August 24, 2014

WSJ: Banks targeting underbanked consumers

July 29, 2014 – Banks facing slow revenue growth are increasingly targeting consumers who have basic bank accounts according to a survey from KPMG LLP.

The Wall Street Journal covered the survey results, saying 23 percent of bankers polled said underbanked consumers represent the "greatest growth opportunity" – an increase from 12 percent who answered the same way a year before.

The survey defined underbanked consumers as those who have basic checking accounts but do not take advantage of other services. The Wall Street Journal also cited the survey saying "Banks increasingly are interested in underbanked customers because they spend more money on fees on things like cashing checks or ATMs than other customer segments."

A KPMG representative told the paper: "Banks are getting more creative and thoughtful about how they target unbanked and underbanked customers." The survey polled 100 bank executives at institutions of varying sizes.

Last week, NAFCU Senior Vice President of Government Affairs and General Counsel Carrie Hunt responded to the idea of the U.S. Postal Service offering financial services by noting that credit unions' reputation is already established in terms of serving the underbanked and offering low fees, competitive rates and exceptional member service.