Developing Bank-at-Work Programs

by David Kerstein

Although “bank at work,” or workplace banking, is not a new concept, growth-starved bankers should take another look at this strategy. For best-in-practice banks, this strategy has driven as much as 40-60% of all new customer accounts. As customers continue to switch to mobile and inline banking, fewer are choosing to visit bank branches.

Meanwhile, traditional media and direct response is becoming less efficient as a means of attracting new customers. For these reasons, bank-at-work can be a highly effective way to gain new customers by reaching out to them at their workplace.

After analyzing over 20 workplace banking programs, we have discovered a clear roadmap for developing successful programs. Some had developed innovative solutions focused on entering the bank-at-work channel. Others, who were equally effective, maintained a clear-eyed focus on basic executional excellence.

Focus Strategy

Managers must keep in mind that not every company is a strong prospect for bank-at-work programs. The most successful bank-at-work programs first identify the type of industry, mix of employee wages, and size of prospective companies. This data provides overall strategy guidance and isolates company targets that fit their profile for quality accounts.

By contrast, we found that banks with underperforming bank-at-work programs lacked specific guidelines for determining which companies to contact. Without a clear strategy, they were more likely to choose less profitable companies in order to boost the amount of companies enrolled in the program. Many focused on large local companies, which often had a high mix of lower-wage, transient employees with smaller average account balances.

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