Responses by Union Bank Senior Vice President Maha Madain, head of Consumer Deposits and chief designer of Banking By Design
Q: You recently unveiled Banking by Design. What was the inspiration behind the new service?
Union Bank’s Banking By Design is an innovative new way of banking that was created in direct response to consumer research and demand for more control and transparency in banking. It addresses the way consumers live their lives — they want a true value exchange and don’t want to pay for items and services they don’t need or want as part of a bundled product. Banking By Design’s innovation builds on the idea that today’s consumer expects the ability to customize and personalize the products and services that are important to them. It’s a step in what will become a cultural shift by banks to adapt our business offerings to suit the customer’s highly individualized needs.
Q: What has the customer response been to Banking by Design?
Customer response has been positive – existing clients and new customers appreciate the opportunity to customize their checking accounts based on their financial needs.
Q: Is there a specific age group that is using it the most (i.e. Gen Y, Baby Boomers)?
While it’s still too soon to analyze the results, the research indicated that Banking By Design will be more appealing to younger customers (such as Gen Y), although not exclusively.
Q: Has Banking by Design increased account openings for Union Bank?
It’s too soon to determine as we’re still evaluating results.
Q: Are Banking by Design customers traditionally online bankers, in-branch users or mobile users?
We’ve seen a mix of online, in-branch and mobile users. Consumers can design their account at bankingbydesign.com and then call or visit a Union Bank branch to open the account. Banking By Design accounts can also be designed in a Union Bank branch with the support of a personal banker, and consumers will have the ability to open their account online in early 2013, giving them yet another convenient option.
Q: In an age when many checking accounts cost money, Banking by Design is low (to no cost) depending on how much a user deposits each month. Do you offer many free services to your customers? What was the decision behind offering this low cost tool?
Banking By Design is an affordable option for our customers and prospective customers. Everyone who wants greater control of their checking account and finances will be empowered with Banking By Design and the ability to design their checking account to meet their needs and their budget. We will continue to offer a range of banking products and services in order to give our customers options and a greater ability to design the services they need based on their individual circumstances.
Q: Where is Banking by Design available? Why did you choose to release the initial launch there? What area you are planning to launch these services next?
Banking By Design is available throughout California, which is where most of Union Bank’s branches are located. We are exploring additional locations, including the Pacific Northwest.