The Banking Public Wants To Talk To A Person

The Banking Public Wants To Talk To A Person

The 2006 Market Pulse Survey, released by IBT Enterprises and MCA Works, reveals that when it comes to financial services the "human touch" still matters to a great number of consumers. Despite decades of predictions that technology-driven channels like ATMs and online banking would replace traditional banks, 50 percent prefer to bank face-to-face in a branch or drive through. Thirty percent of those surveyed prefer to bank online, 18 percent opt for ATMs and 2 percent say mail or telephone.

76 percent of Americans "love" or "don't mind" going inside the branch to conduct business. Face-to-face interaction is preferred for more complex transactions:

  • 69 percent prefer face-to-face for making a deposit
  • 65 percent to apply for a loan
  • 64 percent for opening a new account

ATM, online and telephone banking was most popular for:

  • Paying bills (64 percent),
  • Cash withdrawal (56 percent)  
  • Transferring funds (54 percent)

Mylle Mangum, CEO of IBT, said "By offering a robust and integrated channel of banking methods, financial institutions are in a better position to solidify their relationships with consumers. Moreover, the delivery channels should match the consumer's life stage/life cycle needs. For instance, drive-through windows are extremely important to families with children."

When asked about promotions to switch to another financial institution:

41 percent of U.S. adults said that "no amount of money or promotion could ever get me to switch."

  • 33 percent said they would switch if offered a $250 gift card and
  • 20 percent said they would switch for 1 percent difference in their interest rate for deposits.
  • 5 percent said they would switch financial institutions for an iPod
  • one percent report they would switch to a new financial institution in order to receive a new toaster. 

Some other findings on the uses of financial institutions include:

  • 97 percent of respondents use a checking account. Seventy-eight percent use a savings account and nearly three-quarters of U.S. adults have a credit card issued to them from a financial institution
  • 47 percent have loan debt, either auto, home or school loan
  • 72 percent of U.S. adults would look to their primary financial institution if they needed a business loan, 69 percent for home loan, 69 percent for home refinancing, 49 percent for a car loan
  • Forty-seven percent of U.S. adults reported using investment products such as stocks, bonds, CDs, mutual funds and retirement accounts and 18 percent have a safety deposit box.

When asked about unexpectedly coming into a large sum of money ($250,000), 25 percent of U.S. adults said the first person they would call would be an accountant, 19 percent said a family member, 12 percent a banker, 10 percent stock broker, six percent friend and 1 percent a real estate broker. Interestingly, 27 percent of those surveyed said they would not call any of these individuals for financial advice.

The 2006 IBT/MCA Market Pulse Survey is based on an online survey among a nationwide sample of U.S. adults that have an account at a financial institution such as retail banks, credit unions, savings and loan and financial securities firms.

To download the survey, please use this link.

For the complete release, go here.

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