Banking Trends: DIY, Better Communication, and Customers in Charge

by Miranda Marquit · 0 comments

While attending the Financial Blogger Conference last weekend, I heard Tom O’Donnell from Chase talk about trends in the banking industry. The information he shared has some interesting implications for the banking industry, and offers some insight into how we, as customers, are changing.

Changing Spending Habits

One of the first things that O’Donnell mentioned was that confidence in the US economy is on the rise. He also said that:

  • 63% of consumers have changed their spending and borrowing habits
  • 54% have created a monthly budget

In a lot of ways, this is somewhat encouraging. It means that people are thinking more about their purchases, and hopefully making decisions based on what’s most important to them. O’Donnell also said that people are paying down credit card debt faster than before. This is good news from a consumer standpoint. Instead of paying interest, it’s vital to be earning it. Paying off credit cards as quickly as possible is essential to achieving financial freedom, and it’s an important part of building better finances.

DIY Banking

I love that customers are seeing more options for their banking and money management needs. More and more consumers are doing things for themselves, and that includes banking. The future of personal banking includes smartphones, apps, and the ability to take care of issues on your own. It only makes sense, since the modern consumer is savvier than ever.

We want to be able to bank anytime, and from anywhere. O’Donnell pointed out that banks need to respond to the desires of consumers with banking products that are better and faster. With the apps out there, and the online access, it is no surprise that consumers can really take their finances in their own hands. From investing to transfers to depositing checks via smartphone, there are a number of tools that can be used to improve the situation and stay on top of your finances.

Better Communication

O’Donnell also talked about the need for better, clearer communications from banks. With many products and services out there, and a great deal of legal mumbo jumbo to deal with, it is no surprise that he mentioned clearer communications.

Some legislation, like the CARD Act and the Truth in Lending provisions, require that banks disclose information in a straightforward way that is easy to understand. More transparency is a good thing, since it allows you a better idea of what is really happening with your finances, and the real impact banking policies have on your money and your budget.

Are Banks Really Listening to Consumers?

Of course, the real question is whether or not banks will actually listen to customers and give them what they want. Consumers have won some fairly major battles recently, in terms of getting banks to back off on fees and to provide more products that boost convenience. However, even with these triumphs, many banks are still quietly raising some fees, and changing the way they do some things, in an effort to profit more.

Even as consumers see more options, it will be interesting to see whether or not they remain happy with the banks.

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