Wal-Mart’s addition of checking account services surely isn’t devastating news to community banks whose customers value mutual loyalty, great customer service and thriving local economies.
So no, the sky is not falling.
However, the news should motivate banks to double-check for potential gaps in their product lines. Does your current mix of accounts and products meet the ever-evolving needs of your customers? Are there opportunities for improvement? Must your customers purchase some of the financial products they want from a non-bank competitor (Wal-Mart, for instance)?
An honest self-evaluation will help you identify any weaknesses in your product line. The importance of making your offerings bullet-proof is this: With more competition in the marketplace, we all need to put our best foot forward.
If your bank doesn’t already have a prepaid card program, don’t forget—Wal-Mart does. You should also know that a 2014 Federal Reserve Bank study documented a four percent increase in the use of general-purpose reloadable (GPR) cards over a single-year period (August 2012 to August 2013) among all consumers in the study.
Here’s another point to consider if your bank is concerned about retaining younger customers: The FRB study reported the most significant increase in ownership of GPR cards during that period occurred in the 18-48 age group.
BANKERS’ BANK OF THE WEST CAN HELP
BBW’s Bank Card Division can provide your community bank with prepaid card programs that are straightforward and easy to implement. You can choose to offer any or all of these cards to your customers:
- Gift cards
- Reloadable cards
- Travel cards
- Youth cards
Let our bank card specialists customize a prepaid card program for your bank. Call 800-601-8630, or email email@example.com.
Bankers’ Bank of the West is a registered agent for the FedPaymentsTM Reporter Service (formerly known as FedEDI Plus). The service eases your bank’s compliance and operations efforts by automatically generating reports for return item, notification of change, death notifications, SEC codes, and routing transit activity. You can also set up encrypted email messages to be sent to business customers (e.g. health care providers) to help match ACH payments to invoices, payroll records, or healthcare claims.
For more information on the capabilities of this service, contact any of the BBW operations specialists at 303-291-3700 (toll-free 800-873-4722) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.