Free Checking Continues To Be An Effective Onboarding Tool

Every financial institution needs a special acquisition product to help attract and cross sell prospects. For Arizona Bank & Trust (Phoenix, Arizona), a free checking with e-statements product is pulling in the most new customers.

Every financial institution needs a special acquisition product to help attract and cross sell prospects.

For Arizona Bank & Trust (Phoenix, Arizona), a free checking with e-statements product is pulling in the most new customers.

The bank’s “Free Checking with eSatements” is its lead checking product and generates plenty of attention, says Tina Newman, Regional Marketing Director.  

She adds that the account has no monthly fee as long as the customer receives eStatements.

There is no minimum balance, and a $25 minimum deposit is required to open the account. 

Accountholders receive unlimited check writing and a debit card. 

For those who want to earn interest, the bank’s “Cash Rewards Checking” can also be a free account if the customer is enrolled in eStatements, explains Newman, and also has no monthly fee and requires just $25 to open.  Additionally, Cash Rewards Checking offers ATM fee refunds and pays a variable rate when meeting certain qualifications. The current rate is 1.51 percent APY on balances of up to $20,000. 

An effective onboarding tool

According to Newman, many new customers come to the bank after seeing a promotional offer. 

“We use the account as an onboarding tool where the account may bring the customer through the door, but it is up to our personal bankers to have a conversation with the new customer to make sure we are accommodating their needs and the account is the right fit.”  In fact, personal bankers are encouraged to take the time to thoroughly understand each new customer’s needs.  “We monitor the process internally and the personal bankers go through a series of steps when meeting with new customers.”

Newman says the “getting to know you” process also includes finding out what other solutions the bank can provide to improve each customer’s banking experience and meet his or her financial goals. 

And while customers can apply for accounts online, most relationships begin with a face-to-face encounter with the personal banker, says Newman. “We also have so many products to explore with the customer—such as home equity lines of credit, wealth advisory services, and business banking—that we like to make sure the new customer knows all of their options.

Winning customers one relationship at a time

“Our bank president often says we win customers one relationship at a time. Even though our personal bankers are trained to ask certain questions, we want the interaction to be personalized.  So if one question leads ‘off script,’ we want the personal banker to feel free to explore it.” 

While the Free Checking with eStatements and Cash Rewards Checking accounts are promoted on the bank’s Website, Newman says she also plans to rollout a new campaign in the coming months. 

Marketing will include digital efforts, along with social media and direct mail. “I don’t think direct mail is necessarily dead.  Even though more people are moving toward digital, I think that both are still important.” 

She says the overall goal is to increase the percentage of accounts year over year.  “We want to make sure our customers are happy and we are always making sure the account is the right fit for the customer. 

“The customer may come in for one product, but once we meet with them and discuss the options, they may end up in a totally different account that better fits their needs. It is all about building trust and gaining familiarity for a common goal.” 

Source: Tina Newman,Regional Marketing Director, Arizona Bank & Trust, Phoenix, AZ; phone: 602-381-2081

Tina Newman, Regional Marketing Director
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