Would You Like a Home Mortgage with that Online Banking?

by Jason Unger

As online banking continues to be the most popular way that people interact with their banks, and that banks continue to find ways to generate new revenue sources beyond fees, it’s no surprise that simply logging into your account has turned into a sales pitch for every other service your bank offers.

I hadn’t thought too much about this, since it’s so commonplace nowadays (especially with providers like PayPal who are always shoving their credit card down your throat), but there’s an interesting quote from an article in The Washington Post over the weekend.

Lately, though, when I sign in, I don’t see my accounts right away. First, I have to run the gauntlet: Would I like to know my FICO score? Am I interested in a home equity line of credit? How about wealth management services?

I didn’t give the come-ons much thought until I happened to be chatting with a group of regional bank presidents at PNC Financial Services the other day. Michael N. Harreld, the leader of the bank’s Washington-area operations, said PNC expects this to be the first year when “non-branch channels” account for more than 50 percent of all bank transactions in this region.

There’s nothing really revolutionary or ground-breaking here — just the matter of fact truth that, as more people come to use online banking as their primary way to interact with banks, they’ll get targeted with promotions and opportunities to use the bank’s other products.

So, rest assured, you’ll see more promotions as you do your online banking now and in the future. Sometimes, it may be a page you’ll need to click through or skip in order to get to your accounts; other times, it may be more integrated into the online banking process, like Bank of America’s BankAmeriDeals Cash Back offers.


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