It’s getting harder to ignore the call for financial wellness. A growing number of businesses are eager for employees to improve their finances and consumers are hungry for education and advice to improve their financial health. A key finding of a 2015 Gallup survey of 11,809 adults clearly demonstrated that, “consumers want banks to improve their financial well-being, not just sell them products.” Some other findings include (all equally applicable to credit unions):
- When customers strongly agreed their banks looked out for their financial well-being, about 84% were fully engaged and none were actively disengaged.
- Unfortunately, only one in four respondents strongly agreed their banking institution looks out for their financial well-being.
In addition, the Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group conducted a survey of 1,055 U.S. consumers to explore their evolving financial priorities and expectations for services. The survey clearly shows the need for banks and credit unions to focus on financial wellness. Here are two main findings of interest:
- As a whole, younger consumers (Generation Y and Generation X) are under financial pressure. Both groups need and want advice about how to manage their day-to-day finances such as getting out of debt and saving for the future. A focus on personal financial management (PFM) is central to emerging revenue growth opportunities for banks and credit unions. (A company we have partnered with in the past and who we feel provides an excellent PFM product is Geezeo.)
- Younger consumers trust banks (and credit unions) to help them. Despite challenges caused by the economic crisis, Gen Y and Gen X consumers still trust their banks (and credit unions) and want them to be their primary providers of advice.
Any organization that can help consumers better manage their finances and achieve financial well-being can expect increased member or customer loyalty and its corresponding revenue growth. Financial wellness is the new marketing!
But here’s what typically happens.
How Banks and Credit Unions Tend to Respond
Instead of providing advice and reducing anxiety, we see a tremendous amount of product pitching and marketing offers. Many bankers claim to improve financial security but fail to deliver on that promise. Your website likely provides financial calculators and PFM tools, yet your staff is ill-prepared to discuss or demonstrate the value. People often wind up with a product instead of a plan to restore their financial health and achieve their financial goals and dreams. Member or customer loyalty wanes and your bank or credit union becomes a commodity and “just another errand”™.
“Too often, what banks try to pass off as advice is nothing more than marketing offers. In other words, the ‘advice’ is what’s good for the bank, and not necessarily the customer. Even when advice is what’s best for the customer, it’s hard to prove it.” (Applicable to many credit unions as well.)
~ Ron Shevlin, Cornerstone Advisors
So here is the real question: Are you missing out on the growth opportunities that improving financial health offers your bank or credit union? If you think so, here’s our solution.
The High Definition Banking® Solution
We believe to be relevant in the lives of your customers or members you must become a trusted financial partner genuinely committed to improving their financial health. That means you must do three things regarding their financial goals and dreams:
- Take time to learn and understand what they are
- Help consumers to gain clarity and make them more concrete where possible
- Demonstrate how your bank or credit union can empower people to achieve their financial goals and dreams and thus experience financial peace of mind.
At High Definition Banking® we provide a structured and proven process to help you help your customers or members accomplish the three points above and improve their financial well-being in the process. Our financial coaching program, Creating High Definition Customer/Member Experiences™, gives your staff the confidence, skills and interactive tools to educate customers or members, encourage them to succeed and demonstrate how your bank or credit union can help tackle important and sometimes challenging life events.
Your staff will acquire the confidence needed to transition from functioning solely as a salesperson, to becoming a relationship manager, financial coach, trusted advisor and valued financial partner. As a financial coach, they will proactively integrate basic financial planning principles into the customer or member interview and relationship-building process to increase their financial literacy and improve their financial well-being. A natural byproduct of this approach is also increased collaboration and referrals between retail and the investment area generating additional revenue. By deepening the relationship, your staff will naturally make sales now and for years to come.
Seeing the difference they are making in peoples’ lives, staff feels empowered to provide a transformative experience motivating customers or members to better manage their finances and improve their financial well-being. The needs outlined here cross all generations but the written Cisco report based on their survey mentioned above found the rise of younger generations will have a profound impact on retail banking, providing the next opportunity for revenue growth.
Are you missing out on the growth opportunities that improving financial health offers your bank or credit union? If you need help, we have the prescription for financial wellness. For more information, call us at (858) 674-5500, ext 101 or click the button below and select “Financial Wellness.”
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