Only 27% of US Consumers View Their FI as a Trusted Partner

Five Tips to Increase Meaningful Interactions, Engagement, and Trust

 It’s no secret that engagement and loyalty increase with trust, but how can community banks and credit unions win that trust in today’s marketplace?

 In a recent study of one thousand US consumers by GfK and Personetics , only 27% of respondents said that they view their bank as a “Trusted Partner.” Most felt their bank was either simply a “Necessary Utility” (40%) or a “Useful Service” (33%). Only about one quarter of survey participants felt that their bank served as a “Trusted Partner” by offering personalized guidance and support with day-to-day finances.

The study found that people who view their financial institution as a Trusted Partner are twice as likely to be promoters of the FI’s brand, and they are four times less likely to defect to another financial institution. Over 60% of them also say they feel gratitude and happiness about their bank or credit union.

How can community banks and credit unions build trust with clients, especially when they rarely visit a branch?

Innovative financial institutions are using digital channels to deliver meaningful value to their clients. Here are five ways to increase trust with your clients, and indeed, the survey found that your clients appreciate and ask for these types of interactions:

  1. Provide ways to avoid fees and penalties. Use text alerts and email messaging to automatically alert clients when they are close to minimum balances or have payments due. Clients also appreciate a grace period to respond to alerts of non-sufficient funds, and they want to be able to easily remedy the problem using your mobile banking app.
  2. Suggest services or savings at a specific time and place that could benefit each client. This is where mobile excels. As clients go about their daily routines, your financial institution can provide alerts to discounts, perks, and banking services appropriate for their situation. With a mobile messaging platform like Larky, your financial institution can send FI-branded smartphone alerts directly to clients to inform them of specials at local restaurants or your great rates on auto loans.
  3. Give tips to improve finances. Push out spending or saving tips through the day and month, timed to coincide with typical spending patterns. For example, around lunchtime, send a mobile alert reminding clients how much they can save during a year if pack a lunch rather than eating out. Offer 1:1 phone chats with your banking team or webinars for Q&A sessions on money issues.
  4. Identify and highlight changes in clients’ spending patterns automatically. Harness the power of the data and your core system to benefit clients when spending habits change. Send mobile and/or email alerts of large deposits and withdrawals, or multiple small withdrawals to the same place. Personal financial management systems like Geezeo integrate with mobile banking to let clients monitor their account activity on the go.
  5. Notify clients of automatic subscription renewals. Often automatic charges get overlooked on financial statements. Help your clients stay on top of recurring charges by allowing them to set text alerts or emails that tell them when a recurring charge hits their account.

The GfK-Personetics survey found that while most respondents want the communications listed above, 73% are not getting this level of interaction or guidance from their financial institutions. When your bank or credit union offers clients meaningful information at the times throughout their days when they need it most, you’ll change the way your clients think of you. Over time, you’ll move from a “Necessary Utility” to a “Trusted Partner” and an important guide, advocate, confidant, and ally over the course of your clients’ lives.

To learn how Larky can help you become a Trusted Partner to your clients, contact us at


Posted on November 10, 2015 by Gregg - No Comments

Topics: Financial Institutions, Mobile