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Consumers and Personal Finance: Primary Financial Institutions Can Help

Younger U.S consumers are open to financial help from their primary financial institution. 

New Mercator Advisory Group survey finds over 80% of U.S. consumers age 18-34 would be open to budgeting, saving, and credit monitoring help from their primary financial institution.

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Mercator Advisory Group’s most recent Insight Summary Report, Consumers and Personal Finance: Primary FIs Have an Opportunity to Help, from the bi-annual CustomerMonitor Survey Series, reveals that over 80% of U.S. consumers 18–34 years old would be open to budgeting, saving, and credit monitoring help from their primary financial institution. More specifically, 89% would be interested in talking to their primary FI about setting a household budget to meet their goals, 88% would be interesting in budget monitoring services, 87% would be interested in automatic savings plans to help meet their budgeting needs, and 84% would be open to a conversation about credit monitoring services.

The report is based on a sample of 3,001 U.S. adults surveyed in the annual online Banking and Channels survey of Mercator’s CustomerMonitor Survey Series, conducted in November 2018.

The study highlights consumers’ use and interest in setting household budgets, defining financial goals and services that financial institutions can provide to help their customers reach their goals and build their wealth. It examines the opportunity for financial institutions to offer financial advice and identifies the types of financial advice they currently use, wealth management account relationships, small business owners and the demographics of consumers most interested in budgeting and personal finance in terms of use of personal financial management (PFM) tools, mobile and online banking activities performed, new account opening, and interest in mobile-based personalized services.

“Oftentimes primary financial institutions lose out on the opportunity to help their customers build wealth as those customers look to other financial services to address their personal finance needs. Focusing on the younger customer as they start to build wealth is a great opportunity to attract them before they begin to look elsewhere,” stated the author of the report, Peter Reville, director of Primary Data Services at Mercator Advisory Group, which includes the CustomerMonitor Survey Series.

Companies mentioned in this report include: AceMoney, BankTree, iCash, Intuit Quicken, Microsoft Money, Mint, Moneydance, MoneyLine, Personal Capital, and YouNeedaBudget.

Highlights of this report include:

  • Type of financial institutions used and those considered primary

  • Profile of business owners, by demographics, part-time vs. full-time, and revenue generated

  • Use of financial advisors by type and separately, wealth management accounts and relationships

  • Consumers’ interest in credit monitoring and support for budgeting and other support for financial goal setting from their respective primary financial institution

  • Personal financial management habits such as adhering to household budget, designating separate accounts to reach specific financial goals, and use of personal financial management (PFM) tools

  • Channels preferred by banking customers to communicate with their financial institutions

  • Important factors in bank selection

  • Participation in financial institution’s relationship rewards program and extent to which it motivates further engagement

  • Interest in mobile-based personalized banking services

  • Demographic profile of customer segments most interested in financial advice