I really feel sorry for the Free Checking account these days.
And I feel sorry for “free checking” accounts these days.
Where once it was the toast of the town, it has become the ugly duckling of the checking account family.
During the 1980s and most of the 1990s, many banks and credit unions named their free checking accounts Totally Free Checking or Free Checking.
Forget near zero interest rates and the damage they are inflicting upon savers.
Forget the battle over Free Checking and whether or not it is a profitable account.
The weekly update of branch closures has disappeared.
Yes, Dodd-Frank continues looming large in the background. Its implementation is like death by a thousand cuts.
Is it possible that in today’s economy, banks and credit unions are making a trade-off between branches and the rates of interest paid on deposit products?
It’s possible but not conclusive.
I do believe that one of the ways today’s financial institutions are supporting their expensive branches is by minimizing the amount of money paid savers at all levels from the basic regular savings account to the high-balance Certificates of Deposit.
Seeing the latest mortgage rate ad from a local credit union in Sunday’s paper made me chuckle.
While the featured rate and basic ad layout were familiar, it was the presentation of the rate that caught my eye and reminded me about the ongoing efforts to create a new housing bubble.
I guess the creative team responsible for this ad thought that if you can’t lower the mortgage rate, you can make it larger in an attempt to grab more attention.
Yes, there is a major downside to mobile check depositing.
Fortunately, the downside is to banks and credit unions – not to consumers using mobile deposit.
Growing up how often did an adult caution you that “you can’t have your cake and eat it too?”
I know I heard it fairly frequently when I was making an unreasonable request or had some unreasonable expectation.
As many of you faithful blog readers must know by now, I’m a bit skeptical about the virtues of cross-selling.
It has its purpose, it has its successful practitioners, and it has its success stories.
But it also has a long history of invoking the law of unintended consequences.
Growing up many of us heard more than once that the great Albert Einstein once exclaimed that “Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world.”
Others claim that he called compound interest “the human race’s greatest invention.”
Yet others are sure he referred to it as “the most powerful force in the universe.”
The vast majority of consumers hate paying a monthly fee for their checking account.
It’s probably safe to say most of them also hate having to jump through hoops to avoid paying a monthly fee for today’s new fee-based checking accounts crammed down their throats by the mega-banks.
Yes, a rare newspaper ad for Business Checking.
What could possibly make such an ad rare?
Easy – the fact that it exists.
As a long-time bank marketer and now a blogger of banking topics I spend a part of everyday trolling through newspapers and magazines seeking print ads from banks and credit unions.
Print ads provide an insight into what bankers believe to be important at the moment.
Thanks Joe for getting me riled up about branding. Your Monday blog did the trick. I’ve read it several times and watched both of Union Bank’s new touchy/feely branding spots more than once.
What a waste of time, effort, and money.
Or maybe it’s EVP of Checking Products.
While many banks, and likely some credit unions, look to hire a senior level person to head up mobile banking initiatives and another for social media management, one really critical position remains unfilled.
One of the hottest job openings in banking today is the compliance officer.
I think we can all agree up front that today consumer banking finds itself in the midst of a rapidly changing banking environment. I believe it is safe to say we are in the midst of historic changes…changes that will ultimately alter the face of consumer banking.
In fact, the survival of many community banks and credit unions is at stake as the industry moves towards consolidation.
Here’s a question worth pondering: If your company is rated as a great place to work by the vast majority of its employees, does this help ensure your company will deliver superb customer service?
Or asked another way: If your company is rated as providing superb customer service, does this mean the employees of your company see it as a great place to work?
The success of an integrated marketing campaign depends largely on the occurrence of synergy – synergy being the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
Generally, we define an integrated marketing campaign as one which uses several unique marketing channels and ties them together with a common, recognizable message.
Multiple marketing channels are used for at least three purposes: Read more…
Here’s a question I’ve been pondering lately: Are near zero interest rates on deposits damaging the relationship banks and credit unions have with their customers?
I believe the answer to be a definitive YES.
Historically, people looked to neighborhood banks as a safe place to store the money they are saving for future needs. Because these banks are able to use some portion of the money to make loans to other customers, they are able to pay interest on these deposits.
I’ve had this belief for a number of years that at some point in the future something would come along to dramatically change the way consumers handle their money – specifically the money placed into a checking account.
It wasn’t the ATM or debit card that caused me to think this way.
Here’s an interesting question: In what year or decade did bankers begin thinking about what it cost to get a new customer or a new account?
And what changed that suddenly made the answer to this question important?
Based on my many years of bank marketing experience, seeking an accurate cost per new customer or account is tantamount to seeking the whereabouts of the Holy Grail.
Where is the consumer checking account headed?
Until the financial crisis occurred in the second half of the last decade, checking accounts were a fairly simple product. Customers had their choice of a free checking account or a fee-based account that paid interest on balances. And with most banks, customers with fee-based checking accounts could avoid the dreaded fee by agreeing to direct deposit or maintaining a minimum balance.
In an effort to practice market segmentation, some banks complicated the checking product line by offering an array of checking accounts targeted at specific groups of customers. Some of these targets included: Read more…
Happy New Year!
Well, once again it’s time to update your house and office with new calendars. In spite of the Internet and mobile phone sources, physical calendars remain very popular with a majority of people. I have two in my home office while my spouse has one on the refrigerator door and one in her home office.
If you’re lucky, you may have already received one or two in the mail.
Today, the face of consumer banking remains a landscape dotted with a variety of brick and mortar banks and credit unions – each with its unique name and logo. Remote ATMs reinforce this physical image.
I doubt any of us has ever attempted to count the number of these buildings we pass on a daily basis as we drive to our various destinations. We’d probably be shocked at the number – it’s undoubtedly much higher than we would guess.