This Week in Engagement Banking we’ve got the inside scoop on what US customers are saying about their banks in online conversations. You’ll be surprised. There’s also news about how to reach the under banked, that 35 million of the US population, with no checking account or primary banking relationship and, finally, a look at how Russian banks are faring with social media.
What Real Customers Are Saying About Banks
If you asked the average American if they felt positively or negatively about their bank, how do you think they would answer? Now consider the same question while keeping in mind the country is currently clawing its way out of a recession, the mortgage crisis is still affecting millions of Americans and their bottom lines and the Occupy Wall Street movement hasn’t exactly disappeared? Would it shock you to know that most Americans would answer that they feel positively about their bank? That’s what my company’s recent research into online conversations about banks revealed. In fact, looking at conversations that feature the top 25 banks according to assets as ranked by the FDIC, only two have less than 60% positive marks. Even major banks, like Citi and PNC, were above 70% positive in online conversations. Granted, Bank of America, which in many ways instigated the Occupy Wall Street movement with its September 2011 rate hike (quickly rescinded but not before the public conversation could go awry) dominated online conversations in 2011 among the banks and it was one of the two under that 60% positive threshold. But even with BOA’s miserable year in the public eye, its positive to negative ratio was 1:1. Half of the people talking about Bank of America last year were speaking of the company in positive light. More. . .
Finding More Roses in RDC
Ron Shevlin, whom I admire for his thinking on banking innovation (and for calling his blog Snarketing — love that) has some valuable opinions on remote deposit capture, which he published today. I agree with some, but not all of them. The essence of what Ron wrote was that RDC is not the mobile banking panacea some claim. RDC may be a very important feature when it comes to attracting customers to mobile banking. But it’s not why people “understand the value” of mobile banking, and is unlikely to be a significant revenue generator. I agree that RDC will not be a significant revenue generator, in the classic sense. Ron makes four points related to RDC revenue: 1) that consumers invariably say they’ll pay for something, but then balk when the invoice arrives; 2) RDC tends to be used by Gen Y-ers, who don’t have as much disposable income; 3) charging for RDC will open banks to political/public opinion backlash; and 4) that despite the cost savings inherent in RDC, consumers are not necessarily willing to pay for such savings. These are all strong points, and I don’t have a dispute with any of them. There is “revenue” in RDC, however, but I’ll get to that in a moment. More . . .
Who Are the Underbanked?
Don’t overlook the underbanked: there are some 35 million of them. That’s the central message of a Javelin Strategy and Research report released Thursday that describes the market for underbanked consumers — 15% of the adult population — and offers strategies for turning them into fully banked customers. By underbanked, Javelin is referring to those who don’t have a checking account or a primary banking relationship. They may have a prepaid card. (The unbanked have no bank relationship at all.) They tend to be young — 36% are 18 to 24 years old. Their youth means “a big portion of this group will change; they’re not going to be underbanked in the future,” says Mary Monahan, executive vice president and research director for mobile at Javelin, who spoke Wednesday with Bank Technology News. “What’s interesting about this population is their income is not as low as you’d expect,” Monahan says. The average income of the underbanked among the 3,001 consumers with mobile phones surveyed in June 2011 was $52,000; the average among all those surveyed was $73,000. More . . .
Social media cases for Russian banks: hits and misses
Social media for banks is the latest darling – interviewers question and try to crunch down the number of banks’ social media teams and comments going their way, to inquest on banks latest “social initiatives” – and banks all are trying to invite as many “likes” on their Facebook and other social networks pages – some even creating and paying for bot-net “deluge of sympathy”. Apart from casting positive notions on banks pages, banks are also moving forward and post on peoples pages as well, and – as the latest case this blog has come up to learn – sometimes the talk with customers on social networks is not pretty. Tinkoff Credit Systems, Russian credit card specialist bank has tried a spam-like campaign [  sources in Russian] to trace down an alleged delinquent customer – where collection specialists of the bank has contacted all customer’s connections with a note that casts him in a bad light. Soft / hard collection tactics for banks and collection agencies has not been codified and are only governed by consumer rights watch agency on a case-by-case-basis – so bank has not probably crossed a legal line – but it most certainly did in terms of privacy invasion – as any allegation should be substantiated under court procedures. More . . .
Business Insider SAI
It’s Impossible To Tear People Away From Their Phones
During the Superbowl, everyone put their phones down to watch Madonna perform on stage. Then, they all picked them right back up again once the half time presentation was over, said Peter Farago, VP of marketing at Flurry, an app analytics company.That’s because it’s becoming more and more difficult to tear people away from their smartphones and tablets unless they find something that is really interesting. Speaking at Business Insider’s Mobile Advertising conference, Farago broke down a bunch of the biggest trends in mobile. Here they are: Mobile isn’t an experiment. It’s critical now. If you need an example, Facebook which bought Instagram for $1 billion in a weekend. It’s not a bloodbath — yet. The growth in the industry is huge. Apps won’t be fighting over limited food supply yet. It’s not an “indie playground” any more. Mobile is still largely dominated by companies that start on mobile. But now there are “hoppers and consolidators”. Hoppers jump platforms, consolidators buy up a bunch of companies. More. . .
[Image top of page courtesy: ocw.mit.edu]
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