Savings Accounts

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Resources & Channels for Considering a Savings Account

Your research team was able to find information on the factors that affect consumers choices in opening a bank account. However, specific information on how consumers choose to open savings accounts was very limited. The information that was found and the strategy that was used to find this information is detailed below.



  • According to Forrester Research, the three most-frequently cited factors that affect a consumer's decision to open a new bank account are fees, whether the bank has local branches, and friend/family recommendations. The top three reasons in a Cornerstone Advisors survey mentioned fees, bank locations, and overall value for money.
  • People look for the best savings accounts that will help them achieve their goals. These goals differ by age.
  • Baby Boomers and Gen X prefer to save for retirement by a rate of 34% and 32%. 17% of millennials have retirement as a goal for their savings accounts, but it is identical to the amount that save for a house (16%) and to get out of debt (14%). 24% of Baby Boomers save for financial stability and 12% save for emergency funds, like health. 16% of Gen X individuals save to get out of debt, and 14% save to build emergency funds.
  • 60% of customers do not plan to open or close any accounts within a 12-month period. This is not due to loyalty, as 22% see all financial service companies as the same and 17% say it was too difficult or time-consuming.



  • According to a PwC survey, 65% of traditional bank primary customers say it is important to have branches in close proximity. 25% would not open an account with a bank that didn't have at least one local branch. 58% would rather open a savings account at a branch.
  • Older customers value the convenience of having local branches more than younger customers. In fact, 68% of Millennials would rather put their money in national banks.
  • Overall, 34% of people who do not open an account with an online bank say they prefer to have access to a local branch.
  • A convenience that younger customers often seek out is those provided by online banks. 16% of 25-34-year-olds consider opening a savings account with an online-only bank within the next year.


  • According to Forrester, 24% of people say the recommendations by friends and family were important in their selection of where to open a new bank account. Other more minor factors include existing relations with the institution they are already a part of, which 15% say is a factor. 5% do so on recommendation from a financial advisor.
  • Referrals are more important to Millennials than to older customers. According to the FIS Performance Against Customer Expectations study, 75% of consumers between the ages of 18 and 26 choose their bank based on a referral.
  • Banks would do well in seeking out referrals. Bank customers who come from referrals are 18% more likely to stay at the bank for longer periods of time and generate 16% more profits than non-referral customers.


The first strategy we used to find how consumers open new savings accounts is by looking through popular financial websites such as NerdWallet, Investopedia, and Forbes. We found some articles that speak on people opening banking accounts and others mentioning checking accounts, but we didn't find much information on savings accounts. Because of this, we changed our strategy.

Our next strategy was to look through reports and news stories for information on how people open new savings accounts. Like the first strategy, we were finding a lot of information on how people open banking accounts on a whole. However, some reports such as those by Accenture, FICO, and EY mentioned savings account and checking accounts together, hence, we believed a lot of this information could apply to consumer behaviors with savings accounts. We received some information on factors that consumers consider for new banking accounts, the amount of time it usually takes, where they go to research banks, and who they go to for advice. However, recent information on the time customers take to decide on opening a banking account was very limited, and we still wanted to see if we could find more specific information on savings accounts. For this, we decided to change strategy again.

Our next strategy was to look at reports and case studies that describe onboarding practices by banks to get customers to open savings accounts. Onboarding is the process of bringing new customers on, and we thought that by looking at case studies or reports on onboarding, we could see some information related to how banks get customers to make a savings account. However, most of the case studies we found such as ones by the FDIC and JPMorgan Chase only spoke on how they improved their overall banking activities through marketing and other tactics. Even the reports and case studies by digital banks that we found didn't mention many specifics on savings accounts. Hence, we ended our search and used the information we received from the reports on how consumers open new banking accounts. Also, the closest information related to time was from a 2014 report from EY, but it was more of a qualitative look on the time consumers spend to decide on whether to open a new bank account. We believe newer information could be derived from the newer EY report, which is behind a paywall.
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Savings Account, Key Motivators

The biggest motivating factors for US consumers to open a new bank account include liking the mobile app, liking the bank's website, and because of a recommendation from their personal financial adviser. On the other hand the biggest motivators for switching banks include cheaper products or services, a better mobile app, a better website or online channels, and concerns about the security of personal data.

Motivating factors of us consumers in opening a new bank account and switching bank accounts from one bank to another

A) Opening a new bank account

A better mobile app

  • According to a Deloitte Insights report, 43% of US consumers have the motivation or reason that they liked the mobile app of the bank for opening a new bank account.

A better bank website

  • According to a Bank Clarity report, 42% of US consumers said that the bank's website was the major reason for a new bank account.

