The speculation around Amazon’s potential entrance into banking has only heightened, thanks to the recent reports of Amazon being in talks with big banks like JPMorgan Chase and Capital One. While it’s unlikely that Amazon actually plans to become a bank itself, these types of partnerships further reveal that getting in on the banking action is moving up on its “take over the world” to-do list.
In a recent study by Ron Shevlin of Cornerstone Advisors, commissioned by StrategyCorps, consumers are asked about their interest in a hypothetical Amazon-offered checking account bundle, and the results reveal a meaningful lesson to banks and credit unions – consumers are willing to pay for value in banking products.
Learn how American State Bank of Iowa's mobile coupon app is a win for customers, local businesses and the bank itself. See the latest Main Street Focus article of IB Magazine.
Big banks are moving up the ranking and overtaking smaller banks in terms of satisfaction. They simply have what the mobile services customers want, when they want it. And they effectively communicate what they have. What good is having services if your customers don't know about it? It's like having a giant diamond but never being able to wear it. It's [past] time to take the plunge and go beyond the basics.
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.