Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Big Data Provides Big Opportunity for Bank Loyalty

In a new regulatory environment, banks are faced with changing the foundation of rewards programs that were previously funded by interchange income from credit and debit cards. With debit interchange funding gone, FIs still need to continue to find ways to improve bank loyalty and drive the desired card behavior. In addition, banks need to leverage “big data” and mobile payments in the hope that they can replace some of the revenue lost as a result of Reg E and the Durbin Amendment.
Optimally, the future of rewards and loyalty will allow banks and credit unions to take advantage of the “Loyalty Trifecta” (my term for bringing together the benefits of 1) payment and transactional insight, 2) targeted offers and personalized communication as well as 3) mobile offers and payments).
To get an insider view of the challenges and opportunities available to banks today in the area of rewards and loyalty, I reached out to the leaders of four companies that provide unique solutions to the banking industry and who also will be co-panelists with me at the upcoming BAI Payments Connect 2012 Conference & Expo in a session entitled “Rewards in a Mobile Banking Environment.” 
Thanks to Tom Beecher, CEO, Cartera Commerce Inc.; Rob Heiser, President and CEO, Segmint; Schwark Satyavolu, CEO, Truaxis; and Rod Witmond, senior vice president, Product Management & Marketing, Cardlytics Inc who agreed to participate in the panel and contribute to this interview.
Note: An abridged version of this interview is also located as a BAI Banking Strategies article entitled, Big Data Drives 'Loyalty Trifecta' for Banks.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Banks Need to be Proactive to Stop Switching Trend

According to the 2012 U.S. Bank Customer Switching and Acquisition Study just released today by J.D. Power and Associates, continued frustration with fees and service has resulted in increased levels of switching at large, regional and mid-sized banks, with smaller banks and credit unions faring significantly better.

The study found that 9.6% of consumers switched their banks in the past year compared to 8.7% in 2011 and just 7.7% in 2010. But not all financial organizations were impacted equally. In fact, there was a extremely wide disparity between the switch rates at larger banks (avg. of 10% - 11.3%) and the .9% switch rate of switching at smaller banks and credit unions (a reduction from 8.8% in 2011).

Interestingly, roughly half of those leaving big banks went to another big bank. This could likely be attributed to the importance of being able to serve the customer as their life circumstances change and the importance of convenience as defined by the customer. According to Michael Beird, director of the banking services practice at J. D. Power and Associates, "Our study showed that consumers at smaller banks and credit unions were more likely to shop for an alternative provider if their financial needs  changed. In addition, bricks and mortar and the availability of advanced mobile technology is a value proposition that has yet to be overcome by smaller banks and credit unions." The disparity between large and small bank offerings of mobile services was reinforced by the recent Javelin Strategy & Research study, Mobile Banking, Smartphone and Tablet Forecast 2011 - 2016.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Banks and Credit Unions Focusing on Onboarding to Build Revenues

There has never been so much pressure on financial institutions to maximize the revenue and relationship potential of each customer. With government regulations reducing fee income, historically narrow interest rate spreads, and consumer satisfaction with many financial institutions wavering, there's a need to ensure that once a customer opens a new account, every effort is made to help the customer understand and use their account, expand their relationship, and increase loyalty to your organization.

While time and resources have been dedicated to new customer acquisition processes in the past, a majority of financial institutions are now working to implement or improve the communication process right after account opening and for several months into the relationship. And instead of a single welcome letter (or nothing at all), more and more organizations are using a series of well-timed, personalized communications leveraging multiple channels to improve effectiveness.

According to the recently completed 2012 Financial Services Marketing Survey done in partnership with The Financial Brand, both banks and credit unions indicated that onboarding would be one of the most important strategies for the next 12-24 months, with virtually no institutions stating that the importance of onboarding would be less.

2012 Financial Services Marketing Survey