Bancography | Branch Planning, Marketing Research, Brand Strategy, Products & Profitabilty

Bank and Credit Union Websites Fall Short, Study Finds

404_not_found

Financial institutions are either overlooking or underutilizing their websites, according to a unique blanket survey encompassing 1,676 banks and credit unions.

Think about it. How did feel the last time you hopped online and couldn’t find information you were looking for? Especially when you thought it was something obvious a company should have been able to anticipate — something consumers might commonly need? It’s pretty frustrating, isn’t it?

Apparently that’s the experience many consumers are having when they go looking for information on bank and credit union websites. Either they can’t find the answers they’re looking for, or the answers they find don’t jibe with answers they get in other channels.

According to Moebs Services, few financial institutions are consistently maximizing the most basic, utilitarian role of websites — as an encyclopedic reference tool. Banks and credit unions still have significant room for improvement before their websites realize the full potential as a resource to develop new business.

Moebs, a research firm specializing in the financial industry, evaluated website information for every financial institution in the U.S. with assets of $500 million or more — that’s 1,676 banks and credit union total. The results of this unique, comprehensive study found that only a third of institutions offered the information being sought on their websites, and only 83.7% of the answers were consistent with answers given via their call centers.

Between mid May and early June this year, Moebs visited websites from banks, thrifts and credit unions with assets of $500 million or more, then answered 15 questions. Moebs also contacted each institution’s main call center in early June to evaluate the same 15 questions. This allowed for an interesting comparison between two channels: Were the answers consistent?

Kiosk & Display | Digital Merchandising for Financial Institutions

Bigger Institutions Had More Answers and Info More Consistently

Asset Size # of Answers Found
(Out of 15 Total Qs)
Consistency of Answers
With Call Center
>$50 billion 7 89.7%
$25 to $50 billion 6 89.2%
$5 to $25 billion 6 85.6%
$1 to $5 billion 5 82.3%
$500 millioin to $1 billion 4 84.9%

bank_credit_union_website_information

Credit Unions Outshine Banks in Availability and Consistency of Website Information

% of Websites
Providing Data Sought
Consistency of Answers
With Call Center
Banks 28% 84.3%
Thrifts 33% 83.5%
Credit Unions 40% 83.9%
Average 32% 83.7%
Getty Images | Content Marketing

Banks and Credit Unions Need to Self-Assess, and Be Honest

Moebs says there were two major findings:

1. Financial institutions don’t adequately utilize their websites as a source of information for consumers.

2. Banks and credit unions need to put in place procedures that will ensure consistent information, regardless of channel.

According to Moebs, addressing these issues can reduce pressure put on call center and branch personnel to provide information consumers’ seek — often quite common requests.

Larger institutions, Moebs notes, provide more info more consistently.

“The results of this study indicate opportunities for financial institutions,” said Michael Moebs, Founder/Chairman and CEO at Moebs Services. “Websites can be enhanced to provide more data and more consistent information for consumers, which can: reduce compliance risk, promote greater efficiency of call center and branch personnel, and foster more sales.”


EditorJoin hundreds of the brightest minds in banking at The Financial Brand Forum in Las Vegas on April 30 and May 1, 2015. The Forum 2015 is specifically engineered to help financial institutions tackle their biggest branding, marketing and retail challenges — two full days jam-packed with the latest ideas, insights and innovations. Highlights include keynote speaker Josh Reich from Simple, three makeovers live on stage, and the ‘Branch Experience Lab’ in the heart of the exhibit hall. Early Bird registration closes Nov. 21, so lock in your $200 savings now! www.Forum2015.com

Search For More: Websites,

All content © 2014 by The Financial Brand and may not be reproduced by any means without permission.

CUNA | Youth Week 2014

Comments

  1. I could not agree more. I work for Andera and we think a lot about this topic. I’ve never understood why bank and credit unions aren’t designed to truly help consumers choose the right products and to motivate them to open new accounts (as is done so commonly in the branch setting).

    Most sites are structured in the same way and force consumers to wade through product pages cluttered with bulleted feature lists and lacking the most important information (fees and rates, nearby locations, and a prominent link to an application).

    I think this is why online account opening isn’t yet the norm and it’s why consumers research online but have to stop and visit a branch to get the help they need.

    One of the primary reasons that institutions believe that it’s more effective to sell in branches instead of online is that branch representatives are expert at recommending and cross selling the right products. However, it seems like the biggest opportunity exists in crafting the perfect sales process once – online – and letting all consumers benefit from it.

  2. Great article! Moebs did an excellent job of bringing to light a major issue facing financial lenders. It is imperative that these organizations are making use of the additional channels available to their consumers and not relying solely on the traditional branches.

    Interestingly, consistency between branches is another critical issue facing these lending institution and would make for a great follow up piece!

    I work for SilverCloud, Inc. a web-based SaaS company which specializes in profitable self-service solutions for the financial industry. We deliver easy-to-launch customer service knowledge solutions that unify all of your channels (social media, website, call center, mobile, etc.) with consistent and accurate information. Our over 300 bank and credit union clients are more competitive, with greater operational efficiency – all through a simple monthly subscription. Send me an email if you’d like to learn more.

Speak Your Mind

*

Next article recommended for you
4x_web_review