The conventional tactics like using rate specials for certificates of deposits and high yield online savings accounts are more expensive and less effective than they once were. And in a world where every customer can instantly withdraw funds for a better offer via a phone app, it’s not enough to simply attract deposits. Financial institutions must be able to retain those deposits with something beyond the best rates. Here are three strategies for banks to attract and retain primary deposit accounts in this challenging operating environment.
1. Personalized Approach for Individual Customers
In the age of big data, a personalized approach is not just possible, it’s necessary. Financial institutions should utilize the wealth of information they have on their customers to tailor services and products to individual needs.
- Understand customers. While this strategy is obvious, its successful execution has been elusive. Too often, these data points are scattered between disparate systems; banks are challenged in reconciling them effectively and in a manner where they can be deployed where and when they’re needed. Financial institutions should be demanding this type of reconciliation from their digital banking vendors, which sit at the intersection of many internal systems, various fintech partners and the bank customer’s primary interaction point with their accounts.
- Offer tailored products. Use the insights gathered to offer personalized savings plans, customized investment advice or bespoke financial products that encourage customers to maintain and increase deposits. Again, the idea is not original, but the execution is tricky. Making tailored offers at scale should be considered table stakes in modern banking but requires investments in both technology and talent. Simply enabling account holders to view balances on their phone is not enough to build loyalty. Financial institutions should think about how they can replicate the old school relationship banking approach, where a customer feels understood and doesn’t have to navigate bureaucracy and poor technology to get to the products and services they need.
2. Sophisticated Treasury Tools for Businesses
Today’s businesses need more than a simple deposit account. They require comprehensive financial solutions that support their operations, manage risks and foster growth. A growing number of these businesses are using these sophisticated services — often from third parties. Integrating sophisticated treasury tools into business accounts can make these accounts stickier and more attractive for current and prospective customers.
- Cash management tools. Advanced cash management tools can provide businesses with real-time visibility into their cash flow, enabling them to optimize liquidity. This includes tools for automated receivables, payables and sweep accounts to manage balances across multiple accounts, along with optimizing interest rate options.
- Risk management tools. Effective risk management tools are essential in helping businesses navigate today’s myriad financial risks. This can include foreign exchange tools to manage currency exposure, interest rate derivatives to handle interest rate fluctuations and fraud detection tools to safeguard against malicious activities.
- Digital payment solutions. Digital payment solutions can streamline transactions, making daily operations smoother and more efficient. From Automated Clearing House payments to wire transfers, mobile payments and integrated payables, these tools provide flexibility, speed and convenience in handling transactions.
3. Investment in Technology and Innovation
Adopting the above strategies requires banks to make a significant investment in technology and innovation. However, this is a crucial step to stay competitive in the evolving financial landscape.
- Robust data infrastructure. Invest in a robust data infrastructure to support the implementation of a data-driven personalized approach. This includes advanced data analytics tools and machine learning algorithms that can extract valuable insights from customer data.
- Advanced treasury tools. Develop and integrate these sophisticated tools into business accounts. This may require investing in fintech partnerships or in-house innovation and offering value-added services beyond traditional banking.
- Digital platforms. Enhance the user experience, making it easy for individuals to manage their accounts and for businesses to use their treasury tools. This includes intuitive interfaces, real-time updates and seamless integration with other financial systems.
In this era of high interest rates and less sticky deposits, traditional strategies are losing their charm. In order to stay competitive, financial institutions must innovate and personalize their approach to gathering primary deposit accounts. Understanding and catering to the needs of individual customers and businesses will allow financial institutions to attract and retain more deposits and successfully navigate the challenges of this high-rate environment.