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The Top 6 Reasons Your Account Holders Are Ghosting You

Ethan Lippman, Senior Director, Revenue Operations


Because you’re on this website and reading this article, you know what it takes to be the type of financial institution people want to bank with. You know it takes the magical mix of people, technology, products, and services. So we’re not going to talk about what makes a bank or credit union have a great experience with their account holders. Instead, we’re going to talk to the other financial institutions; those who are struggling with churn, where account holders are ghosting them. 

If you’re not familiar with the term ghosting, you can either ask your 15-year-old nephew or take my word for it. So what’s ghosting? I’ll share an example. Have you ever been speaking with someone either in business, dating, or just regular old real life? You’re having good conversations, going back and forth via calls or texts, and then….nothing. Radio silence. That person just ghosted you. 

Don’t think account holders could ghost your financial institution? Of course, they can! Haven’t you had that account holder who regularly banked with you and then all of a sudden they left? Where did they go? Probably to a financial institution that offered a more individualized personal touch, a better experience with digital banking solutions, and communications that felt as if the institution knew them on a human level. Probably to an institution that appeared to care more about their financial future. 

So why did they leave you for this monolithic-sounding financial institution? Because this new bank or credit union has invested in better technology and likely has a bigger marketing budget than you. It’s that simple. They were swayed by an experience, a product, a communication (or lack thereof) or saw an ad, gave it a shot, and said “Well, this is better” and just like that, you were ghosted.

Here are the top six reasons account holders are attriting:

  1. Irrelevant Communication
  2. Poor Mobile Experience
  3. Hidden Fees and Charges
  4. Lack of Convenience
  5. Security Concerns
  6. Unrewarding Loyalty Programs


What if I were to tell you that the size of the marketing budget doesn’t matter? What if I were to tell you that you could communicate, provide an exceptional digital banking experience and market like the megabanks for a fraction of the cost? What if I told you that by the end of this article, you’ll know how to get your account holders to stop ghosting your financial institution and start retaining more of them? We’re going to talk about how with the right messaging and a small marketing budget, bank and credit union leaders can implement strategic financial services marketing tactics that will stop your account holders from ghosting you, and turn you into a Ghostbuster.  

So why are they ghosting you? Let’s dive into it.


1. Irrelevant Communication

Imagine you’re an account holder of your institution. Are you enthralled with the promotions your financial institution is offering you? The content is good, but do you feel as though the timing and delivery are on point? Probably not. You’re probably dealing with some irrelevant “spray and pray” style communications. Look, it’s no surprise that consumers crave personalized communications that resonate with their lifestyles. Personalized communication isn’t just a buzzword; companies that excel at it generate 40% more revenue than those that don’t​. With Alkami’s data-driven insights, you can craft tailored marketing campaigns based on your bank or credit union’s own internal transaction data that speak directly to each account holder’s needs and interests. Say goodbye to generic emails and hello to engaging content!


2. Poor Mobile Experience

A glitchy mobile application (app) can make users flee faster than you can say “loading screen.” In fact, 64% of account holders report that their mobile banking app doesn’t solve their problems quickly enough, causing frustration and perhaps ultimately ghosting. This means as a bank or credit union, it’s your duty to ensure your mobile app is top-notch with superior functionality and an intuitive design. That part is obvious, you know consumers want all the bells and whistles in a simple-to-use interface. What you didn’t know is that a great mobile experience isn’t just about the functions and user interface, but it’s also about a personalized banking experience. 

This is where Alkami’s Data & Marketing solution comes in. With Alkami’s transaction data cleansing – Hold up – buzzword alert! Here’s how I would describe transaction data cleansing: Transaction data cleansing is like organizing a messy room; it sorts out and fixes errors in your records so everything is neat and accurate. This makes sure the financial institution knows exactly what you spent or saved, just like knowing where all your stuff is. To keep everything running smoothly and provide a stellar user experience that keeps account holders hooked, you need transaction data cleansing to know the proper experiences you need to deliver the consumer! 


3. Hidden Fees and Charges

Ever see a spider on the wall in your bedroom? Pretty terrifying and unwanted, huh? Well, that’s how consumers feel when they realize they have been hit with hidden fees and charges. This means transparent communication about fees is crucial. Studies show that increasing your retention rate by 5% can increase your financial institution’s profits by as much as 25-125% (Glassbox)! Be transparent about your charges! How does Alkami help here? Use Alkami’s AI predictive modeling to offer personalized financial advice and the right products that help consumers avoid unnecessary fees…Now hold up while I take care of that spider. 


4. Lack of Convenience

If your services aren’t easily accessible, consumers will find another institution who can meet their needs. With 89% of account holders likely to stay with financial institutions offering seamless omnichannel experiences​, Alkami’s real-time data insights allow you to anticipate and respond to account holder needs instantly, ensuring they have convenient access to all your services without a hitch.


5. Security Concerns

Hold on while I lock the door. Okay, it’s locked. Now, hold on while I sign into my VPN. Okay, I’m in. Now hold on while I open my phone with Face Identification. Okay, done. Now hold on while I lock the windows. Okay, locked. Now hold on while I turn on the alarm. Okay, armed. Now hold on while I try to remember my 18-character password. Okay, remembered. Anyways, in today’s digital world, security is non-negotiable. 

Any hint of vulnerability will send consumers running to the hills! In fact, 86% of consumers say that data privacy is a growing concern for them, and ensuring a secure banking app is crucial to maintaining trust. Leverage data analytics in banking to monitor for unusual activity and assure account holders that their money is safe and secure. 


6. Unrewarding Loyalty Programs

Who doesn’t like feeling appreciated? I know I do! So is it surprising that consumers want to feel appreciated too? If your loyalty program isn’t rewarding, they’ll look for greener pastures. 

Banks and credit unions that excel in personalized banking experiences retain more account holders and see a revenue increase. Top-performing loyalty programs can generate up to three times the engagement of less successful programs and gain a 35 percentage point greater share of consumer spending. How can Alkami help? (This is a blog post from Alkami after all). By using Alkami’s performance reporting, you can fine-tune your rewards program, making it more attractive and beneficial for your loyal patrons.


Becoming a Data-Informed Digital Banker

There you have it, data is your financial institution’s secret weapon against account holders ghosting you. By taking advantage of and leveraging your financial institution’s transaction data that is packed with data and behavioral insights, leaders in your institution can become data-informed digital bankers, better understanding your customers and members, personalizing their experience, and keeping them engaged and loyal. This is where the smaller marketing budget comes into play; the more tailored the message using data, the more relevant the campaign, therefore lowering the financial institution’s cost per conversion, driving revenue. Data also fuels tailored marketing strategies and through a digital banking platform that encompasses sales and service, individualized marketing messages can be sent to audiences most likely to engage.


Want to hear a song about ghosting? Here you go!

Want to be a Ghostbuster? Contact Us

author avatar
Ethan Lippman Senior Director of RevOps
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