Monday, March 1, 2010

Reg E Provides Opportunity for Enhanced Relationships

While many banks initially viewed the primary objective of Reg E communication as the recapture of potentially lost fee income, many banks are now positioning their Reg E communication around expanded overdraft options including linked accounts, checking reserve lines of credit and even electronic alerts. While the 12-18% of a bank's accounts that have had overdrafts in the past 12-24 months may still receive messaging primarily focused around opting-in, segmentation strategies will allow banks to reinforce the benefits of alternative overdraft protection to the roughly 80% of the households that do not generate revenues from fees or from higher balance spreads.

The benefit of communicating to a broader audience with alternative options is that the linking of accounts or the opening of a reserve line of credit can extend the life of a checking customer relationship by 2-3 years, thereby eliminating the replacement cost of the customer which can be between $200-$250 based on industry research. The value of this extended relationship far outweighs the potential for fee income for the mass market customer.

In addition, with media attention on Reg E, there is the opportunity to leverage this coverage and enhance the customer experience by educating the mass majority about overdraft coverage options available.

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