Across the U.S., 95 percent of women are involved in a multitude of financial decisions in their households, from paying the bills and booking family vacations to filing taxes (according to a 2010 Prudential Financial study). Of these women, 25 percent act as the sole decision-makers when it comes to household finances, marking a growing opportunity for financial institutions to reach female customers.
These “Chief Household Officers” are tech-savvy and utilize the Internet for a wide range of activities, including using Facebook and Twitter to stay in touch with friends to managing the family finances online. In its third annual online management survey, Intuit Financial Services found that 61 percent of women use online banking to pay bills and transfer funds, and nearly one-third use it for budgeting purposes.
The survey underscores how women are at the forefront when adopting online solutions:
- They rely on online banking tools offered from their financial institutions – more than one-half would leave their current bank or credit union for one that offers these tools.
- They’re busy! More than one-quarter of women visit their bank or credit union branch only once a month and show a preference for managing accounts online.
- Seventy percent find the most useful feature is the ability to see their complete financial picture, including all accounts, bills, 401K, brokerage, and more – all in one place.
- Women want to track finances on-the-go. Nearly one-fourth of women already use or plan to use mobile banking in the next year.
Despite the adoption of online banking, Prudential’s Financial study found that 50 percent of women “need some help” making informed financial decisions. This leaves an opportunity for financial institutions to educate female customers and help them gain the knowledge they need to feel confident in making financial choices for their families.
Does your institution offer classes for women? Let us know how you’re reaching your female customers and members in the comments section below.