The way to your customers’ hearts is through financial literacy

by: Mark Hein

More and more, financial institutions are beginning to accept and embrace their role as financial educators. You are no longer simply the provider of checking accounts, credit cards, and auto and home loans; your customers are looking to you to answer their most pressing financial questions.

We talk a lot about the importance of institutions finding a way to break past the competition by moving beyond low rates and offering their members real value. Quite frankly, as far as your borrowers are concerned, a rate is a rate is a rate. If all you are offering is a low rate auto loan, they will jump ship the moment they get an offer from the dealer down the street for a percentage point less.

Financial literacy is an area where you can add enormous value to your customers’ financial lives. Your customers may not know how much money they should be saving for a comfortable retirement, or the difference between a term and whole life insurance policy and which one is right for them. Maybe they’re in the market to buy their first home, but aren’t aware of the ins and outs of the homebuying process. Tack on the complexities of the various loan programs available, and you’ll really cause a headspin. According to the 2014 Consumer Financial Literacy Survey, 73% of adults said that they could benefit from advice and answers to everyday financial questions from a professional. Clearly, there is a need for financial education; by providing your customers with financial education, they will turn to you as their trusted source of valuable information.

Furthermore, when your customers are well-versed in everything financial, it helps your bottom line. How, you ask? Those who are financially educated maintain more robust account balances and higher credit scores, and understanding the importance of valuable insurance products may lead to them making the investment. So, how can you develop the kind of robust financial literacy program that your valued customers want and need? Keep reading to find out how!


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