Every bank, credit union and now fintech offers it. Some checking accounts are vanilla, some have bells and whistles, others feature high interest rates, etc.  Cool naming strategies seem to be the main point of aggressive differentiation – and that seems disappointing to everyone.

So, how do you differentiate and drive new checking growth…and most importantly retain the accounts you have in your portfolio?

The key is based on one word– relevancy!

Checking is just checking, which means simply a way to move money…

Unless…of course…you can provide value that is uniquely relevant, timely, and easy to understand and integrate into your members/customers daily lives.

Here’s why:

  • Your members/customers want more from their account…but won’t say it…
    • Think of an account that gives them a focused effort toward saving, managing or buying.
  • Your members/customers lives and financial needs are dynamic … changing constantly
    • They are in the midst of financial change as we speak
  • Your value-add benefit may be less costly/demanding than you think
    • Value is in the mind of the beholder – and not always monetary in nature
  • Differentiation is more about its use than its name
    • HOW members/customer can and could use the account is high value

Here’s how:

  • Implement life stages: we believe there are distinct life stages your members/customers go through
    • And only 8 of them… for major financial need
      • Have money
      • Need money
      • Retirement
      • New job
      • New status- married/divorced
      • Education – college, post-secondary, professional certificates
      • Death – self, spouse or family member
      • Birth – children, grandchildren
  • Tie your checking benefits to help with one or more life stage
    • Flexible account benefit additions prove most valuable
  • Train your staff to ask leading questions and note significant life changes
  • Connect with your members/customers at least 6x a year
    • Not just when they open and after they close an account
  • Talk about making life easier for your member/customers
    • And less about the actual checking features
  • Be proud of your offerings…or change them!
    • Don’t be satisfied with “ok accounts” your members/customers won’t be!

To learn more…let’s have a discussion!  Give me a ring, visit our website or send me an email (