually live in. Unfortunately, too many financial marketers continue to promote messages in places where consumers are less likely to see it, hear it or feel it.
Toronto-Dominion Bank’s (TD) recent partnership with Moven is a material strategic move to help the bank’s customers advance their personal financial fitness. Moven, along with other nontraditional mobile banking providers like Simple and GoBank, are challenging the financial industry’s line of thinking of what a mobile banking app can be. These types of bank apps offer budgeting tools that can help customers prevent overspending and learn how to more effectively save money.
Nearly every financial institution (FI) has the Big 5 of Mobile Banking or is planning to have it in the next 12 months — Balance inquiry / funds transfer, Mobile bill pay, Mobile deposits, ATM / branch locator, P2P payments.
The top five largest banks in the country, which collectively own a majority of the checking account customers in the U.S. and represent the major competition for most community FIs, have had the Big 5 for quite some time. So getting the Big 5 is really just “table stakes” to play in the mobile banking game — a game which continues to occupy the hearts and minds of retail bankers as consumers are now more actively figuring mobile banking functionality into their decisions about where to bank.
When Wal-Mart Stores Inc. announced its partnership with Pasadena, Calif.-based Green Dot Corp. to launch the online and mobile-only banking alternative GoBank, the retailer was also placing its bet on where the future of banking is heading. But with all its other financial ventures up to this point still in place, like in-store branches and prepaid debit cards, Walmart is keeping a hand in all possible outcomes.
Consumers’ relationships with banks are becoming dependent on how products and mobile banking fit in with their lifestyles. And if that relationship is going downhill, customers are much quicker to break up with their bank. That’s why leading banks are on the prowl to find the next great way to offer more than just the basics. They’re adding interesting features to mobile, introducing ways to help customers save money and offering more relevant benefits — all to create positive, lasting relationships with customers.
As more and more consumers are relying solely on their mobile devices, banks have to provide mobile products that their customers want and need. In this video, Dave DeFazio of StrategyCorps shares how some community banks are moving their mobile banking applications beyond the standard transactions.
What do real customers say about what they expect from their bank on Facebook or other social media sites?
We simply asked them.
The quotes you'll find throughout this article are from a series of “man on the street” style marketing research videos recorded by StrategyCorps in Nashville, Tennessee. The people who participated in this research were asked questions about how banking fits in with their lifestyles, one prominent topic being social media.
Ask bankers how they go about designing their retail checking products and most will answer with much more of a focus on the checking part than the retail part. Don’t get me wrong, the checking part is essential. The account has to be operationally secure, reliable and accurate in terms of supporting transactions and related information. However, customers have overwhelmingly shown they aren’t willing to pay for just checking. To be different, to generate much needed fee income and to really change the game of checking, banks must focus more on the retail part of retail checking. Here’s why.
In summary, about 40 percent of consumer checking accounts are so “shallow” that they don’t generate enough income (net interest income and fees) to cover the estimated annual costs to maintain and service the account. Plus, this 40 percent only contributes 2.7 percent of all checking-related revenue and 1.4 percent of total relationship dollars.
I’ve done hundreds of mystery shops over the years, at branches all over the country. While I find that the branch employees I meet are generally friendly and professional, I’m frustrated in the small number of truly great mystery shop results that I get to report. Banks spend big marketing dollars to get new customers in the door, but what happens when they get there sometimes becomes an afterthought.
Maintaining a customer’s checking account costs your financial institution money. The American Bankers Association estimates the annual cost to a bank to maintain a checking account is between $250 and $400 per year. For community financial institutions with less than $5 billion in assets, the average according to other researchers is closer to $250 to $300.