According to a survey of 3,000 consumers conducted by ""Fiserv, Inc."":http://www.fiserv.com, a Wisconsin-based global provider of financial services technology solutions, 11 percent of online consumers are currently connected with their banks or credit unions through social media.
[IMAGE] The survey also revealed that 36 percent of those not connected are interested in doing so. Gen Y consumers (13 to 21-year-olds) indicated the most interest (45 percent).
""There is clearly a sizable segment of consumers who are interested in interacting with their financial institutions through social sites,"" said Geoff Knapp, VP of online banking and consumer insights at Fiserv. ""An active, engaging online social media presence is a viable way to maintain and grow valuable relationships with consumers who are visiting branches less and interacting through digital channels more.""[COLUMN_BREAK]
According to the survey, consumers use social media primarily to engage in informational and relational activities with lenders, from receiving information about financial services (66 percent) and promotions (32 percent) to reviewing other consumers' opinions or posting reviews, complaints, or questions (31 percent). Others conduct customer service-related activities (30 percent).
However, more than 30 percent of consumers surveyed said they were unaware that their financial institutions were on social sites. Also keeping consumers from connecting is a preference for the institution's Web site as well as privacy and security concerns.
Consumers indicated they would be more likely to connect to their bank or credit union if community-building activities, such as reading reviews from other customers, were available.
The survey also revealed that consumers who connect to their financial institution via social media and consumers who are interested in connecting are already devoted to their bank or credit union and use an average of 5.4 banking services. Those who have little or no interest in connecting via social media use an average of 4.3 services.
Because those who are connected or interested in doing so most often use online banking and bill payment, online banking users are a key target segment for expanded relationships via social media, the survey said.