Rewards Checking — What Accountholders Really Want From Their Financial Institution

Posted on Thu, Aug 21, 2014

What do accountholders really want in terms of rewards programs? Two things: cash and customer service. According to the Q4 National Banking Opinion Poll, 61% of Americans stated they would switch to a new institution if it provided them with a cash back rewards program. But what good are those programs if an institution can’t back them up with the kind of customer service that gives accountholders peace of mind when opening a rewards checking account?

It’s well established that community banks and credit unions stand out due to great accountholder service, consumer-focused products, and lower and fewer fees. Yet another advantage is their ability to offer rewards checking programs that set them apart from those larger, national institutions that tend to offer the same industry-standard amenities.

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A key component of any successful rewards checking program is its ability to differentiate a financial institution from its competition. Generally speaking, these programs offer some standard features — higher interest rates, no or low monthly fees, and free ATM refunds. But offering a rewards checking program with desirable, creative incentives gives you a shiny new vehicle for attracting new accountholders and expanding existing accountholders’ services.

Accountholders are only going to be as knowledgeable about your financial institution’s offerings as you enable them to be. That’s why effective communication with your employees and your accountholders is crucial to the success of any rewards checking program.

Communicating effectively with your employees, especially your frontline staff, enables them to promote your rewards checking accounts effectively and ensure accountholders have the products that fit their needs. Communicating with current and prospective accountholders allows your institution to publicize your rewards checking program, its features and benefits, and the value each account type offers accountholders.

Offering rewards checking programs gives your financial institution a way to set itself apart in America’s overcrowded financial marketplace, and more importantly, allows you to attract and retain accountholders. Cash back rewards programs will draw consumers to your financial institution... and exceptional customer service will retain them...

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