After witnessing the number of customers closing their accounts, banks need to find ways to form deeper relationships with current and new customers to boost loyalty and reduce the chance of transferral.
And, don’t forget the increased opportunity to make more profits.
Dumping your bank is not a tedious chore when you only have a savings account. It’s a different story when your finances are immersed in multiple accounts and services provided by a single institution.
In fear of disturbing their finances, customers may choose to stay with a bank.
Therein lies one of the reasons that banks will focus on getting customers to open more accounts after a failed attempt to impose debit card fees.
Wells Fargo Plans
Last week, Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf revealed the bank’s upcoming strategy to get more business out of customers through cross-selling of packaged products and services that carry a single fee.
Proof is already evident in one account package offered by Wells Fargo: the Custom Management Package. The package includes a checking account ($10 monthly fee) and savings account ($5 monthly fee).
The checking account fee can be waived with a $1,000 minimum balance or monthly direct deposit of at least $100. The savings account fee can be waived with a $300 minimum balance.
Or, both fees can be waived with a $25 monthly automatic transfer, a $1 daily automatic transfer, or $1 automatic transfer per debit transaction (the Save As You Go program) from the checking account to the savings account.
Also, the Custom Management Package offers free online bill pay. Wells Fargo’s basic checking account ($5 monthly fee, can be waived) does not come with free online bill pay. Instead, the service is offered free for two months, and $6.95 per month thereafter.
So, if customers need online bill pay service, they have to choose between a $15 monthly fee that can be waived or a definite $6.95 monthly fee plus a $5 monthly that can be waived.
The Custom Management Package appears more attractive than a basic checking account. It offers an essential service with fees that can be waived simply by signing up for a program that will send $1 to savings when for each debit card purchase, recurring debit transaction, or online bill payment.
BofA’s New Lineup
Bank of America has been testing new checking accounts in several states that are slated to replace existing accounts across the nation in early 2012. The Enhanced checking account is one mid-tier account which has a $15 monthly fee that can be waived with a monthly $2,000 deposit, a $5,000 minimum daily combined balance in BofA accounts, or usage of a linked BofA credit card.
Which of those options seem more achievable to you?
If you chose “use a credit card”, then you are falling into the plans of the bank.
Imagine if Bank of America followed in Wells Fargo’s footsteps and charged for online bill pay on low-tier/basic checking accounts – driving customers to relationship checking packages.
Banks Benefit From Deeper Relationships
With a finely-tuned bank accounts setup in which payroll direct deposit, savings transfers, and online bill payments are automated, while also meeting all the requirements to waive monthly fees, it’s less likely that you’ll jump ship.
This mindset has certainly been the case for many Americans who opted not to participate in the massive customer exodus from megabanks during the commotion of Bank Transfer Day – creating a wiser banking industry.
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