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Study: All-encompassing rewards highly prized by FI users
MONTREAL (8/14/14)--Consumers want financial institutions to reward them for their business, according to a survey conducted by CGI Group, an independent information technology and business process services firm.

The survey revealed that consumers expect financial institutions to be more than just a repository for their money. The most-expected "wants" included:
  • Reward me for my business (81%);
  • Give me "anytime, anyplace" access to my balance (61%);
  • See me as a person (58%);
  • Provide me with wealth-building advice (55%);
  • Tell me what I am spending money on and how I can save (52%);
  • Give me access to independent experts when I need them (50%);
  • Allow me to borrow up to an agreed limit at any time (49%); and
  • Allow me to pay for goods and services instantly using whatever device (49%).
"Being rewarded for their business is by far the top service demanded by consumers," CGI said in an analysis of the study. "They expect to be valued for their total spending and rewarded for their loyalty. Reward programs are fast becoming mainstream, with loyalty cards, cashback offers, loyalty discounts, upgrades and free nights and flights offered by retailers and credit card companies. Financial consumers are saying, 'You see all my spending, so why can't you reward me for all my spending?'"
Credit unions often have awards programs associated with their credit card programs, according to the Credit Union National Association's 2013-2014 Fees Report. About 55% of credit unions with platinum/titanium programs have rewards featured with the card, 40% of those with gold cards have a rewards feature and 25% of those with classic programs do.
Among credit unions that offer debit cards, about 5% to 15% of those with assets of $200 million or less have a rewards program associated with the card. Among those card-offering credit unions with assets of $200 million to $1 billion, roughly 25% offer rewards programs.  That percentage rises to 35% among those with assets of $1 billion or more.
The top two reasons why consumers switch banks were poor service (40%) and better rates elsewhere (39%). Those results would seem to bode well for credit unions, which place high priority on member service and operate through a cooperative structure that allows them to offer better rates on savings and loans than their for-profit competitors.


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