Rebuilding Trust In A Broken Sector

Apr 8, 2014 | Branding Strategies, Sticky Brands

Since 2008 the banking and financial services sector have lost the trust of consumers.

According to the 2014 Edelman Trust Barometer, the banks and financial services sector are the least trusted sector. Only half of American consumers trust them.

Many pundits argue the loss of trust is based on the financial meltdown of 2008 and 2009, but Ben Katz, CEO of, argues the lack of trust is systemic. He says, “Since the banks make their money on borrowing and lending, it turns out the bottom 90% of Americans are not a good fit for the banks. Not the bottom 20% or 30%, but the bottom 90% are not a good fit, because the vast majority of people do not have savings of $5,000 or more.”

Create a product your customers want is creating a paradigm shift in the financial services sector.

Ben explains, “We’re a mobile alternative to branch banking that allows consumers to do everything they need to get their paycheck and securely spend it. We let them do that in a fair, fashionable and fun way.”

By using the Android phone or iPhone in your pocket, provides an alternative to the banks. Their service enables a customer to deposit checks, withdraw cash and make transfers for a fraction of the cost of a traditional retail bank.

The smartphone is the tool, and couples branded prepaid credit cards to make the experience fun and fashionable. For example, you can get a personalized card with a picture of Elvis, Star Trek, the Walking Dead, or some other image you identify with.

The goal is to create a service that a consumer personally identifies with, and then make it incredibly convenient and cost effective to use.

Make the process delightful

Whether true or not, the banks in America are perceived as insincere and deliver poor customer service.’s approach to customer service is driven by attitude. They don’t have endless resources, but they have a clear purpose. Ben explains, “We try to offer a great service at a fair and approachable price with great customer service. We’re shoehorning a lot of value into the experience.” can stand out in a jaded industry with an innovative product, and a dedicated team. “We have a team of seventeen people who deeply care about serving our clients,” explains Ben. This is the secret sauce for gaining the trust of your customers.

Break away from the old ways

The banking sector has the money, infrastructure and resources invested in maintaining the status quo. They’re not driven to change, even if their services are not a good fit for the average consumer.

The chasm of mistrust and misaligned services creates an opportunity for companies like Sticky brands are built when the old guard stays set in their ways or complacent.

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Jeremy Miller

Top 30 Brand Guru

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