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.
When is the right time to invest? No time like the present, obviously. But a number of things can influence when each individual’s “right time” happens: age, fiscal goals, market considerations, access to financial education, and so much more. For banks that work hard to ensure their customers have access to the right resources to start saving, then investing - building financial wellness muscles - there hasn’t been one fool-proof answer.
Let’s start from the beginning. Most financial lives begin when a customer opens their first checking account. Unless they’ve co-opened one with a parent, the earliest this occurs is early adulthood.
The drivers to open those first accounts can vary. Sometimes, people open checking accounts when they get a job and suddenly need a place to deposit paychecks (directly or in person). Or, they open an account as a parking lot for saving money while finishing school. Sometimes customers establish accounts with banks when they need a loan for a car or home. In some occasions, they may have the foresight to develop a track record for an overall credit score.
And, even still, not everyone makes it to their first bank account. The 2015 FDIC National Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked Households found that 57 percent of the 15.6 million unbanked Americans thought that they didn’t have enough money to keep an account.
So, if banks are baffling for many, investing is likely even more mystifying. It’s no wonder that there’s no one set way to begin a financial journey, and that saving and investing seems so far off when customers open their first accounts. Saving for retirement is generally the way most get into the market—but even then, it’s not until most are well into their careers and financial journeys (and we’ll get into that in another blog post). Suffice it to note that just 37% of Americans under 35 owned stocks last year, vs. 55% in 2001, according to Gallup.
But what if you gave people the ability to start getting shares of stock as soon as they begin swiping their first debit or credit card? Imagine if opening their first checking account came with the opportunity to open a brokerage account as well — so they can be rewarded in shares of stock in the brands they love whenever they spend on that new card. If people had the opportunity to hold a brokerage account as early as they had the checking accounts and debit cards, not only do these young customers have their first introduction to banking, but also their introduction to investing - building financial knowledge for a lifetime. At the same time, they’re becoming potential customers for your investing accounts from the outset of their relationship with you.
That’s the Bumped platform. A way to reward customers in fractional shares of stock and build a relationship with your customers.
Customers simply choose the brands they love, they spend with those brands on their cards, and you reward them in fractional shares of stock in those brands. Your customers get to own brands they love, and learn about the market through participation.
Investing doesn’t have to be so far down the financial path. It doesn’t have to seem overly complicated, or like it’s just for older, savvier folks who have well established financial lives.
We can’t wait to discuss our belief in making the market more accessible along the financial journey. And once customers start seeing their incremental shares grow when they make purchases, they’re likely going to want to learn more about how this world works, and how they can do more. It’s something we’re really excited about; if you'd like to discuss the power of ownership, connect with us at BumpedforBrands.com.