Phoenix Synergistics: Checking Accounts: Cornerstone or Conduit?

January 2021 | Evolving Role of Checking | Onboarding and Cross-Selling | Acquisition and Retention Strategies

In a time when paper checks as a payment method are a fading memory for many consumers and practically prehistoric for others, the checking account remains the crux of many consumers’ financial relationships and plays an important role in relationship retention and expansion. Assessing the role of the checking account product among various consumer segments is critical. Do some consumers see it merely as a mechanism for accepting paychecks and paying bills? For others, does the checking account represent a portal to an FI’s more-complex financial products or a cornerstone of favorable price arrangements, like relationship pricing?

The effective use of onboarding to broaden new checking relationships into multi-service relationships remains a challenge. Assessing the consumer experience with onboarding and determining the types of successful onboarding contact is a priority. Ongoing cross-selling programs are also vital to expanding relationships with longstanding customers.

In the struggle to acquire new checking account relationships, traditional FIs face an array of new competitors offering innovative services and payment options. What do consumers view as the strengths and weaknesses of various providers? What factors are important for checking account relationship retention? What elements are behind the appeal of new, less-traditional providers, such as fintech entities?


Research Objective

This study evaluates the role of the checking account and explores strategies for relationship acquisition, expansion, and retention.

Research Design

National survey – The survey will include 2,000 online interviews with consumers age 18 and older.

Questionnaire Review

Clients will have the opportunity to review the questionnaire and provide comments. The cut-off date for client input is October 30, 2020.

Project Report

The final report, available in late January 2021, will present results of a Phoenix Synergistics in-depth analysis of national survey results. It will feature a Strategic Insights commentary examining the role of the checking account.

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