March 6 – If all things were equal, 2 out of 3 U.S. adults (66 percent) would rather bank at a community bank or credit union than one of the big national banks—yet only 23 percent of consumers* who are not currently banking at a community bank or credit union say they are at least somewhat likely to switch in 2015, according to a new study.
The 2015 Consumer Banking Insights Study—commissioned by BancVue on behalf of nearly 300 community financial institutions (CFIs) offering its Kasasa® brand of checking accounts and conducted online by Harris Poll in January 2015 among more than 1,000 U.S. adults (ages 18 and up)—found that a lack of products (11 percent) and awareness (11 percent) are two reasons consumers cite for not using a CFI as their primary institution.
According to the study, for 71 percent of U.S. adults, features like free checking, ATM fee refunds and access to the latest banking products are more important when it comes to choosing a bank than the banking institution that provides them. Fully 31 percent of megabank customers* said they want to use a local community bank or credit union but feel that those institutions lack the products they need.
Lack of awareness is also a hurdle. For example, 34 percent of consumers who don’t have an account with a CFI said they don’t use a local community bank or credit union because they haven’t thought about it (30 percent) or are unaware of their options (11 percent), suggesting a major need for stronger outreach and marketing efforts on the part of CFIs.
“The study’s results make it clear that, for community financial institutions, stronger marketing efforts and better products are the key to growth,” said Gabe Krajicek, BancVue’s CEO. “If community banks and credit unions offer consumers the innovative services they want, they’ll switch. It’s as simple as that.”
Lack of awareness is an even bigger factor when it comes to Millennials (18 to 34 year olds).
Millennials who don’t have an account with a CFI are more than twice as likely to say they don’t use a local CFI because they are unaware of their options (18 percent), than 35-54 year olds (8 percent) and adults 55 and up (7 percent).
When it comes to products, 38 percent of Millennials say they want to use a local community bank or credit union but are worried those institutions don’t offer the products they need, such as free checking, rewards checking, loan products or financial management tools.
About the 2015 Consumer Banking Insights Study
Nearly 300 community financial institutions offering BancVue’s Kasasa brand of checking accounts teamed up to conduct the 2015 Consumer Banking Insights Study. The study was conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of Kasasa, from January 5-9, 2015. The study polled 1,002 U.S. adults ages 18 and up to gauge their banking and checking preferences, feelings and behaviors.
Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them in line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online.
*Throughout this report “megabank customers” are checking account holders who consider one of the big national banks to be their primary banking institution, and “CFI customers” are those who consider a local community bank or a credit union to be their primary banking institution. “Consumers” are defined as U.S. adults ages 18 and up who have a checking account at a financial institution.
BancVue is the innovative leader in branded, community-powered banking products proven to drive profit and growth for community financial institutions. Their flagship Kasasa® suite provides a comprehensive strategy that integrates breakthrough products with world-class marketing and unprecedented access to training, compliance, research, support resources, and customized consulting. This full-circle approach gives local institutions the power and resources of a national product brand that enhances their unique, existing brand and service advantage. With nearly 700 clients, BancVue is helping community financial institutions thrive even as the industry landscape presents new challenges and competitors. Learn more at BancVue.com.