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Notes from BAI’s SmartTactics Conference

Bai_smarttactics_logo_1Several interesting tidbits surfaced from today's presentations at BAI's SmartTactics conference in Las Vegas:

Citibank online account acquisition
In 2002, 6% of Citibank's new checking accounts were generated online; in 2005, the number was 20%.

Our comments: Keep in mind that Citi's experience is unique. It has a huge brand and relatively small branch network, so many of its new accounts have no choice but to open online, or over the phone. And part of the growth can be attributed to non-checking products, such as its high-yield savings, that REQUIRE a companion checking account.

Bank of America's SiteKey rollout
The rollout of mandatory two-factor authentication is complete, except in Oregon and Washington where it is expected to go live in June. Prior to becoming mandatory, users had a period of time where it was an optional feature; however, only 8% opted in during this phase. When the PassMark-powered system became mandatory, users were served notice during their first two logins that they needed to sign up before it became required on the third login. Only 4% signed up during the first two warnings, and 96% put it off until the third try.

Note: PassMark was acquired by RSA Security today.

Our comments: Taken together, only 12% of users opted for stronger security before it was required, far below the 60% or so that say they want more security in consumer-research studies.

Zions remote deposit-capture results
Zions Bank has grown its remote-deposit client base from 364 in January 2005 to 3,697 in January 2006, and they are adding nearly 100 clients per week. The bank has bagged more than $200 million in incremental deposits and has increased loans and fee income. The Utah bank is now looking for new business worldwide with clients in 49 states and five countries outside the United States. It has clients of all sizes, from the Fortune 500 to small businesses that use it for just one check per month.

Our comments: If you needed ammunition to move this up the priority list, keep your eye on Zions: It said that its main problem now is just keeping up with the all the requests.

Research results from Yahoo Search Marketing
A Forrester study of all U.S. banking customers (not just online bankers), commissioned by Yahoo and OgilvyOne Worldwide, found that 61% of all banking-product research is being done online vs. 5% via phone and 30% in branch. Similarly, 64% of account monitoring is now down online vs. 16% via phone and 13% in-branch. But account opening at branches still dominates at 84% of new account openings, compared to 14% online and 2% via phone. 

Yahoo also said they expect 50 million online credit card applications in the United States this year.

Our comments: Wow, time to pull out all the stops in your online account-opening initiatives.