Let Banking.com Help You Reach Your Customers and Members

Rightfully so, financial management and literacy is a topic on many financial services leaders’ minds today. It seems that there are many initiatives in the marketplace to help consumers and small businesses better understand financial matters — from printed brochures, to Websites, to large-scale events.

So, what are you doing to help educate consumers about their overall financial picture?

Banking.com is a resource to use to learn how to manage every facet of your customers’ and members’ financial lives. Educational tools provided on this site will help to improve your customers’ and members’ ability to manage their own finances while improving your operational efficiency at the same time.

It comes down to this: Customers and members of all ages are looking for better ways to manage their financial lives through a trusted partner – their financial institution. Financial institutions that help their customers and members see their entire financial picture will prosper in the future by creating a day-to-day online relationship and ultimately becoming their customers’ and members’ primary financial hub for all of their financial management needs.

And don’t forget about small businesses!

Small businesses generate $6 trillion in revenue each year. That’s equivalent to the second largest economy in the world. And since two-thirds of small business owners still use personal bank accounts for business, you won’t have to look far to find them. They’re already your customers and members. Don’t forget to think big about your small business strategy as well.

We’d appreciate your thoughts. Feel free to leave a comment and let us know how you are reaching and serving your customers and members.

Welcome to Banking.com

Hello! Thanks for visiting Banking.com. We are making our debut in October 2010 and we’re excited to bring you the latest and greatest information regarding online financial management for financial institutions.

This blog is run by Intuit Financial Services. Banking.com is designed to provide financial institutions access to insights from industry experts as well as resources for tapping into important customer segments. Content on this site comes from industry experts. Some, but not all, are our own experts at Intuit. Check out our post on “Three Customer Segments You’re (Probably) Not Paying Enough Attention To” in “Financial Management Insights” for starters.

We’ll also recognize how banks and credit unions are finding innovative ways to survive and thrive in the current economy, whether it’s goofy giveaways or financial planning classes for your community.

Our goal is to highlight data and trends that help financial institutions provide customers and members with the online financial management tools and tips they need to make smarter financial decisions.

We welcome your comments and insight on Banking.com. If you wish to submit content, please visit the “Contact Us” page to share your ideas.

Happy reading!

Intuit Financial Services’ Third Annual Online Financial Management Survey

In the age of laptops, cell phones and 24-7 connectivity, many consumers have begun using online tools to complete day-to-day tasks such as paying bills or grocery shopping. With such a vast array of online tools available, Intuit Financial Services wanted to gain insight into how consumers manage their finances via online and mobile banking.

The Third Annual Online Financial Management Survey found that more than one-third of consumers now use online banking tools provided by their financial institution to manage finances, a growing trend that stood at only 27 percent a year ago. The growth of online banking tools has given consumers a reason to evaluate their financial institutions offerings:

  • 52 percent of survey respondents said they would leave their current financial institution for one that offers better online financial management capabilities.
  • Nearly half of all respondents said they’d already switched banks or credit unions recently, and one-third of them switched because their financial institution did not provide satisfactory online solutions.
  • More than 25 percent have also cut back on visits to their local bank or credit union branch to just once a month, indicating that financial institutions are offering viable online solutions that are able to meet customer needs and deepen banking relationships.

However, despite the shift towards and expressed desire for more online solutions and services, 50 percent of Americans still use paper checkbook registers and spreadsheets to manage finances. This presents a great market opportunity for financial institutions to evaluate and implement new online tools and offerings to capture new market share and customers.

Among people using online solutions at their financial institutions, Intuit’s survey also found that:

  • 84 percent feel that most important feature is the ability to pay bills and manage all their finances in one place, regardless of where their account is held.
  • 60 percent pay bills and transfer funds.
  • Nearly half express interest in using tax preparation tools through their financial institution Website.
  • Approximately one in five banking customers currently use mobile banking solutions to manage their finances.

Which of these statistics do you find most relevant to your financial institution? Let us know in the comments section below. Over coming weeks, we’ll provide you with more in-depth analysis of the survey findings, including a deeper dive in mobile adoption and customer loyalty.

For more information on the survey, visit the Intuit Press Room.

The Imperatives of Social Media Engagement

Social media is a constantly evolving term that has become a part of daily life for businesses and individuals alike. Brian Solis, a thought leader in the social media realm, defines social media as: “The democratization of information, transforming people from content readers into publishers. It is the shift from a broadcast mechanism, one-to-many, to a many-to-many model, rooted in conversations between authors, people and peers.”

As social media has become a primary means of personal communication between individuals, sites such as sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn have proven to be a great way to bolster brands, generate new business and engage new and existing customers.

In the age of steady status updates, financial institutions cannot afford to stand by and watch as everyone around them engages in online communication. By using social media platforms such as Twitter, banks and credit unions can join in the online conversation and engage with the people they depend on for success.

