Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Can your bank affect your Self Esteem??

How can Banks influence Self Esteem? Aren't they too far away from the consumer and passive to influence them?

Then I came across the work of Nathaniel Branden and my thinking became clearer. Our self-evaluation is the basic context in which we act and react, choose our values, set our goals, meet the challenges that confront us. Our responses to events are shaped in part by whom and what we think we are -- our self-esteem.

This is the fourth post in the series to discuss online banking transformation.

Banks can spur self esteem by offering customers innovation, self-management and personal responsibility.
  • Innovation: Innovation can either be on WHAT banks sell to the customers or HOW they sell it or WHERE they sell it. If banks truly understand the needs and timing of the customer, they can provide the customer a full range of service from savings to credit cards to financial planning to insurance (auto, home, personal) to investment and brokerage services. Banks need to view the customer from a "transaction" to a "series of interactions" to make this possible.

  • Self Management: Currently Bank of America offers me alerts post event or in a reactive manner. It tells me I have hit a low balance AFTER I hit a low balance or when I am going over-limit on my credit card. What if banks were to predict and prevent the event from happening. Say the bank looks at all my scheduled bills and realizes I am $1000 short for my upcoming mortgage payment, it sends me an alert asking me to transfer funds into the account.

    Or taking this even further, what if the bank (based on a set of rules and my pre-authorization) automatically withdraws money from my external ING savings account. The bank should at all times keep track of all bills I need to pay either through the online bill pay suite or by checks or by electronic debits or credit cards so I am never hit by overdraft charges.

    And why should the bank forego the precious fee earned from overdraft charges? Well, if I have taken the pain to link all my external accounts with BOA for automatic debits, they can be certain I will not be leaving them for any other bank.

  • Personal Responsibility: Through the use of online communities and offering financial planning advice, banks can educate their customers to become more financially responsible. Furthermore, through personalized products and services, banks can help their customers achieve their financial and personal goals.
    Paypal recently launched an initiative where you can track if your kids are being responsible with their spending habits.
I would be interested in hearing your comments

Previous Posts in this series
Part 1. Online Banking and Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs
Part 2. Online Banking: Communities Help Meet Psychological Needs
Part 3: Banking for the myPOD Generation

No comments:

Post a Comment