CHERRY HILL, N.J., Sept. 3, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank®, recently found via its inaugural TD Bank Checking Experience Index that 80 percent of consumers say their bank is excellent or very good when it comes to accessibility and responsiveness (83 percent and 80 percent respectively), but only 10 percent expect to pay for their checking account according to The TD Bank Checking Experience Index, a nationwide survey of more than 3,000 consumers with checking accounts at various banks.
Furthermore, although 83 percent of checking account holders rank their day-to-day experience as excellent or very good, 36 percent say they are extremely or very likely to switch banks to avoid fees and 14 percent have changed financial institutions because of the cost of their account.
"A checking account should offer real value at a reasonable price, but not all checking accounts are created equal," said Ryan Bailey, Executive Vice President of Deposit and Payments, TD Bank. "Consumers should investigate what options are available to them, for example certain checking accounts waive non-bank ATM fees and others don't require a minimum balance. By doing a little bit of homework, consumers can choose a product and an institution that matches up with their banking needs."
Some Fees Frustrate More Than Others but Convenience is Key
Non-bank ATM fees were ranked most frustrating by 38 percent of respondents, followed by overdraft fees at 27 percent. Only 13 percent of consumers ranked minimum balance costs as the most frustrating for their account even though the TD Checking Experience Index indicated that the average balance to avoid a monthly cost is $950.
However, the banking industry scored well in the areas of convenience and accessibility with 74 percent of consumers ranking bank hours as excellent or very good and more than two-thirds of consumers giving high marks to convenient locations and ATMs (70 percent and 69 percent respectively).
"Although most checking accounts have costs associated with them, TD Bank's Checking Experience Index shows that non-bank ATM and overdraft fees continue to be top-of-mind for consumers," continued Bailey. "Based on the research, in order to have the best experience, consumers should evaluate choices that help them avoid fees, while also looking for a financial institution that offers great service and conveniences, like longer hours and 24/7 customer service."
Evolving Banking Behaviors
Nationally, checking account holders are making 15 banking transactions each month with six of those transactions being made online. Nearly 80 percent of checking account holders use online banking with their financial institution and 50 percent of consumers prefer online banking, using it primarily for money transfers and bill payments. ATM banking is the second most popular channel, seeing 3.2 transactions a month, followed by in store and mobile (2.3 and 1.5 transactions respectively).
Consumer ratings for each channel are generally high with 88 percent of consumers ranking their online banking experience as excellent or very good and 84 percent of customers saying the same about experiences in stores and at bank owned ATMs. The exception is at ATMs not associated with banks which are only ranked as excellent or very good by slightly more than half of consumers (51 percent).
Banking through a mobile application is preferred by five percent of consumers and used by nearly 30 percent of checking account holders.
Experience Differs by Region
- Generally, New Yorkers are less happy with their day-to-day checking account experiences than the rest of the U.S.; they also do fewer transactions per month than the rest of the nation (12 vs. 15). New Yorkers also have the highest average minimum balance requirement at $1,260 to avoid fees.
- In Boston, consumers care more about rates and fees than the rest of the U.S., with 41 percent saying it's the best thing about a checking account, and 51 percent saying that's the reason they would switch banks (compared to 31 percent and 35 percent nationally, respectively).
- Consumers in Philadelphia noted the best thing about their checking account is convenience and ease of access, as opposed to Bostonians and New Yorkers, who rank rate and fee structures as the best things.
- Of those who pay fees in Miami/Ft. Lauderdale the highest amount rank overdraft fees as the most frustrating (43 percent), compared with other cities where non-bank ATM fees rank as the most frustrating.
Advice for Consumers
"Doing a little homework can help consumers find the best checking options and banking experience," added Bailey, who recommends the following:
- Investigate checking account options: The TD Bank Checking Experience Index revealed that only 14 percent of consumers have changed financial institutions and only 11 percent have moved into a new account at their current bank. Consumers who take time to research and compare account options at their bank and other institutions may find an account better suited to their needs.
- Make choices based on your needs: Non-bank ATM costs were the most frustrating fee for consumers, but many checking account holders aren't taking advantage of accounts which reimburse these fees or using online and mobile banking to avoid them all together. Customers should find a banking partner that offers choices and then engage with that institution for support in making decisions that will create the best possible banking experience.
- Research banks that focus on the experience: According to the Index, more than 30 percent of consumers rated convenience/ ease of access as the best thing about their checking account, and 20 percent ranked features and services at the top. Since positive experiences are closely tied to convenience and service, consumers should educate themselves on the convenience factors that matter to them if they are considering making a switch.
"Banks differ when it comes to convenience," said Bailey, "At TD Bank, we focus on creating a legendary experiences across all our channels including our recently launched remote deposit capture on mobile phones, enhanced ATMs, and our live 24/7 customer service by phone. We're committed to meeting the needs of our customers, no matter how and when they want to do their banking"
Full survey results, regionally specific findings from Boston, Miami/Ft. Lauderdale, New York and Philadelphia and a series of infographics detailing key findings can be found at https://mediaroom.tdbank.com/checkingexperience.
The study was conducted among a nationally representative group of consumers from July 24-30, 2013. The sample size of 3,025 has a margin of error of +/- 1.8 percent. The survey was hosted by global research company Angus Reid Public Opinion.
About Angus Reid Public Opinion
Angus Reid Public Opinion is the Public Affairs practice of Vision Critical—a global research company. Vision Critical is a leader in the use of the Internet and rich media technology to collect high-quality, in-depth insights for a wide array of clients.
About TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank
TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank, is one of the 10 largest banks in the U.S., providing more than 8 million customers with a full range of retail, small business and commercial banking products and services at approximately 1,300 convenient locations throughout the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Metro D.C., the Carolinas and Florida. In addition, TD Bank and its subsidiaries offer customized private banking and wealth management services through TD Wealth®, and vehicle financing and dealer commercial services through TD Auto Finance. TD Bank is headquartered in Cherry Hill, N.J. To learn more, visit www.tdbank.com. Find TD Bank on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TDBank and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/TDBank_US.
TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank, is a member of TD Bank Group and a subsidiary of The Toronto-Dominion Bank of Toronto, Canada, a top 10 financial services company in North America. The Toronto-Dominion Bank trades on the New York and Toronto stock exchanges under the ticker symbol "TD." To learn more, visit www.td.com.
SOURCE TD Bank