Eleven percent of online consumers are currently connected with their bank or credit union through a social site, and more than one-third (36 percent) of those not connected are interested in doing so, according to a survey of 3000 consumers conducted on behalf of Fiserv.
According to the Fiserv survey, consumers use their financial institution's social channel to: receive information about financial services (66%), receive information about offers or promotions (32%), review other consumers' opinions or advice or post reviews, complaints or questions (31%), and conduct customer service related activities (30%).
Nearly a third of consumers (31%) cited a lack of awareness as one of the main reasons they had not connected with their financial institution. This was a more significant factor among Gen Y consumers, with 45% indicating they didn't know they could. A preference for using a bank's Website and privacy and security concerns were also cited as barriers to connecting.
Consumers indicated they would also be more likely to connect to their bank if community-building activities, such as reading reviews from other customers, were enabled.
The study found that those consumers who followed their bank on social sites were already deeply engaged, using an average of 5.4 banking services as compared to 4.3 for consumers who have little or no interest in connecting.
Geoff Knapp, vice president, online banking and consumer insights, Fiserv, says: "An active, engaging online social media presence is a viable way to maintain and grow valuable relationships with consumers who are visiting branches less and interacting through digital channels more."