Something New

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For the next couple of blog entries, I have decided to switch things up a bit. I am going to be visiting banks around the Nashville area, and fill you in on my experiences, thoughts, and overall feelings I get from each branch. I will visit big banks (Wells Fargo, Bank of America, ECT.) and smaller community banks.

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  • Because I need to take on the daunting task of opening a credit card, my first few entries will consist of experiences from that adventure.

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  • Next, I will explore the social media practices, or lack thereof, from specific locations.

 

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  • Finally, I will fill you all in on the customer experience, location and environment of the small “farm town” banks, as well as the bigger market banks in downtown Nashville.

 

I am really looking forward to the next month or so. Because these entries are going to consist of customer related topics, I REALLY would appreciate any feedback, questions or topics that you would like to see blogged about.  

I hope you all enjoy the ride! 

 

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Local. Mobile. Social.

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One of the last sessions I had the chance to sit in on at AOBA13 was “Local. Mobile. Social. Profitable. Checking.” This particular session featured Mike Branton and Dave DeFazio from Strategy Corps. Strategy Corps provides consumer checking solutions that generate customer-friendly fee income by building better banking Imagerelationships with individual and local small business customers, and incorporates innovative mobile phone delivery of services and focused social media messaging that really connects with customers. I personally thought this session was great! They introduced their product BaZing, and talked about the three main areas they try to touch

Mobile:

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Through the use of mobile devices, the consumer is able to do many things that can help them out with purchase decisions. They can benefit from the use of coupons, compare shopping prices and find location based offers. Banks can really take advantage of the whole mobile phone trend, not only by providing a mobile banking app, but also by offering these services to their customers. 

Social:

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Through social media, you are able to reach out to an unlimited amount of people relatively easily. Unlike many other businesses, people don’t bank because they want to, they bank because they have too. To make the customer experience memorable it is important to generate unexpected and unselfish communication. 

During the session, it was revealed through a survey that 51% of bankers did not have a Facebook, while 49% did. Also, what I thought was surprising was that only 22% had an active email marketing plan, while 82% did not. 

Local:

ImageFor community banks, it is important to remember the word COMMUNITY. More often than not, these banks are the ones who support local businesses. Because of this, it is critical that they push their customers to support local retail businesses. This can be accomplished by rewarding people for buying locally. Mike Branton said, “It is important to be a community connector. Get local retail customers connected with local retail businesses.”

Through their innovative checking account, Strategy Corps offers benefits that people want to pay for. Not only is it an additional way to generate fee income, but it is a way to be better engaged with customers. It is safe to say that BaZing, and the entire concept behind it sure passes the test from this Generation-Y’er

 

Hit or Miss?

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For the past week I have been reading a lot of articles about Green Dot. For those of you who are not familiar with Green Dot, they are a leading provider of pre-paid debit cards. Just recently they announced their new mobile banking account GoBank. This product will focus on mobile wallet capabilities, payments and location based mobile marketing services. They offer custom visa debit cards, mobile deposits, a massive ATM network, online checkbook and person to person money transfers.

An article on Bankinnovation.net goes into more detail about the actual product, and what they expect from it. Here are of some of the innovative features that GoBank offers:

                                                  Fortune Teller (a PFM tool)

ImageP2P Social Payments from Facebook notifications, email or mobile number

ImageOnline Checkbook 

ImageCustom Debit Cards

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Mobile Deposit

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Two really neat features that they also offer are no overdraft fees, and they have a voluntary monthly fee that users can choose to reward or penalize Green Dot based on how they like the product. In the age of online and mobile banking, that is a way they chose to embrace customer relationships with the users.  Their main goal is to reach the “un-banked consumers”.  An article on Fox Business talks about how Green Dot Aims to Take On Banks With Its Mobile-Based Account.  In the article, it explains that “Green Dot is trying to cast a wider net by going after consumers who are dissatisfied with their traditional bank accounts as well as younger, tech-savvy consumers who constantly use mobile phones, thanks largely to social-networking apps.

