We kick off the first full day of the AFP Annual Conference in Boston at an interesting time in banking. When many “large banks” announced a plan to charge a $5 usage charge for customers making debit card purchases, customers responded by announcing “enough.” The Credit Union National Association recently reported that, in the month of October alone, more than 650,000 customers joined credit unions – which is roughly equal to all of the customers that moved in 2010 combined. This culminated this past Saturday with “Bank Transfer Day” when thousands more switched from for-profit banks to not-for-profit banks.
Is this the return of the thrift bank? I believe so and have suspected this was coming for some time. I believe customers are realizing how much power they have and are finding that they can exercise it. I hope among other things, they ask for better online security. A number of technologies exist today that would, effectively, eliminate online banking customer fraud. (Hint, you can check out our booth #521 for a key new example). While I am quite sure there are some customers that do not want additional security for their accounts, there is a larger and growing proportion of customers that would welcome security with open arms and still others that would EXPAND their banking relationship because they felt safer.