Above all, social media is increasingly where the people are. And any marketer will tell you that’s exactly where you want to be. Here are a few tips if you’re still deciding whether or not social media is for you:

  • Use social media for good, not evil: Engaging with customers on Twitter should be a conversation, not another means for spamming.
  • Find what’s right for you: Just because the big guys have a bazillion fans on Facebook doesn’t mean that you have to. Think about what ratio of customers you have compared to them and set your goals accordingly.
  • Don’t wing it: You wouldn’t go to a meeting with your shareholders without a plan, right? The same rule applies to entering the Twittersphere or blogosphere or Facebooksphere. The days of poking around to see what will happen are coming to a rapid close as people become savvier about the time they spend online. If you give them something they could use, they’ll come back for more. If you don’t, they’ll ignore you.

The Social Media toolkit is a resource of tools and tips designed to provide value to credit unions and financial institutions with the best practices on engaging customers and members via social network platforms. We’ll be posting more insights about social media in our Social Media toolkit, so check back for additional info!

Charles Schwab 401(k) Survey

Charles Schwab recently released conducted a nationwide survey of more than 1,000 401(k) account holders, analyzing the behavior of 401(k) holders and how they manage their accounts. TheStreet.com reported the following findings:

  • 70% of respondents said their 401(k) is their only or primary source of retirement savings
  • 47% are “very confident” when it comes to making investment decisions
  • 53% said they find their retirement plans more confusion than health care benefits

Click here to read the full survey analysis from TheStreet.com.

Getting Started with Twitter

Social media is one of the fastest growing ways to connect with customers/members and businesses. Several online tools are available to help financial institutions learn more about their customers/members and disseminate information to the market, and most importantly, to existing and potential customers/members.

These days, social communities and information platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn are used by the masses. These sites help people stay in touch with friends and business colleagues, and they’re also important to brands. Facebook is seen as the best way for people to maintain personal connections, LinkedIn is built to foster business relationships, and Twitter is a hybrid of the two that also aids users in the process of content discovery. Twitter is a vibrant and interactive community, but it also has relevance to financial institutions.

What is Twitter?
Twitter is a free online service that allows you to stay connected with industry contacts, including media, influencers and customers/members, by the exchange of short text messages of 140 characters or less. It’s easy to join – simply visit twitter.com and click Sign Up.’

Once you join Twitter, you can elect to ‘follow’ customers/members and organizations that interest you. By ‘following,’ you will see any updates posted via Twitter.

Banking.com has a Twitter account named “Bankingdotcom.” We suggest you follow us to learn about new research, banking trends and online financial management for financial institutions. You can also follow Intuit Financial Services at “FinanceWorks” for information about what we are doing with FinanceWorks, Small Business FinanceWorks and TurboTax for Online Banking.”

Why is Twitter valuable?
Twitter is one of the fastest growing social networks on the Web. It allows for information sharing in a quick, conversational manner.

1. Twitter has social network features, so users can add or remove followers.

2. Users can send messages to their entire network, send private messages to one member or search for specific topics at Search.Twitter.com.

3. When users publish messages, they are called “tweets.” Users can also “retweet” (or repost) messages for their network to read and pass on.

4. If you want to use Twitter to meet new business colleagues, learn more about the person. Follow their links. Read their blogs. Get to know them. Don’t just pounce all over them. It’s easy to un-follow people in this space.

5. Using online tools takes time to master. There needs to be sense of importance and goal setting when using it for your financial institution. You need to be able to set aside time every day to check Twitter, respond to inquiries and update your status.

Financial Institutions Ranked By Web Traffic

Using Compete.com, Jim Bruene with NetBanker compiled a list of the 25 financial institutions with the most web traffic. For the full results charts and Bruene’s analysis, visit NetBanker.

Have you measured your online traffic recently? Compete.com offers free information about every website on the Internet, including history and analytics. Upgrade to Compete.com PRO for an in-depth look into your web analytics.

What Goes On Your Credit Score?

During a segment on Good Morning America, Mellody Hobson discusses what affects consumers’ credit card scores. While this is common knowledge for FI’s, are your customers informed about how their financial habits are affecting their credit scores? Providing brochures and online information about credit scores will help your customers and members become more educated about how their day-to-day actions can affect their credit score.

Below, Mellody offers tips to help consumer effectively manage their credit scores.

5 Mobile Banking Apps

Looking for a mobile banking app? Bank Technology News outlines 5 innovative apps that break traditional barriers by offering a wide variety of capabilities.

1. Citigroup’s “Tap & Go” Stickers

2. J.P. Morgan Chase’s “Quick Deposit” and “QuickPay”

3. State Farm Bank’s “Pocket Agent”

4. MasterCard’s “Priceless Picks” and “Overwhelming Offers”

5. Wells Fargo’s “CEO Mobile”

For the full story, visit Bank Technology News.