Recommendations from personal financial adviser

  • According to a Bank Clarity report, 41% of US consumers said that they opened a new bank account because of a recommendation from their personal financial adviser.

Other reasons for opening a new savings account

  • Some of the other reasons for US consumers to open a new bank account are email information (40%), online customer reviews (36%), a new job (35%), and ad/commercial (35%).

B) Switching bank accounts to a different bank

cheaper products/services

  • According to an Accenture survey report, US banking consumers switch bank accounts to a different bank because the other bank has cheaper products and services.

A better mobile app/online experience

  • According to an Accenture survey report, a better mobile app and a better online experience can also be a deciding factor for a bank switch.

Security concerns

Additional findings:

  • According to a Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation report, savings accounts make up 71.6% of total bank accounts opened by all US households while only 23.7% of checking accounts were opened specifically for savings.

Research Strategy:

We first researched for the most motivating factors for a consumer to open a new savings accounts or switch their savings account from one bank to another, by using authoritative and international trade associations such as Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, American Bankers Association and Consumer Bankers Association, among others. Our goal was to research for reports and surveys which may provide the consumer reasons or motivations in opening a new savings account or switching savings account from one bank to another in order to address the client's request. However, we did not find any relevant information about the reasons or motivations of US consumers that directly answers the client's request. We only found white papers, reports and banking journals about the US financial services trends.

We then went through industry reports such as FICO, EY, Deloitte, Forrester Group, Cornerstone Advisors, Accenture, and Bank Clarity. However, we still did not find relevant information about the motivating factors for opening a savings account. We did find reasons and motivations on why people open bank accounts and switch bank accounts in general, but nothing specific to opening savings accounts.

We also tried to look for the most popular on-boarding practices that banks in the US use by going through financial websites such as Forbes, BusinessInsider, Bloomberg, Inc, NerdWallet, and Investopedia. However, we did not find any relevant information again that we could use to correlate with the consumer reasons/motivations for opening new savings accounts or switching banks. We only found the total percentage of Millennials that use savings accounts and different bank case studies that were not specific to savings accounts.

We also tried to find the motivations/reasons for US consumers to open a new bank account or switch bank accounts from one bank to another in general. We found a report by the FDIC that provided some information and statistics about the topic.

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Savings Account Perks, Case Studies

There was no information available on banks in the U.S. that have been successful in offering perks or benefits to drive consumers to open savings accounts in the past two years in the public domain. Below is the information that was available.



  • To encourage new customers to open bank accounts, the Bank of America rolled out the "Keep the Change" promotional plan in 2004 in which it offered the benefit of rounding-up cents for each transaction and transferring this amount to the customer's savings account along with a promotion to match the savings at 100% for the first quarter of the campaign up to a certain amount.
  • SUCCESS: The campaign attracted 2 million customers in less than a year. Since the campaign, more than 12 million customers registered for the program, 99% of those customers stayed with the program, and 60% of new customers signed up for the program. More than $2 billion was saved.


  • In 2013, Citi Bank enabled customers to open new savings accounts with only two clicks and implemented an instant account opening facility to encourage new account opening.
  • SUCCESS: Due to the promotion benefits there was an increase in new accounts by 472%.

Best banks for opening A savings account

  • Based on the research and reviews by The Balance, FNBO Direct is the first choice for opening a savings account as it offers an impressive 2.15% annual percentage yield (APY) along with traditional branch banking and online-only banking.
  • The second choice is Synchrony which offers a 2.05% APY and FDIC insurance making it a popular bank for savings accounts.


  • Various banks in the U.S. such as the Bank of America, Queensborough National Bank & Trust Co., and several other local banks are promoting their perks and benefits through community partnerships, by tapping new markets with digitization, and through online promotions to attract new customers.
  • In an article, the Rochester Business Journal reports on the various efforts implemented by banks and credit unions in the Rochester area to attract new customers and foot traffic to their branches. Such efforts include revamping branch design and decor, efforts to showcase their connection to the community and other activities.
  • The top-performing banks of the U.S. in 2019 are competent on different levels across functions and follow several traits of effective decision support, such as meticulous budgeting, forecasting and planning processes, and financial and risk analyses.

Research Strategy

To provide 3-5 banks in the U.S. that have been successful in offering perks or benefits to drive consumers to open savings accounts we first looked through credible databases and library sites (such as AIT Library, Think With Google, Marketing Platform, G2 Crowd, Link Research Tools, Strategy Business) to find readily available case studies from the past two years. Through this strategy, we were unable to find any case studies. Most of the available information regarded marketing tactics used by banks to attract customers to their branches (such as offering community services and undertaking branch renovations) or regarded to promotions carried out by banks to attract new customers without specifying the type of account. Relevant case studies from the Bank of America and Citi Bank exceeded the two-year restriction (the case studies were from 2004 and 2013, respectively).

