Market Rates Insight's New Integrated Study on Service Fees Reveals Lifestyle Financial Services Will Pay Off for Financial Institutions

First Ever Consumer Service Fee Study Shows High Desire for and Willingness to Pay More to Banks and Credit Unions for Convenience Services That Deliver Concrete Value.

SAN ANSELMO, Calif. (May 22, 2012) -- The results of the first Integrated Study on Service Fees designed to gauge consumer acceptance of fee-based services from banks and credit unions reveal that consumers are willing to pay more for “lifestyle financial services.” Market Rates Insight, Inc. (MRI,, a leader in pricing intelligence for deposits, personal loans, mortgages, and fees, conducted this nationwide consumer study to give banks and credit unions empirical data to help them reduce the risks associated with consumer backlash from service fees, and identify new sources of revenue from value-based services that consumers want.

The study is expected to prove valuable for banks and credit unions, giving them insight to compete effectively with larger institutions offering lifestyle financial services. Those new services have a higher perceived value and promote greater consumer loyalty such as credit score monitoring, identity theft alerts, mobile banking services, personalized couponing services, person-to-person payments, and other services. The study includes an in-depth analysis of consumer preferences and perceived value for such services, as well as a competitive overview of these same services from the top five U.S. banks. The findings are based on a national sample of 1,500 consumers and are broken down by demographic data such as age, gender, income, and other criteria.

Consumers indicated they are willing to pay on average $3.63 for lifestyle financial services that deliver convenience and efficiency, and credit union members indicated a higher likelihood to use such services (68.7%) than bank customers (66.3%). Foremost among the services that consumers indicated they would seek from financial institution is Identity Theft Alerts. More than 82 percent of those surveyed indicated they would be likely to buy Identity Theft Alert services from their bank or credit union at an average monthly fee of $4.07. Ranking second was Credit Score Reporting, with more than 73 percent indicating they were likely to buy this service at an average fee of $3.39 per month.

Financial institutions continue to see revenue from fees for traditional banking services shrinking. In fact, income from service fees on deposit accounts declined 13 percent between 2007 and 2012,” said Dr. Dan Geller, Executive Vice President of Market Rates Insight and the architect of the study. “With continued low interest rates, banks and credit unions need to develop new revenue models based on fees consumers are willing to pay for. Our new study reveals the importance of this new class of lifestyle financial services; those services that consumers want, and that will soon uses as a criteria to determine whom they will trust with their money.”

Traditionally, financial institutions have based their decisions about setting service fees on the competitive landscape for similar services. However, consumers have demonstrated they are no longer interested in paying fees for services that have no perceived value. The new Integrated Study on Service Fees points toward a new approach by assessing consumers’ preferences on price sensitivity with the competitive landscape reveal what consumers want, what they are willing to pay, and where the market opportunities lie. The first-of-its-kind consumer survey helps financial executives reduce risk from making poor fee decisions, and increases the probability of generating incremental income from new services.

The Integrated Study on Service Fees is available as a comprehensive report assessing all seven lifestyle financial services. Individual reports also are available for credit score services, identify theft protection, personalized couponing, prepaid reloadable cards, overdraft protection, personal money transfer, and mobile remote deposit capture. Each study features consumer research on preferences and perceived value, as well as demographic segmentation.

For more information, contact Market Rates Insight at

About Market Rates Insight
For more than two decades, Market Rates Insight (MRI) has been helping clients price with precision by providing banks, thrifts, credit unions, and other financial institutions with comprehensive market intelligence on deposits, loans, and fees. MRI uses deposit surveys, mortgage and consumer loan surveys, fees and features studies, new product alerts, benchmarking and market share analysis to give subscribers the intelligence needed to strategically position products, optimize pricing and react to emerging trends. MRI’s products include web-enabled, customizable report programming, proprietary product research tools, searchable databases, market alerts, and online dashboards that aggregate key client data to provide real-time interactive views on how they rank against their specific competitors.

Market Rates Insight is located in San Anselmo, California. For more information, see

Photos available upon request

For additional information contact:
Tom Woolf
Market Rates Insight
(415) 259-5638

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