As the banking industry works to determine how to increase profits, it appears the answer may lie in an obvious place: the Internet.
In a new survey of more than 3,000 consumers around the world, the majority of account holders indicated they are are willing to pay around $15 each month for digital banking services. "The new digital tipping point," a report from consulting firm PwC that analyzes the survey's results, highlights the move to mobile and online personal finance tools. The conclusion: Members of Generation Y will lead the accelerated shift to digital and search for banks to lead the way with new tools and features.
Here's a look at the top three digital offerings that respondents would be willing to pay for at banks:
- Twitter/Facebook account notifications.
- The ability to store loyalty card info and convert points to cash.
- Spending analysis tools.
It turns out account holders are willing to pay a premium for good customer service, too. In the U.S. alone, more than 60 percent of respondents answered they have spent more on a product or service because of a history of good customer service with the company.
The results are quite surprising to me. From monitoring social media posts during the hoopla of Bank Transfer Day to reading comments from readers right here at Bankrate, it seems that most customers will not tolerate any additional fees. However, the PwC survey shows account holders aren't just looking for the cheapest way to handle their saving and spending. Many of them are looking to jump on the next wave of innovation even if it comes with a price tag.
Currently, we see a lot offerings at banks that give account holders the opportunities to avoid fees, such as enrollment in paperless statements to bypass a monthly maintenance fee. With account holders indicating a willingness to shell out some cash, be on the lookout for opt-in offerings that add fees in exchange for access to emerging account features.
What do you think? Would you be willing to pay for more sophisticated online and mobile tools for your money management?