Consumers Don’t Really Want Portable Checking Account Numbers

By. Ron Shevlin

According to a study conducted by BT and YouGov, 61% of US banking customers want portable banking account numbers. As reported by The Financial Brand:

“The research, which surveyed more than 6,500 people across six countries, found most consumers agreeing that a portable account number — one allowing them to switch banks without changing account details and causing major disruptions — would be useful.”

My take: No way. US consumers don’t want a “portable” banking account number (can’t speak to consumers in other countries, though).

There’s an old marketing parable (?) that “people don’t want a drill, they want a hole.” This talk of portable banking account numbers is the same thing.

What people want is less hassle closing accounts. If you tell them a portable banking account number will accomplish that, then, sure, they’ll tell you that they want portable banking account numbers.

We want portable phone numbers across carriers because we tell so many people our number that switching numbers is a pain. Plus, I have a really cool number (because I’m a Yankees fan in Boston — remind me to tell you that story one day), and there’s no way I’ll give it up.

But you’ve got to be one really strange nerd to know your checking account number, and be adverse to giving it up.

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