Top 10 Checking Account Shopping Trends in 2013

1. “Convenience” is the primary decision criteria for most shoppers. Shoppers on FindABetterBank select a checking account from a national bank over 40% of the time. Convenience of branch and ATM locations are the most cited reasons.

2. Young consumers tend to select national banks. While many consumers indicate say bank fees weigh prominently in their decision, over half of shoppers under 30 select a national bank, primarily because of branch and ATM locations.

3. Demand for mobile banking continues to grow. Nearly one in four shoppers now indicates mobile banking is a “must have” feature – a 28% growth rate compared to 2012. Mobile check deposit in now a must have feature for over 11% of shoppers – a 120% growth rate over 2012.

4. Consumers are less sensitive to fees. With the financial crisis in the rear-view mirror and the media focused on other topics, shoppers this year appear less sensitive to fees compared to last year – only 24% indicated that fees have motivated them to shop around compared to 42% last year.

5. Price-sensitive shoppers are more likely to select smaller institutions. Community banks and credit unions are most likely to win when price is the most important criteria.

6. Older consumers want online billpay. Shoppers over 50 were 18% more likely to say online billpay was a must have feature compared to all shoppers. But they were 66% less likely than all shoppers to say they must have mobile banking.

7. Young consumers prefer to open accounts in branches. Only 30% of shoppers under 30 said they prefer to open the account online compared to 41% of shoppers aged between 30 and 39. Product experience plays an important role here – many of the shoppers who are under 30 are shopping for their first checking account and don’t understand the products enough to complete the purchase online.

8. High income consumers are most likely to switch because of a bad customer service experience. Shoppers with incomes of $175,000 or more were 35% more likely to say they’re switching banks because of a bad customer service experience.

9. Students want features to help them avoid fees. Shoppers requesting “student” accounts be included in their search results were most interested in features that will help them avoid fees – overdraft protection, surcharge-free ATM access, ATM fee rebates, email alerts and mobile banking.

10. Price-sensitive older consumers are most likely to select a small institution. Community banks and credit unions were only selected 8% of the time in 2013. They’re most likely to win with shoppers 50 or older whose primary criteria are price.

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