What Drives Online Consumers to Pick a Checking Account?

Convenience, price, functionality and reputation are the top reasons why consumers pick a specific checking account when shopping online.

Consumers using the online shopping tool FindABetterBank to research for a new checking account go through a five-step process to identify their preferences and banking behavior. After they select their top choice, they’re asked why they chose the account they did, and how likely they are to open the account. By isolating shoppers who said they were “very likely” to open the account they ultimately selected, we can better understand the decision-making process behind their top choice.

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Location convenience still drives choice for many shoppers. 28% of shoppers said one reason they made their top choice was because of convenient branch locations. That figure jumps to 35% when shoppers selecting direct banks are removed. Over time, the importance of branch locations should continue to diminish however.

Online shoppers can compare price and functionality more easily. FindABetterBank enables shoppers to compare how much each product will cost based on how they bank. 27% of shoppers who say they are very likely to open their top choice checking account said the product’s low price played a big part in their decision.

Reputation matters. 25% of shoppers said they selected their top choice because of the institution’s reputation. Institutions that index high for this top choice attribute are more likely to be favorably considered — overall — than other institutions. And certain activities, like closing/consolidating branches, can negatively impact the rate that shoppers will cite reputation as a top rationale for their selection. Increased advertising lifts the rate at which shoppers cite reputation as part of their rationale.

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