U.S. Retail Banks Have Huge Opportunity to Expand Connections with Clients via Social Media, Says Auriemma Consulting Group

NEW YORK, NY:  According to the latest research from The Payments Report, a syndicated research report published by the Auriemma Consulting Group, Inc. (ACG), participation in social media among Millennials is almost universal (at 91%), but it’s almost as high (81%) with Gen Xers.  Also, the reach of social media is surprisingly strong among older age segments, with nearly three-quarters (75%) of Baby Boomers now using social media, often to stay in touch with their families.  Since photos of grandchildren may be shared via social media, Baby Boomers are increasingly logging in, too, although they tend to visit sites like Facebook much frequently than their younger counterparts do.

According to The Payments Report while slightly less than one in five (17%) of the social media user population now follows banks and/or credit card companies specifically, the areas of interest for this group suggests that social media might provide U.S. retail banks with a stronger way of connecting with consumers of the future.  Just what are followers seeking when following a bank on Facebook or Twitter?  ACG research shows that followers’ primary expectation seems to be the availability of “news/tips”, mentioned by 61% of bank and credit card company followers. “Offers” are mentioned by just over half of followers, while “direct communication” is mentioned by almost the same number.

According to Matt Simester, Managing Director of the Consumer Payments Insights practice at ACG, consumers, especially younger consumers, are seeking assistance in managing their personal finances, and it's an area where banks have much to offer consumers.  Third-party research has shown basic financial skills such as account reconciliation or how to understand the cost of credit is less common in public schools today.  This means the opportunities for retail banks in the social media space are considerable.  However, the key word here is ‘social’, not business.  Consumers do not want to be sold or marketed through these channels and banks will need to make sure they add value rather than think of the channel as a profit center.

About Auriemma Consulting Group

Since 1984, ACG has offered comprehensive management consulting, research, industry roundtable and benchmarking services to the financial services industry.  ACG clients include credit card issuers and networks, commercial banks, mortgage lenders, merchants, and industry vendors.  With offices in New York and London, ACG offers actionable solutions to help clients make important business decisions to maximize their efficiencies and revenues.  For more information, please contact Matt Simester at 212-323-7000 or matt.simester@acg.net.