Baby Boomers turn 65: What’s Ahead?

On January 1, 2011, the first baby boomers will turn 65.  January 1, 1946 kicked off an unanticipated and unprecedented population explosion in the U.S., one that lasted for 19 years.  This date marked the beginning of the Baby Boom, a generation that is 77 million strong.  What’s ahead?  Expect more legible mobile phone displays, premium coffee in nursing homes, bigger and brighter road signs, hearing aids that look like Bluetooth ear pieces.  And a lot of denial.  Even terminology will change. The period from 65 to 85 will become known as “late adulthood”.  And the term “senior citizen” will likely become extinct.  The biggest question raised is how this shift will affect the politics of Social Security and Medicare, and the nature of retirement in general.

For more insights on the “Senior Boom,” visit USA Today.

How are you helping your Boomer customers better prepare for their future?  What offerings and services do you currently provide for this largest segment of the population?

Giving Thanks to Your Customers & Members

Thanksgiving, which was first celebrated in 1621 by colonists and Native Americans, has evolved into a National holiday that is now celebrated on the last Thursday of each November. A day of feasting, family and football, Thanksgiving is also a day to give thanks to those around us, including loyal customers and members.

Here are some fun Thanksgiving facts from History.com to share with your customers and members:

  • The first Thanksgiving meal did not feature cakes, pies or other desserts because the Pilgrims had no oven, and their sugar supply ran low during the Mayflower voyage.
  • In 1789, George Washington issued the first Thanksgiving proclamation.
  • New York was the first state to adopt an annual Thanksgiving holiday.
  • During the Great Depression, Franklin D. Roosevelt moved the holiday up a week to encourage retail sales.
  • The famous Macy’s day parade in New York City began in 1924.

For more fact or fiction tips, visit History.com’s Thanksgiving quiz.

And remember, Thanksgiving quickly transitions to Black Friday, the beginning of the holiday shopping season. It is the perfect time to encourage customers and members to start and stick to a budget in order to start the New Year off financially sound.

Happy Thanksgiving from the staff at Banking.com!

Getting Started with Facebook

Facebook has created a global network to keep friends, family and colleagues connected. With more than 500 million active users and 30 billion pieces of content shared each month, the website has become a platform to share both personal stories and newsworthy events.

As the social media platform expands, so does its users. It was originally built to keep college students connected, but has evoloved into a global network that includes much more. Major corporations, politicians, celebrities and brands now have the ability to create a Page for themselves on Facebook.

Facebook Pages provide a direct channel for businesses to reach their customers. New products, announcements, contests and updates can be shared directly on a Facebook page, giving consumers the ability to see real-time updates from their favorite entities.

For financial institutions, Facebook provides another potential channel to reach customers and members. Here are a few FI’s who have created Facebook pages:

Are you using Facebook to reach your customers and members? Let us know in the comments section below.

Focusing On Member Service

Between serving customers/members, managing employees and day-to-day operations, running a financial institution can be a daunting task. John Franklin, executive vice president and chief operating officer for the Credit Union National Association, offers advice about staying focused on member service:

“The challenge is to delegate responsibility for handling distractions while maintaining your focus on member service. Let your capable staff deal with the distractions. Clearly define your desired results and expected completion dates, and provide resources and training to enable success.

When it comes to training, don’t reinvent the wheel. There are many excellent training programs and tools to help you with regulatory compliance, human resource issues, and other facets of credit union management (visit training.cuna.org).”

For more insights on member service, visit Credit Union Magazine.

Financial Services Companies and iPad Adoption

ZDNet reported financial services companies are adopting Apple’s iPad at a faster rate than the technology and healthcare industries. Good Technology, which analyzed habits of 4,000 enterprise customers, found the following breakdown by sector:

For the full blog post, visit ZDNet’s Between the Lines.

Has your FI adopted iPad technologies? Let us know in the comments section below.

Social Media Statistics: By-the-Numbers, November 2010

Below are interesting statistics on social media usage. Feel free to share your favorite social media statistics in the comments section.

