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Building Bank Loyalty: Growing Together

Banks play a pivotal role in many major milestones in a customer’s journey—first jobs, saving for big goals, taking charge of their future—but how do you move from being a transactional partner to building a true relationship, grounded in loyalty? That’s the goal for many financial institutions. Here at Bumped, we’ve been designing a new loyalty platform that helps build deeper connections, drive the customer behaviors that matter most, and introduce a bank’s customers to the right products at key moments, in the most compelling way.

At Money20/20 this month, we’ll be discussing bank loyalty with some of the most innovative minds in the industry. As we prepare for Vegas, we’ll be sharing one phase of the customer journey each week, with a deep dive into how stock rewards can help give customers a head start with investing—every step of the way.

While the 20s are often the “defining decade” of one’s life⁠— establishing career, family and economic trajectories⁠— by the time folks age 30, they typically are planning ahead for the long-haul. Questions about children, real estate and retirement are only the beginning. What is most critical is the sustainability of one’s financial foundation and whether those big life decisions are realistically possible. Although economical education is pivotal to achieve long-term goals, due to lack of direct guidance and support, most US adults are not as prepared as they would prefer to be.

America’s Generation X is currently within the 29-39 age-frame, and many are feeling the momentum to build the next chapter of their lives. Those with partners are learning how to co-manage their spending and saving choices, with children and investment goals on the horizon. However, especially for newlyweds and new parents, many are too overwhelmed between present-day career and parenting responsibilities to spend the time necessary for long-term planning. There may be a perception that the “do-it-yourself” generation wants to figure everything out on their own, but according to a 2015 survey by Nielsen Company, only 23 percent of Gen Xers save money each month and feel confident in their financial future. To realistically plan ahead, Gen Xers need to feel they can trust their financial institutions enough to receive guidance, supplemented by accessible programs that concretely assist them in meeting their goals.

“[Gen X] need help with cash flow planning⁠— that's the only way they can develop investable assets. They need more advice than the multi-millionaire with a portfolio, but there's nowhere to go,” says Gail Graham, founder of Graham Strategy and a former wealth management executive.

That’s the perception, at least. Banks are equipped with the expertise maturing adults need but are often too reluctant to seek guidance from. Gen Xers trust themselves two times more than anyone else, including a financial advisor, and only 25 percent trust financial services as a whole.

Discouraged by the economic challenges their parents faced, Gen Xers are typically hesitant to turn to a professional for advice. More than 60 percent of Gen X are not working with a financial advisor, yet less than 10 percent have saved enough to be on track for retirement and 58 percent report being in debt. So how can you start building trust when so many are resistant to relationships with their financial institution in the first place?

1. Help them understand

First, they’ll want to see the facts for themselves, so assist customers in doing their own research. Provide them with tools and resources they need to get started on their long-term goals, no-strings-attached. You’ll win hard-earned trust with them, an essential pillar in building meaningful relationships.

2. Make wealth management feel approachable

From there, further de-mystify the economic markets by helping customers practice strategic financial management. Ally Financial found that more than 6 in 10 adults say they find investing in the stock market to be scary or intimidating. Dissolving this illusion of fear not only empowers the average consumer with the knowledge and confidence to look at their bank statements in the eye, but to shake their new advisor’s hand with relief and enthusiasm for the future.

3. Elevate your loyalty program

Loyalty rewards are common methods banks and brands alike build relationships with their customers, but unless they’re the right rewards, folks may not perceive them as authentic acts of customer appreciation. Cash-back deals are great, but adults are preoccupied with concerns surrounding their long-term goals.

Introducing customers to the stock market, on the other hand, allows for consumers to easily save, plan and invest for their important life targets. By providing opportunities for the average person to build their stock portfolio, financial institutions can simultaneously form real trust with their customers while fortifying the next generation of investors.

Equipping people of all economic backgrounds with accessible tools to get started in the stock market is the back-bone of the Bumped mission. We envision a reality where folks love their banks because they have formed mutually-beneficial relationships with them over-time. By giving consumers free fractional shares of stock with purchases at their favorite stores, customers not only enjoy swiping their cards more, but they feel supported by the institutions they can trust.

Learn how the Bumped platform can strengthen your relationships by helping consumers prepare for the future at BumpedforBrands.com, or make a meeting at Money2020 in Las Vegas Oct. 27-30.

You can find the Bumped team in the Expo Hall at Money2020. We’ll be at the Bumped Mocktail Bar in the Garden — yep, smack dab in the entrance to the Hall. Email [email protected] to set up a meeting.

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