An Opportunity to Keep a Customer
A woman rushes into a supermarket to buy a few last-minute items for dinner. She’s in a hurry because she has other errands to run. She swipes her debit card at the checkout, but finds her card is declined.
She doesn’t have enough money in her checking account for the transaction. She ignored the opt-in form her financial institution sent, so she didn’t agree to overdraft protection for her debit card purchases.
Now she’s angry. She doesn’t take the blame for a low checking balance. She decides it’s the financial institution’s fault she can’t buy what she needs for dinner.
Still simmering a day later, the woman decides to look for another place to do her banking.
Situations like this will play out repeatedly beginning August 15, because that’s the deadline for debit card opt-in to comply with the Federal Reserve’s Regulation E revisions.
But flash back a couple of months. Instead of sending this woman a letter with a brief, formal message and a copy of the government-approved opt-in form, her financial institution sent her a marketing piece that explained everything she needed to know about the changes.
So rather than ignoring what was to her an incomprehensible “banking thing” that she tossed into the recycling bin, she had a document that explained the changes and her choices — in language she could easily understand..
Which opt-in program is yours? Is it like the first one described that customers ignore because they don’t understand why they should sign another scary form? Or is your program like the second? A program that generates results because people see their choices and realize they should respond quickly.
If you’re spending the money to contact your customers, why not make it an investment instead of an expense? Make the effort to communicate. Use language customers understand, not banking jargon.
Use Reg. E as an opportunity to solidify the relationship you have with your customers.
You can read about a Fed-compliant, ready-made opt-in program that includes a consumer education feature.