Banks and Credit Unions Can Fill the Financial Management Gap by Helping People with Advice and Tools, Shows Fiserv Research

  • The majority of people are satisfied with their bank or credit union,
    with more than one-quarter rating their primary financial organization
    a perfect 10
  • U.S. adults give themselves a “B” for short-term financial
    responsibilities like paying bills, but only a “C+” for long-term
    goals like saving for college or retirement
  • People are looking for financial services that are fast, easy to use
    and secure; view financial institutions as partners in managing their

(NASDAQ: FISV), a leading global provider of financial services
technology solutions, today released the results of its Expectations &
Experiences: Household Finances quarterly consumer trends survey. The
study, which polled more than 3,000 U.S. adults, found that while the
majority are satisfied with their primary financial provider, they give
their own financial management skills mixed marks. Sixty percent view
financial management as a “must do” versus a “want to” and there are
signs that many consumers would benefit from outside help, revealing an
opportunity for financial institutions to provide advice and tools that
enable consumers to take control of their financial lives.

Expectations & Experiences: Household Finances was conducted by Harris
Poll on behalf of Fiserv. A paper summarizing the findings is available

“Tasks such as paying bills, budgeting or saving for retirement are a
fundamental part of people’s daily lives,” said Mark Ernst, chief
operating officer, Fiserv. “Most consumers look to their bank or credit
union as a partner, and financial institutions have a significant
opportunity to provide the financial advice and tools they need to help
them achieve their dreams.”

Long Tenure, High Satisfaction Characterizes Most Financial
Institution Relationships

Most American households have longstanding relationships with their
financial institutions. According to the survey, 52 percent of consumers
have had an account with their primary financial institution for a
decade or more.

Seventy six percent give their primary financial organization an eight
or higher on a satisfaction scale of zero to 10, with 28 percent giving
a “perfect 10.” The higher overall satisfaction ratings are tempered by
lower satisfaction among the newest households: 65 percent of early
millennials rated their primary financial organization an eight or
higher on a scale of zero to 10.

Consumers are increasingly seeking to customize multiple services that
meet their financial needs. If everything they desire is not available
within one financial institution, consumers have shown a willingness to
work with many, and the survey showed consumers have relationships with
an average of 3.7 financial organizations. Working with multiple
institutions generally reflects a focused strategy intended to maximize
rewards, rates and results.

The Opportunity for Financial Institutions

Despite the seeming savviness of managing accounts at multiple financial
institutions, there are many signs that households need more support
when it comes to managing their household finances. On average, U.S.
adults rate themselves a “B” for short-term responsibilities like paying
bills and sticking to a budget, but this drops to a “C+” for long-term
goals like saving for college or retirement. This is perhaps not
surprising, as 48 percent admit that they do not have anyone they rely
on for advice on managing their household finances.

However, 53 percent of consumers view financial institutions as partners
in managing their finances, indicating that banks and credit unions have
an opportunity to fill this gap. Households identified a wide variety of
tools, support, information and strategies that would be very helpful in
navigating the necessary – but cumbersome – financial management task.

The Future of Consumer Banking & Household Finances

The way consumers manage their finances has shifted. The consumer’s
primary financial organization’s website is by far the most common
method to track and access financial information, and online and mobile
banking continue to grow. Only 49 percent of consumers say they use a
checkbook to keep track of their finances. However, many people still
rely on time-tested services like the branch for actions they perceive
to be more complex, such as account opening.

When it comes to financial tools and services, people are clear – make
it fast, easy to use and secure. Three in four households want real-time
balances on all their accounts and 72 percent want instant posting of
transactions. The need for speed is even more pronounced among
millennials, with 80 percent of early millennials and 83 percent of late
millennials desiring real-time balances, and 84 percent of early
millennials and 86 percent of late millennials wanting instant posting
of transactions. Early millennials are defined as ages 18 to 24 and late
millennials are defined as ages 25 to 35.

In a world that is moving faster than ever before, Fiserv helps clients
deliver solutions that are in step with the way people live and work
today – financial services at the speed of life. Learn more at

Additional Resources:

Expectations & Experiences: Household Finances–


Nothing moves faster than consumer expectations. To better understand
the changing financial landscape and consumers’ evolving financial
needs, Fiserv is now releasing its consumer trends research quarterly.

Formerly the Fiserv Consumer Trends Survey, Expectations & Experiences
builds on 15 years of survey data sponsored by Fiserv to understand
consumer needs and help clients drive customer satisfaction, loyalty and
profitability. The survey was conducted online within the United States
between October 22 and November 4 by Harris Poll on behalf of Fiserv,
Inc. The survey was conducted among 3,050 U.S. adults ages 18 and older
who are part of a household that currently has a checking account with a
bank, credit union, brokerage firm or other financial organization, and
who have at least some level of involvement in managing their household

The data were weighted to ensure that relevant demographic
characteristics of the sample matched those of the U.S. general

About Fiserv

Fiserv, Inc. (NASDAQ: FISV) enables clients to achieve best-in-class
results by driving quality and innovation in payments, processing
services, risk and compliance, customer and channel management, and
business insights and optimization. For more than 30 years, Fiserv has
been a leader in financial services technology, and today is among
FORTUNE® magazine’s World’s Most Admired Companies and Forbes magazine’s
America’s Best Employers. For more information, visit



Media Relations:
Ann Cave
Director, Public Relations

Elizabeth McMillan
Director, Corporate
Fiserv, Inc.