Three reasons megabanks are getting more checking account growth than community financial institutions

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Consumer surveys often find that small and mid-size banks and credit unions enjoy higher levels of trust and Net Promoter Scores than do the megabanks (i.e., Bank of America, Citibank, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo)—yet Millennials are taking their business to megabanks and large regionals.

Why might you ask? Well, there are three reasons: 

  1. Millennials love their megabanks. Millennials—consumers between 21 and 38 years old—are those most likely to be in the market for checking accounts. However, just 24% of Millennials have their primary checking account with a credit union or community bank. Nearly half—45% to be exact—have their account at one of the four megabanks. 
  2. Few consumers actually pay a monthly checking account fee. Even though many institutions have done away with free checking, few consumers actually pay a monthly fee. Overall, 5% of consumers pay a monthly fee, a number that falls to just 3% among credit union members. The majority of fee-based account holders get fees waived by maintaining minimum balances or opening a specified number of accounts. 
  3. Consumers want rewards—but don’t get them at small and mid-size institutions. The top three features consumers look for when they’re in the market for a new checking account are convenient branch locations, low monthly fees, and the best rewards program (Figure 2). However, just 10% of community bank customers and 16% of credit union members say the debit card associated with their checking account earns rewards. That’s in contrast to 26% of megabank customers and 20% of regional bank customers. 

Winning the battle requires your financial institution’s checking lineup to be weaponized. You must know what’s missing from your current checking products to better engage, acquire, and retain customers/members and design these benefits smartly into a line-up that’s easy to understand, buy and sell.

That’s where we can help. StrategyCorps delivers checking products consumers are demanding, and your competition isn’t providing—while generating, on average, $500,000 of new revenue per billion of assets for financial institutions just like yours.

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Do you know what benefits your customers want? Read our latest white paper, Accessorizing the Checking Account: Improving the Bank/Customer Value Equation, then let us know how we can help.