This new and innovative banking approach seems to be spot on with Generation-Y customers. With social media being integrated into the platform, personal financial management tools, low fees for service and payment capabilities, we could possibly be looking into the future of banking.

I am very interested to see how GoBank is received, and if it is as successful as I believe it has the opportunity to be.  I am sure there will be a lot of mixed feelings about this innovative banking technique. What do you think about GoBank? Is this new way of banking a hit or miss? 

Goodbye 2012 …

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With 2012 now over, a New Year is upon us and it is time to finally welcome 2013! 2012 was a year that was filled with a bunch of different things. It started off by the New York Football Giants winning the Super Bowl (YES!), the Olympic Games, the Presidential Election, and many other notable events. Looking back on the past year, my life is completely different than it has ever been. I ended my collegiate soccer career, graduated from college, officially moved to Tennessee, entered into the real world, and finally realized why my dad always told me to not try and grow up too fast. It’s funny how that works.

It is interesting to me how when going through the year not much ever seems to change, but when you look back and reflect, so much is different.  With that being said, I am going to list a few trends that have transformed the banking world in 2012:

  • Mobile Banking – The Mobile Life 2012 study reveals that 50% of the world’s phone owners are either interested in mobile banking services or using them already, according to an article by The Media Online.
  • Online Banking – A study done by ABA found that 57 percent of banking customers 55 and older said they prefer to bank online versus at a bank branch or via an ATM.
  • Social Media – In an article on their website, DreamGrow, a social media and marketing resource firm, states that, “Banks are truly starting to use social media as platforms for one to one customer communication”.

Though these trends are likely to mature in the upcoming year, it will be very interesting to see what else 2013 has in store for the industry. Will it be Cloud Banking, branch atmosphere, or something completely different that will steal the show? I guess we will all just have to wait and see.

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Generation-Y NOT?

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When it comes to Generation-Y, or “millennial’s”, there seems to be a lot of confusion. No one really knows exactly when this generation started, so for the sake of my blog, I am going to say that Gen-Yer’s are individuals born between 1980 and the early 2000’s. With those parameters put in place, there are approximately 80 million people living in the United States today that make up Generation-Y. There are a lot of common perceptions about them as well. Generation-Y lacks knowledge and experience, has a poor work ethic, and lacks social skills, just to name a few.

I’m sure that many of you have heard those before, or have thought them. Don’t worry I won’t hold it against you, but I will try and prove you wrong. There has been a lot of research done to try and get a better understanding of Generation-Y, because whether you like it or not, WE are the future. After doing some of my own research, I was amazed by the generalizations that have been made about my age group.  

As a result, I decide to go find facts that would debunk each of the aforementioned misconceptions placed upon my generation.

Perception: It is believed that Generation-Y lacks knowledge and experience. 

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Maybe that is true from a corporate stand point, but where we lack corporate experience we make up for it in our mission to be successful.  My generation has been known to be very proactive, innovative, and entrepreneurial.

Perception: Generation-Y has a poor work ethic.

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Nearly 2/3 of all millennial’s have full or part time jobs, and 35% of us have started our own business on the side to supplement income.  This doesn’t seem like such a bad work ethic to me. 

Also, it is important to keep in mind that a majority of us have entered into the work force during a time of economic hardship. Since day one we have been working from the ground up to be successful.

Perception: Generation-Y lacks social skills. (This one blows my mind)Image

Nearly 75% of us have created a profile on a social networking site, and communicate daily with friends via text messaging. Just because this is different form social activity than in the past, doesn’t mean we are less social. 

Here are some addition facts that I found to be very interesting about Generation-Y:

  • More than 60 percent of them pay off their credit card balances in full. 
  • 2025, 75% of the world’s workforce will be from Generation-Y
  • Generation-Y will have more spending power than any other generation.

It is clear that this is the generation of the future, so my question is Y-NOT embrace Generation-Y and what we encompass? Even though it is different, times are changing, and this generation will be in control before you know it!