Consumers still opting in to banking overdraft reform, despite confusion, according to Mintel Comperemedia

August 11, 2010

Chicago (August 12, 2010) – With the deadline to opt-in to Standard Overdraft Protection only days away, banks are still trying to get consumers to respond.

Mintel Comperemedia, a service that provides direct marketing competitive intelligence, found that consumer awareness of the new Reg E legislation, that requires banks to have customers consent to provide standard overdraft service, is surprisingly high. In a recent consumer survey, Mintel Comperemedia found 60% of online adults indicated that they were aware of the upcoming changes, a significant increase over the 40% who were aware in May.

” unfortunately, most consumers are unable to define exactly what Reg E will cover, making banks’ efforts to promote it that much more difficult,” comments Susan Wolfe, VP of financial services at Mintel Comperemedia. ” in other words, consumers are aware that changes are coming to their overdraft programs, but are not exactly sure what it means for them. ”

When consumers were asked if they know what a bank means when it refers to Standard Overdraft Service, over 60% indicated that they did. But when further probed to define it, 54% were unable to answer correctly.

According to Susan Wolfe, not everyone needs to be that well-informed; only about 18% of consumers have even had an overdraft in the past six months. The good news is that 26% of consumers have already opted in to the standard overdraft services and another 26% plan to do so.

Banks’ efforts have been a full scale approach, incorporating direct mail, email, web and phone campaigns. Despite this integrated strategy, the efforts within the branch are not nearly as aggressive. In a Mintel Comperemedia mystery shopping study, a bank representative initiated the conversation about standard overdraft services in only 15% of cases. Additionally, little collateral was available in the branch, and branch personnel didn’t go for the hard sell.

For more information on this topic and the upcoming changes to overdraft services, join Susan Wolfe for her upcoming webinar:
“Responding to Reg E: Communicating Change in a Complex Environment”
Thursday, August 19, 2 p.m. CDT Register here:

About Mintel Comperemedia
Mintel Comperemedia provides competitive intelligence for businesses looking to advance and improve their direct marketing strategy. Tracking direct marketing (including mail, email and print advertising) targeted at consumers, small businesses and insurance agents, Mintel Comperemedia offers a unique perspective on everything from banking trends to insurance trends to credit card statistics. For more than 38 years, Mintel has provided insight into key worldwide trends, leading the industry for consumer, product and media intelligence. Follow Mintel on Twitter:


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