Women Switching Banks Need Branches More Than Men

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Across the board, more women than men say they need branches when switching banks. In fact, branches are the primary concern driving the switch decision for one in every four women over the age of 50. How should financial marketers respond?

By Rob Rubin, Managing Director, Novantas

In a recent survey on FindABetterBank, 51% of bank shoppers either agreed (either moderately or completely) with the statement “My primary concern when choosing a new bank is branch locations.” While shoppers over 50 years old are more likely to consider a bank or credit union based on branch locations compared to younger shoppers, older women are the ones driving this average up.

Across all age groups, female shoppers consider branches more important than their male counterparts. But women over 50 are particularly focused on branch locations when they evaluate new banks and credit unions — 24% of women over 50 indicated branch locations as their primary concern.

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To nurture these relationships, banks and credit unions should consider local market outreach campaigns aimed at drawing older women into the branch. For example, consider holding workshops that take place at a branch on topics that resonate with this demographic. Here’s three ideas:

1. Making ends meet. Even though many women handle their family’s routine money management duties, like paying bills and making purchasing decisions, research has shown that women — particularly older women – tend to be less financially literate than men. Topics to help them make ends meet — like debt reduction and investment strategies could draw a crowd.

2. Elder care. Right or wrong, daughters are more likely than sons to take care of parents as they get older. Making wise financial decisions for their parents’ care is critical, and many women do not know all the options available to them.

3. Financial planning when you’re single. Unfortunately, many women in their 50’s and 60’s find themselves to be single again and may need help. For example, recently single people might find that they need disability insurance, because they don’t have a spouse’s paycheck to fall back on.

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