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Financial institutions are preparing for inevitable changes that will soon come, following in the wake of the Fed funds rate (which has hovered just above 0% since the financial system meltdown in 2008) impending increase. This means that internal funding will become more attractive, and it’ll be time for banks and credit unions to focus on building deposits again.

So, how can your bank turn a loss-leader like free checking into accounts that generate real value? Here are a few steps you can take, to make your free checking worthwhile again:

  • Create an automated ‘graduation strategy’

It sounds simple enough in strategy, but many financial institutions don’t have a form of “graduation strategy” for their consumers. For example, consumers with a free checking account should be first targeted for lower-end credit cards. Yet financial institutions are losing marketing capital by attempting to cross-sell those free checking customers with high-value premium products.

  • Focus on effective, unified data collection

Financial institutions should harness the tremendous amounts of valuable consumer data that they have access to.  Financial marketers can gain insights into predicting a consumer’s interest by using their vast important data to find correlations between behaviors and interests in their products.

  • Reach consumers where they are

As online and mobile channels continue to grow in popularity, consumer visits to branches decline. Ensure you are reaching your consumers on their mobile devices and desktop browsers by creating ads specifically targeted to their needs. When your ads are relevant and engaging, you’ll see your click-through rates spike.

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