  • 1 billion people have subscribed to a YouTube channel since the video sharing service began offering the subscription option in 2006 (Source: YouTube)
  • 345,300 new fans for Einstein Bagels in three days after offering a free bagel as an incentive to “Like” the brand on Facebook (Source: Forrester)
  • 108.5% increase in visits for the year for Microsoft’s search engine Bing (Source: Compete)
  • 50% of adults say they tend to get all their news online (Source: Harris Interactive)
  • 33% of bloggers are based in the United States, with 15 percent of those located in California and 8 percent in New York (Source: Technorati)
  • 12 million members now use social discovery service StumbleUpon, with 500,000 new users joining each month (Source: StumbleUpon)
  • 4% of online adults use a service such as Foursquare or Gowalla to share their location with friends (Source: Pew Research)
  • 58% of adults online say they know what’s going on with their friends and acquaintances, but don’t interact with them personally or individually  (Source: Harris Interactive)
  • 53% of online shoppers posted a review of a product or service on the Web in the past month (Source: Immediate Future)
  • $250 million was set aside by the likes of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Facebook, Zynga and others to fund social media startups as part of the sFund (Source: AllThingsD)

Personal Finance Websites & Online Banking

In recent years, personal finance websites like Mint.com have become increasingly popular as consumers look for ways to integrate their personal finances into one location. One site, Rudder, closed this month.

For financial institutions, the loss of another personal finance website presents the opportunity to reach customers and members by offering personal finance management (PFM) tools through the institution’s online channel. Many banks and credit unions already offer such tools from companies such as Intuit Financial Services, Fiserv, FIS, Online Resources, and Yodlee. Mark Schwanhausser of Javelin Research puts Rudder’s demise and the opportunity for financial institutions in perspective:

“It is a mistake to interpret Rudder’s demise as evidence that consumers don’t want PFM capabilities. They do, as our upcoming PFM report drives home. They hunger for a better way to see all their accounts consolidated in one place, and banks and credit unions are the logical place to do so. Banks and credit unions that recognize that will win the real battle: to become a consumer’s primary FI.”

Schwanhausser’s full blog post can be found here. Is your FI offering PFM tools to users? Let us know in the comments section below.

IDC Poll: Financial Services Biggest Technology Breakthrough

IDC analyst Marc DeCastro recently asked readers, “Historically, what technological advancement in financial services do you feel is the industry’s biggest breakthrough?” The result: online banking and bill payment.
Here is the survey breakdown:
• 32 percent, Online Banking and Bill Payment
• 20 percent, ATM
• 20 percent, Debit Card
• 16 percent, Credit Card
• 10 percent, Mobile Banking

DeCastro’s poll also found that the older demographic was, the more they felt ATM’s were the biggest breakthrough, but the 25 – 34 age bracket chose mobile banking. This demographic breakdown demonstrates the ever-increasing challenge that financial institutions face to reach a broad range of customer preferences. Catering to customers’ needs is crucial during this era of rapidly-changing technology. To view the full survey results visit IDC.
What is your institution doing to reach different customer demographics? Leave us a comment below.

Getting Started with LinkedIn Groups

Social media platforms are designed to attract a wide variety of users; choosing which platform is right for you and your business is a learning process. Facebook is predominately used to connect with friends, family and old classmates — your personal connections. Twitter, which only allows users to post 140 character updates, is a broader network where users can share information with friends and colleagues. Many even follow their favorite celebrities and businesses. For people looking to connect on a professional level, LinkedIn provides an ideal platform.

A business-oriented social network, LinkedIn provides a space to connect with current and former colleagues. With the addition of LinkedIn Groups, users can join discussions with professionals in their networks. For example, the Bank Administration Institute (BAI) created a LinkedIn Group to connect professionals who attended their BAI Retail Delivery conference last month. Users who joined the group could get updates on events taking place at the conference.

For a visual explanation of LinkedIn, watch the tutorial below:

How is your financial institution utilizing LinkedIn? Let us know in the comments section.

Regional Spotlight: The Great Northwest

In addition to mountains, music, video games, coffee, skiing and technology, the Pacific Northwest is home to more than 12 million citizens. Intuit Financial Services third annual online financial management survey found that one-third of people from this tech-savvy region prefer to use online services provided by their bank or credit union to manage their personal finances. What are they doing?

Northwest residents like to track account balances, pay bills/transfer funds, and check the accuracy of banking transactions. They also use online tools to help them stay on budget – see where their money is going, understand how much they can spend and see all their finances and bills in one place.

In fact, more than half of respondents in the Northwest mentioned they would switch to a financial institution that offers online banking tools if their current institution does not currently offer them. Also, the ability to manage and pay all bills in one place reigns supreme for residents, as 89 percent consider taking care of paper checks, credit cards, online bill pay and auto-debits at one place most useful.

When it comes to banking on-the-go, nearly one-quarter either already use mobile banking now or plan to try it in the next year. Those currently utilizing mobile banking use it in parallel to how they use online banking – most view account balances, transfer funds and manage bills using their mobile device.

What tools do you offer your customers? Are you dialed-in to meet their specific needs? Let us know how you help by leaving a comment below.