PHOENIX — Too many fees, too little trust. That’s how a large segment of consumers see traditional financial institutions, said Lewis Goodwin, CEO of Provo, Utah’s Green Dot Bank, a subsidiary of Green Dot, the pre-paid card company.
And in that market is huge opportunity, Goodwin told a Tuesday afternoon session on emerging growth strategies at the BAI Payments Connect conference.
“We don’t charge overdraft fees. We don’t have penalties. We help a vulnerable group. Sixty million Americans are our potential market,” he said.
“A lot of places don’t take cash. You need a card,” Goodwin added. “We are making banking more inclusive.”
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But because many of these consumers have had unpleasant relationships with banks, they have no qualms about doing business with a non-bank, said Goodwin. “What you did in the past doesn’t matter to us.” Customers aren’t excluded for a history of bounced checks or similar failings.
Goodwin cited polling data that claimed Americans view banking as among the least-innovative industries. Another poll found 65% of us are “open” to a mobile-centric banking relationship that does not involve branches. “Mobile banking,” he added, “has to offer everything a branch offers except safe deposit boxes.”
On the same panel, Paul Tomasofky, who runs Two Sparrows Consulting in north Jersey, predicted: “Traditional branch banking will decline. Consolidation of financial institutions will continue.”
Bottom line: We have entered an era of new-style banking where what worked before no longer matters.