The Point

When Life Happens, Immediate Funds Availability Offers Quick Access to Funds From Deposited Checks

Aug  25 
Victoria Dougherty  Director of Product Management, Financial and Risk Management Solutions, Fiserv 

In today's 24/7 world, consumer expectations for convenience and real-time service have never been higher. When life happens – unexpected expenses, a forgotten bill or a big purchase – people sometimes need same-day access to funds from deposited checks.

This capability is so important, one in five consumers are taking their checks to alternative financial providers to get immediate access, according to a 2015 Lieberman Research study sponsored by Fiserv. However, most people would prefer to use their financial institution for this service, with 58 percent of respondents saying a service that accelerates funds availability at a financial institution is "extremely appealing." Fifty-three percent of these consumers say they would use it at least once a month if it was available.

People need access to quicker funds for a variety of reasons:

  • 42 percent cite unexpected expenses 
  • 31 percent say they need to pay bills on time 
  • 31 percent need to avoid being charged late fees

Who needs immediate access to funds? Although respondents who said they were likely to use the service were fairly well distributed among age and income levels, families are most receptive to immediate funds services, especially young families with annual incomes of $50,000 or less.

Takeaways for Financial Institutions
Privacy is important to people interested in same-day access to deposited checks, and branch banking may be intimidating to some. Solutions that let people conduct immediate funds transactions privately, such as mobile banking and ATMS, are preferred, according to the study. As a result, those who elect a service that provides immediate funds availability are more likely to also use financial institutions' more profitable self-service products and services.

People seem willing to pay to get same-day access to funds. Forty-two percent of respondents indicated they were "likely to use" an accelerated funds availability service, which included an awareness of associated fees. As such, consumers who would turn to their bank for same-day access to funds from deposited checks represent a new, untapped revenue stream for financial institutions.

When people go elsewhere for immediate funds availability, they are taking away important existing customer wallet share. The more these consumers seek services elsewhere, the more likely they are to contribute to a higher attrition rate. Respondents said they have more confidence and trust in their financial institutions than in alternative financial services providers – and prefer to use their financial institution for same-day access to funds from deposited checks.

By offering real-time convenience when it matters most, financial institutions can help people solve life's challenges while attracting new business, increasing revenue and driving loyalty.

Attend the Strategy Session, Consumers Want Immediate Availability to Funds, at Fiserv Forum 2016 to learn more about immediate funds availability.