Will new regulation lead to the demise of “totally free checking?”  Most executives think so.

As banks focus on re-pricing their portfolio of checking products, many will miss the opportunity to generate non-traditional fee income.  In particular, bancassurance provides a unique opportunity to capitalize on customer risk adversity while increasing fee-based product sales in the branch.

Retail banks have struggled for years to sell insurance, failing to gain customer share of mind and equip staff to recognize opportunities.  In partnership with the Insurance Advisory Board, the Council has identified four common principles for successfully selling insurance in the branch:

  1. Get the timing right:  The window of time in which customers are open to purchasing insurance is brief, so link insurance cross-sales to a primary asset purchase or life event.
  2. Ensure it’s easy:  Insurance products are complex and the sales process often places a significant burden on unsure customers, so narrow product sets and limit coverage ranges to ensure the underwriting process, benefits, and terms are straightforward.
  3. Use Information:  Cross-business silos prevent banks and insurers from sharing information to uncover cross-sales opportunities. Banks have a unique asset:  checking, savings and loan accounts help them uncover customer life events or major asset purchases.  Mine this data (e.g. customer demographics, change in transactions, or complementary purchases) and share it with the insurance side of the business.
  4. Make only relevant offers:  Insurance-related interactions are not a part of customers’ day-to-day lives, so when making an offer, ensure that it’s relevant and positioned in such a way that the customer understands how it links to their lifestyle. Offering identify theft protection, for example, when a customer calls to report the loss of a debit card, is highly relevant.

CFC Members, see how other institutions implement the four principles to successfully sell insurance in the branch.  Executives interested in this topic, may also be interested in the Council’s resource center on fee-base deposit products.