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2 November 2011
Bart Narter
Account opening is an interesting process at US Banks and it is insightful to see how much the process and style differs across banks. At one bank, I was given a needs assessment, asked about my mortgage and what kind of credit cards I carried. Another bank showed me a list of accounts and asked me to pick one. Finally a third asked me my income (I answered), and then did nothing with that information. I'm certain that there is a bit of variation within banks as well as lots of variation across banks, but it is insightful to see the philosophies underlying the questions. One bank clearly wants to be my financial service provider of choice. Another has products on a menu and invites me to pick. One bundled a savings account with the checking account in spite of the fact I had no need for savings. Another let me articulate my needs and move forward from that basis. As transactions continue to move away from the branch, American retail banks are going to need to be better at understanding customers and creating appealing offers to those customers. They haven't quite arrived yet. Do you have any experiences you'd like to share?

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