Albany, NewYork (PRWEB) July 14, 2014
The report discusses the various trends relating to current accounts – also known as checking accounts – across the world, and the strategies adopted by banks to increase profitability:
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Due to changes in regulatory frameworks and competitive dynamics, retail banking and its current account business have changed gradually during the last decade. Despite initiatives taken by banks to retain customers, the current accounts market in developed economies recorded growing instances of account switching. Improved customer service, attractive reward programs and financial incentives offered by banks are the main factors encouraging customers to switch their primary banks.
In emerging economies, pricing has been the primary reason for the low volume of banking customers. As pricing is affected by cost pressures and changing customer expectations, banks are adopting a number of product and pricing strategies in the form of loyalty programs, incentives, packaged current accounts and customized product offerings to entice customers. Furthermore, with increasing technological advancements, banks are encouraging customers to use low-cost banking channels to conduct banking transactions, resulting in reduced operating costs and improved profitability.
With rising competition and regulatory pressure, banks in the US are increasing charges on current accounts in order to maintain profitability. Consequently, the percentage of free checking or current accounts dropped from 76% in 2009 to 38% in 2013. This has led customers to switch to banks offering no, or low, monthly fees on basic checking accounts. The UK current account market also recorded a high number of customers switching accounts. Robust customer service mechanisms, branch proximity, flexible banking hours and attractive reward programs are factors enticing customers to switch banks. The switching of accounts was further intensified with the introduction of the Current Account Switch Service by the Payments Council on September 16, 2013, which allows fast and seamless switching to new banks. For the six-month period between October 1, 2013 and March 31, 2014, 609,300 UK current accounts were switched, a 14.0% increase compared to the equivalent period in 2012 when there were 532,500 switches.
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Due to firm’s capitalizing on this trend, the current account market has recorded a number of new entrants. T-Mobile, a provider of wireless voice, messaging, and data services launched a mobile-based checking account in the US in January 2014, with low banking charges. Similarly, UK-based retailer Tesco is also launching current account products in the UK through its banking arm, Tesco Bank.
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