By Gabe Krajicek | 10/25/2022
Topics:BLOG, PRIMARY FINANCIAL INSTITUTION
The WHY matters.
I do what I do because you do what you do.
I get asked a lot, “Why Kasasa?” It’s a fair question. I've been CEO of this company that helps community banks and credit unions for a long time — and for one really good reason. I LOVE what community financial institutions do. What they stand for. How they truly serve their community and the people in it through human connection and compassion — on a daily basis.
I remember early on in my tenure with Kasasa, I had a meeting with a community bank operations officer. He was late for our meeting, which was unusual, so I peeked through his office door window to see him and an elderly woman looking at his desk, which was covered in papers. I went back to the meeting room, and he finally joined me 45 minutes after our meeting time. We knew each other pretty well, so I asked him what that was all about. He told me that the lady had overdrawn her account several months prior, so every month she would bring in all her bills and he would help her prioritize how to pay them within her budget.
That hit me pretty hard. I was new to banking at the time. But I knew that if you overdraw your account like that, the normal thing to do is charge off the losses. And then to tell CheckSystems to notify all the other banks that she’s not worth banking with. I knew that had this community banker done that, it would have made that woman unbankable, and she’d have far less ability to take care of those that depend on her.
Not this bank. Not this community banker. Instead, he took time out of his day, week after week. That’s kind and that kindness is the difference. It’s just one of many amazing stories of how community banks and credit unions go above and beyond to serve their customers and their community.
The stories are inspiring. The numbers...not so much.
Community financial institution market share has dropped below 20%. Megabanks and fintechs are gobbling up new consumers.
To make things even more challenging, 77% of consumers now have additional accounts for things like online shopping, bill pay, and peer-to-peer payments. And there are a host of big names like Apple, Google, Amazon, and more entering the game to make it even more competitive. As scary as all that may sound, it’s also a wake-up call. Time to think differently…and do differently.
There IS some good news.
Human connection matters. And no one connects with and helps their people in the way that community financial institutions do.
People really do care about it. The fact is, people WANT to do business locally. In fact, 2/3 of consumers say they love you, but two things keep them from engaging:
- They don’t believe you can offer the products they want and need.
- They don’t know about you.
The problem is that they don’t know about you, your products, your services, or your heart.
We want to change that.
You’ve been fighting the good fight on ”Main Street.” Now, it’s time to take the challenge to “internet street.” With a partner who can give you the numbers, the leverage, and the clout to get you noticed…in a big way.
Playing bigger requires two components.
The first cornerstone to claiming a bigger share of internet search and in-branch traffic is all about you. Your continued commitment to stellar customer service, your personal attention and compassion for the people you serve, offering outstanding products, putting your community first, funding small businesses, and doing good locally. This is your wheelhouse. It’s who you are. And it allows your account holders to be proud of their money. People want a financial institution that goes above and beyond for them and their community. So, just keep doing it at the highest level you know how.
But there is a secondary component here…getting the word out about what you do and how well you do it. Word of mouth from your customers is great, but as we’ve seen lately, that’s no longer enough to survive. That’s where we come in. Kasasa brings national publicity and credibility to the equation. We’re building the name recognition, a powerful partner list, and a robust social presence to get your story out there with the oomph it needs to put your institution in the conversation.
- More than 800 community financial institutions
- 5.4 million Kasasa.com page views in 2021
- 3.3 million people reached on Facebook
- 7.6 million impressions on Twitter
Renewed mission. Exciting new strategy.
Kasasa was created to serve and support community financial institutions to help them compete on a larger scale. We’re committed to helping community banks and credit unions preserve the human element in banking and better serve the people in their area by equipping them with world-class financial products and services.
And soon, we’re launching (FI)nder — a consumer acquisition program, without all the risk.
Kasasa (FI)nder matches consumers with community financial institutions — putting the “FI” in FInder — all from a single website: Kasasa.com. Making it easier for consumers to find your financial institution and open a Kasasa account in a fully digital experience. National publicity will drive consumers to this central location where they can get amazing products and services exclusively from local financial institutions like yours.
To play big, you need to look big.
Thanks to the internet, people are much more discerning these days. You can’t just throw out marketing pieces without having something to back them up. Consumers are going to do research to find out more about the product or company being advertised.
Think about it, you see two billboards — one is touting another community financial institution’s "Bada-Bing Checking”, the other is your billboard for Kasasa Cash®. Both pay 3%, both have free ATMs. Which one would you choose? Would you drive to the closest branch for more info? Or would you search online to learn more?
Of course! The first thing people do is go online to learn more. And when they look up Bada-Bing Checking, they’ll find a single bank, Blue Green First Bank, promising you their checking is great. .
But when they look up Kasasa, they’ll discover that institutions that offer Kasasa have paid out $2.7B in rewards. That’s no teaser offering. They’ll find 100,000 followers on Facebook; that’s way more than Blue Green had. They’ll see thousands of articles in major publications confirming the quality and legitimacy of the product, social media influencers, coverage of national “event” marketing, and much more.
If you were a consumer, what would you pick?
You have one chance to be a firestarter. For good.
The pandemic changed how we did things. Personal interaction gave way to Zoom meetings, mobile ordering, curbside pickup, remote working, online purchasing, and more. AI and bots are quickly moving from trend to way of life. And as convenient as some of that is, people miss the human connection. Throw in the fact that it takes being on hold for an eternity to actually speak to a human being when calling most big companies (if you can even get one at all), and people are getting over the impersonal touch.
This means YOU have the advantage. Big banks and neobanks can’t up and change their ways — and probably have no interest in changing anyway. This is your point of differentiation — what makes you stand out from them. And the beautiful part is, you already do it on a daily basis. You already have a history of it and stories about it.
It’s time we take those stories to the public.
It’s time we go big.