Primary Relationships or Bust

Banker shaking hands with customer across desk

By Ryan Harbry Customer loyalty is essential in every industry under the sun. In banking, it matters even more than most industries because not only do unloyal customers represent a missed opportunity for revenue; they have the potential to cost more than they are bringing in — creating a drag on earnings. And, if we’re…

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Competing with the Gigantosauruses and Digitalbatrosses

I know you’re thinking that this isn’t a great analogy because dinosaurs are extinct, and an “albatross” is a psychological burden that feels like a curse. But gigantosauruses are (OK, were) huge, powerful animals (like the Big Tech companies) and albatrosses are one of the fastest species of animals, flying at nearly 80 miles per…

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Tales of Decommoditization

money and padlock

By Ryan Harbry Commoditization has been around for about as long as the banking industry itself — there’s no avoiding it.  Whenever a good or service comes along and is successful (proving its proof of concept), other companies throw their hat in the ring, join the market, and compete. In legacy industries like banking, so…

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The Big Tech Threat (Opportunity?)

piggy bank sitting on a laptop keyboard

In November 2019, Google announced that it was going to launch a checking account. The announcement elicited the typical frenzy in the press about how the Big Tech company and its fellow Gigantosauruses were going to put traditional banks out of business. But — surprise, surprise—that wasn’t the game plan.  The plan was to partner…

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Inside the Digital Bank Insurgency of 2020

The pandemic should get a lot of the credit for this, but 2020 was a good — no, make that a great — year for challenger banks and the broader group of digital banks. At the beginning of 2020, just 3 percent of U.S. consumers considered a digital bank to be their primary bank. By…

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Is Your Financial Institution Feeling the Burn?

Building Exterior in sunlight

When the first so-called “challenger banks” like Simple and Moven appeared on the scene around 2010 they were heralded as “disruptors” that were going to put traditional banks and credit unions out of business. Why? The asserted logic was that they provided a better customer experience, were more customer-friendly in terms of pricing (i.e., no…

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Dave Crook Shares Three Strategies for Growing Primary Checking Relationships

Even before the coronavirus, there was a passionate renewal of relationship banking’s importance, with a specific focus on primacy — primary versus non-primary households. What’s evident is that all relationships are not created equal: Half your customers see your FI as their bank and about half don’t. It’s the curse of free checking. Free worked…

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Reinventing the Checking Account

Is it “game over” for mid-size banks and credit unions when it comes to checking accounts? Are the threats from deposit displacement, P2P providers, Amazon, and megabanks insurmountable? No.  Despite the prevalence of free checking accounts, many consumers express interest in switching to that hypothetical Amazon-offered bundled checking account we discussed earlier in this report.…

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It’s Time to Kill Free Checking

Why would consumers show more interest in a fee-based account from Amazon than a free account? One reason is surely the value-added services bundled in. But there’s another reason: Consumers have learned (the hard way) that a free checking account isn’t really free.  As one bank customer, commenting online, put it:  “The issue isn’t wanting…

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