How does being a ‘low-cost’ bank impact outcome metrics?

Many banking institutions are evaluating their current fee structures and considering modifications in an attempt to drive bottom-line improvements, while also acknowledging the potential ‘fallout’ that can arise from a change to fee structures.

Using data from the U.S. Retail Banking Satisfaction Study, J.D. Power has analyzed the topic of fees from multiple angles. Among other things, prior analysis related to the topic of fees has found that:

  • The ‘negative impact’ of monthly maintenance fees has been decreasing within the retail banking industry, indicating that customers are becoming slightly more ‘accepting’ of monthly fees.
  • Many customers pay a higher-than-average fee, yet remain highly satisfied. This is driven by the delivery of a clear ‘value proposition’ from their bank (the customer feels that the benefits they receive from the bank outweighs the cost).
  • When implemented, fee changes represent a significant risk for banking institutions. Problem incidence will increase, driving an increase in labor costs associated with problem resolution. Intended attrition also increases, especially within the first month after a change.

When considering whether or not to increase/decrease monthly fees associated with checking accounts, it is important for banks to fully weigh the pro’s and con’s of the change. On one hand, an increase in the percentage of customers charged a fee (or an increase in actual fee amounts) can positively impact revenue.

However, as displayed in the chart below, data finds that banks who position themselves as a ‘low cost’ institution enjoy bottom-line benefits such as lower ‘cost-to-serve’, greater loyalty and greater share-of-deposits. Additionally, customers of ‘low-cost’ banks are significantly less likely to open additional accounts/products outside of the bank.

low cost

The decision to implement/increase/decrease fees should be unique for each and every banking institution depending on their overall strategic plans. It is critical, however, that they fully understand all potential ‘tradeoffs’ for any decision that is implemented. Analysis of consumer behavior and customer satisfaction data can be an extremely valuable tool to use when determining the appropriate cause of action.

 

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Are Bankers Ready For The Bank 3.0 Reality?

A Guest Post By:   Jim Marous, SVP of Corporate Development at New Control
In an exclusive interview about his newest book, Bank 3.0, Brett King discusses how change occurring in the banking industry is inevitable, speeding up and disruptive. From the mobile wallet wars to the impact of social media, tablets and the ‘de-banked’ and digital consumer, Bank 3.0 shows why banking is no longer a place you go to, but something you do.

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A great deal has happened since Brett King wrote Bank 2.0 in 2010. Two years ago, banks were under siege as the foundation of the banking system was close to collapse and the image of the industry as a safe and secure environment was being challenged. The impact of social media was just beginning to be understood by the financial services industry and mobile technology as we know it today was in its infancy. Heck, King even referenced his (now long gone) Blackberry in the first chapter of Bank 2.0.

With Bank 3.0, King discusses how consumers are less likely to view their retail banking provider in terms of capital adequacy, branch network, products and rates. Instead, customers are more likely to determine their banking partners by how easily they can access their accounts when they need to, and how much they trust their provider to execute business on their behalf. For those who read Bank 2.0, King’s new book retains some of the foundation and case studies, but updates several areas based on what has occurred (and will be occurring) relative to digital delivery, payments, social media, and the power of ‘big data’.

On the eve of the introduction of Bank 3.0 in the U.K. (introduction in the U.S. is scheduled for early November), I interviewed Brett King about his new book and about how he views the banking industry today. 

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What has occurred in the marketplace that warranted the publishing of Bank 3.0 just 2 years after your successful book, Bank 2.0?

Brett King: The marketplace has changed significantly around how consumers are engaging with their financial institutions. Compared to two years ago, traditional banks are challenged more than ever from a distribution perspective because of the movement to mobile and digital channels, and because they are not well positioned with their current bricks and mortar networks for a positive customer experience. The philosophy of banks, with their secure firewalls, operational structure and compliance mindset, is counter to how any other industry engages with customers in the digital space. Since Bank 2.0, the competitive environment has also changed a great deal, with partnerships being developed, alternative players and new bank start-ups being introduced, underbanked segments emerging, and social media merging with bank service engagement. People are beginning to take a functional and utility view of banking, which is why I say in the subtitle of the new book, ‘banking is no longer a place you go to, but something you do’

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