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Digital banking fees on the way?

By David McMillin · Bankrate.com
Friday, January 27, 2012
Posted: 9 am ET

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?

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87 Comments
cager38
March 07, 2012 at 10:29 pm

I would not be willing to pay for my current checking account just because others are. My husband and I are both on limited income and chose online banking primarily because it was free (and early on it even paid a tiny tad of interest. I hope this doesn't ruin it for seniors.

hot girl
March 07, 2012 at 1:13 pm

I can hardly pay my bills, where do they think my money come from. They want there profits to grow, but my paycheck isn't. It's like robing peter to pay pall. Most job want you to have a bank account to deposit your money in the bank. I think they ask the wrong peoples on there survey. They rob the poor person like me. I would have the right to decline the service and not pay the extra $15. Where is the government, Ho the get pay to taxes

maril
March 07, 2012 at 12:50 pm

Yeah... surveys.... they can be written is such a way that you are not able to say what you really want... you are only able to choose what the survey wants you to choose. Then they annonce the errobiuos "facts" of the survey. Nobody wants to pay more for what they already have and unless the banks somehow give ME more money in interest then i dont want any more fees.

Jon Q
March 06, 2012 at 8:16 pm

A recent Independent Survey discovers:

Executives, Politicians,

and obscure writers that warm the public up,
before force feeding them the next big idea...

are totally out of touch with the world outside.

Film At Eleven...

Kilo Alpha
March 06, 2012 at 7:50 pm

In my part of the country, most banks offer seniors free checking. I submit that this could be extended to all of their customers. They have scads of ways to make money. In fact, banking must be a very profitable business. In my town, there is a bank on every street corner. I would not mind a small monthly charge if it were to cover many other thing such as free checking, no ATM charges, no charge for money orders, some kind of decent overdraft protection, etc.

John Martin
March 06, 2012 at 1:45 pm

And some people may wonder why I say THIEFALISM has replaced CAPITALISM in this country.

Big Dog Andy
March 05, 2012 at 2:11 pm

I think it will give the usps a lot more business wlth money orders and stamps. Banks pay next to nothing for using customers' money and yet the want paid. What they call service charges I call rape!!

Ron
March 04, 2012 at 1:04 am

I agree with the above remarks concerning the surveyed demographic segment of society. During the past 10 years, I was forced to accept electronic services to avoid check fees and limited teller hours. Now, I am hog-tied and must accept the ultimatum / predestination of new and more of the same fees. I don't want to pay any more fees!!! Whoever they polled must not have children, drive a car and pay four dollars a gallon and pay a mortgage on a home worth half to three-quarters its original sale price.

Dan Barrett
March 02, 2012 at 4:36 pm

If I were a banker this is the type of survey that I would want, plus should bonus be paid when the bank is losing money and stock price. Oh yea. Please identify people surved.

OOQ
March 02, 2012 at 9:36 am

I hit the wrong key so I was not finished with my assessment.

3. 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.

If you look at the specific services people are willing to pay, it tells me that it is a very young demographic they polled here. They are still playing with little boys toys. Facebook notices, loyalty card info, spending analysis tools? None of these things help you become a better manager of your money. How about cash, like someone suggested, a good old fashion budget, so that you know what you are going to do before you spend it, instead of being notified afterwards, and by then you already have spent too much.

4 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.

I want to know how many U.S. respondents were there from the 3,000 people survey, and what income group. I can't think of any middle class person who would want to pay extra, just to receive the basic customer service.

5. Based on the comments to this article, looks like they need to do the survey again with a different group of people and they will get absolutely different responses.