Next, we searched for articles on trusted industry media sites (such as the American Banker, Biz Journal, The Balance, WSJ, Pioneer, Bloomberg, Market Watch) as they often provide reports on the achievements of banks. Through this search, we were able to find information and reviews regarding the best banks for opening savings accounts and what approaches are being implemented by top performing banks in the U.S., however, no relevant case studies were available.

Next, we tried to triangulate a response by first identifying the banks in the U.S. with the most savings accounts and further researching the banks through their official website and other relevant sources to identify any promotions, perks or benefits that have helped them to gain success. For this purpose, we searched through market analysis reports (such as Seeking Alpha, Statista, JD Power, PWC, Deloitte, The Financial Brand). Through this search, no relevant information could be found on the top performing banks based on the number of savings accounts. The information that was publicly available, provided information on the banks' overall customers count, the revenue or the market share.

Additionally, we tried to explore individual case studies of various renowned banks in the U.S. (such as the Bank of America, Synchrony, FNBO Direct, Citi Bank) through their official websites and by perusing their annual reports from the past two years to collect any statistics showing an increase in the number of their savings account consumers and to find the reasons behind their success. Unfortunately, most of the banks published overall customer numbers and showcased successes relating to increases in their total customer base. In view of the above, we concluded that no relevant information is available to directly respond to the request.
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US Consumers Financial Well Being

The key motivators for US consumers to work on their financial well-being, especially in terms of putting money into savings are travel (45%), emergency (37%), retirement (30%), buying a house (21%) and buying a vehicle (20%).

US Consumers Financial Well Being — Motivation Factors

  • The key motivators for US consumers to work on their financial well-being, especially in terms of putting money into savings are travel (45%), emergency (37%), retirement (30%), buying a house (21%) and buying a vehicle (20%).
  • 41.2 million households in the US opt for 401k plans and consider it to be a key channel for retirement savings.
  • Most of the Americans save money for vacation by cutting down their spending and working for longer hours prior 1 year before vacation.
  • Americans are interested in saving money for home, retirement, car, college, wedding, and vacation which also include the Top 10 “how to save for” questions people asked Google in the past year.


  • According to a CNBC report, millennials save money to travel (65%), lead a desired lifestyle (63%), for retirement (37%), and for emergency funds (23%).

Gen X

  • According to a CNBC report, Gen X save money to lead a desired lifestyle (55%) and for retirement (45%).


  • According to a CNBC report, Babyboomers save money to lead a desired lifestyle (45%), for retirement (55%), and for emergency funds (38%).

Your Research team applied the following Strategy:

We performed an extensive search for information on the key motivators for US consumers to work on their financial well-being, especially in terms of putting money into savings. We located a recent survey of National Financial Confidence poll from SunTrust Banks Inc quoted in multiple sources stating that travel (45%), emergency (37%), retirement (30%), buying a house (21%), and buying a vehicle (20%) are the motivation factors to save money.

From Part 04
  • "Americans are saving their money for travel, surpassing saving for emergencies, retirement or purchasing a car or home, according to its quarterly National Financial Confidence Poll."
  • "Even when the survey results are broken down by generation, traveling is still the number one preference for setting money aside. Millennials and the silent generation clock in at 47 percent and 38 percent respectively. "
  • "41.2 million American households have people owning a 401k plan. "
  • "91% of workers with 401k plans said that payroll deduction helps them save. "
  • "401k statistics from 2017 show that workers are satisfied with 401k plans and their features as they make it easier for them to save money for retirement."
  • "Interestingly, Millenials contribute to 401k plans even more than Generation X and Baby Boomers although they face many obstacles to saving, such as debts and low salaries."
  • "A study examining the lengths parents go to try to give their children perfect childhood memories found moms and dads have to save for 10 months on average in order to make it happen."
  • "From reducing their own spends on socializing or ordering take-out, to using coupons, forgoing date nights and shopping in discount stores, the research unearthed the biggest efforts parents make in trying to bring their kids that dream trip."
  • " Hoarding money for a holiday was the top financial priority for 32% of Americans, the study found, versus saving for a home (27%) or retirement (7%). "
  • "65 percent of Millennials are currently saving money specifically for travel. 63 percent are saving for their desired lifestyle, and just 37 percent are saving to leave the workforce."
  • "23 percent had 6 months’ worth of expenses in their emergency savings fund."