What We’re Reading: Debit Fees, Social Media and Tablets
Below are interesting stories the Banking.com staff has been reading over the past week. What have you been reading? Let us know in the comments section below or Tweet @bankingdotcom.
- Citigroup Revs Up Use of B2B Social Media
When it comes to using social media, the business-to-business world is playing catch up to the consumer-to-business sector. Among banks, Citigroup Inc. is taking a lead here. The bank discussed its business-to-business social media strategy during a talk hosted by IBM in New York on Wednesday. Starting in 2009, Citigroup began reengineering its client interface in its Global Transaction Services unit, which caters primarily to institutional investors. The changes it made included setting up an internal collaboration network for its employees, to cull from them the best ideas of how to interact with and market to clients. Using a platform from International Business Machines Corp. called Innovation Jam, it looped in 4,000 of the unit’s 20,000 employees who posted almost 7,000 ideas in late 2010.
- How Debit-Card Fees Ruin Banking Relationships
The younger generation doesn’t know a paper check from a floppy disk, and its members shy away from using cash. Between school ID cards and debit cards, they have swiped their way to adulthood. Now they are about to get swiped themselves. Bank of America, the nation’s largest by assets, recently announced it will charge most customers who use their debit cards for purchases a flat $5 monthly fee starting next year. It also is testing a new array of checking accounts with higher fees. SunTrust Banks has added a $5 monthly debit-card fee for purchases to some accounts and is raising some checking-account fees. Citigroup is raising fees and adding a $1,500 minimum balance on basic checking accounts, though there are ways around it. Wells Fargo will soon be testing debit-card fees. An August Bankrate.com survey of the largest banks and thrifts in 25 major markets found that just 45% still offered free noninterest-bearing checking accounts, down from 76% in 2009. It also found higher average monthly maintenance fees, automated-teller-machine surcharges, overdraft fees and minimum required balances across the board.
- Movenbank Alpha Site Went Live This Weekend
The public was able to get a glimpse of the next-generation bank that aims to change the retail banking landscape. Movenbank’s alpha site went live on Saturday, October 1, hitting the deadline set by the bank’s co-founder and chairman Brett King at the Sibos International banking conference in Toronto last week. Promising to be free of physical branches, paper, plastic, and hidden fees, Movenbank is built to revolve around mobile banking that incorporates gamification. The bank’s website has been under wraps since being founded in July 2010. Previously, the site shows a simple page that lets consumers enter their email addresses to keep updated on Movenbank’s progress. Now, it lets everyone sign up for an invite.
- The Tablet Will Act as a Catalyst to the Redesign of Online Banking
This week, Citi unveiled its new website, and it’s modeled after the mobile and tablet experience. To get a feel for the changes, have a look at the video Citi has on its preview site. Celent’s Jacob Jegher was out at the Bank Systems & Technology Executive Summit this week and had the opportunity to chat with a Citi executive about some of the changes. No doubt it’s a step in the right direction. Jacob’s curious to hear what consumers think about the changes and the redesign. He’s also very intrigued regarding how adoption of PFM will materialize. American Banker is reporting that Citi engaged Yodlee for the aggregation and PFM components of the site. Citi isn’t the only large bank up to major changes with their online banking solutions. Stay tuned for some upcoming changes at Bank of America. BofA is claiming that the outage they suffered this week was due to a “multi-year project to upgrade its online banking platform.”
- CX Moneyball, Game-Changing Analytics
Seeing the movie made Bruce Temkin think about how to apply Moneyball to customer experience. What data or analysis would Beane use if he were a customer experience leader? Here are some that Bruce came up with: Experience Elasticity. It would be very valuable to understand how much impact every interaction had on the long-term loyalty of each customer. With that data, we could identify the specific interactions that have the most impact on our business. This would allow us to invest in improvements to customer experience that have the highest business value for the company. Predictive Feedback. Customers are getting more and more surveys, because companies recognize the importance of this outside-in feedback. But it’s very hard to get this data on every interaction. It would be extremely valuable to predict the feedback that customers would give based on an analysis of their interactions. With this type of data, a company could evaluate every call center agent on every call and the experience for every online interaction — without any survey fatigue.
- Transparency on banking fees sought
As the backlash continues over Bank of America Corp.’s new debit card fee, the acting head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau called for more disclosure about what customers pay for checking accounts. Raj Date, the Obama administration adviser leading the agency until it gets a Senate-confirmed director, weighed in on the controversy last week without directly addressing Bank of America’s new $5 monthly debit card fee. Instead, Date said banks often are unclear about how much they charge customers for services, and he suggested the agency might move to simplify checking account disclosures. “This isn’t about any one fee from any one bank,” he said. “The problem is that checking accounts often come with a wide variety of unexpected costs that can quickly add up for consumers.”