AUSTIN, TX--(Marketwired - Apr 16, 2014) - Today, Kasasa launched the Consumer Banking Insights Study, reporting that while, when choosing a bank, 92 percent of U.S. adults say it's important to have few or no fees on checking and saving accounts, only 44 percent of checking account holders actually have unconditionally free checking accounts. Further, 15 percent have never even checked their primary checking account for fees.
The Consumer Banking Insight Study -- conducted online by Harris Poll in December 2013 among more than 1,000 U.S. adults (ages 18 and up) and commissioned by Kasasa® in partnership with more than 200 community banks and credit unions -- found that 64 percent of checking account holders use the account as their primary method of payment.
"Checking accounts are some of the most widely used financial products out there -- 92 percent of Americans have at least one," said Gabe Krajicek, the CEO behind Kasasa. "It's surprising how little attention consumers are paying to their banking account at a time when we're being hit with an endless barrage of fees."
Among applicable Americans, just over 1 in 3 (36 percent) perform an annual financial assessment of their checking account, and less than half (45 percent) have checked their primary checking account for fees in the last month.
The inattention could explain why nearly 3 in 10 (29 percent) checking account holders, especially megabank customers* (42 percent) report feeling that their primary bank takes advantage of them with all of the fees.
"When consumers become fed up enough with fees to take action and want to switch accounts, many are looking online, where it takes just a few minutes to locate unconditionally free checking accounts," said Krajicek.
Community bank and credit union account holders* are more likely to say they spent a lot of time researching and choosing the right bank (63 percent) when compared to megabank customers (43 percent). And, among community bank and credit union account holders, 56 percent report having free, unconditional checking, while only 26 percent of megabank users say the same.
"Financial literacy starts from the bottom up, with the most basic banking product -- the checking account," Krajicek said. "By taking the time to choose the right bank and the right account, consumers are more likely to avoid extravagant fees, enjoy greater control over their finances and experience higher satisfaction with their bank."
About the Consumer Banking Insights Study
More than 200 community banks and credit unions teamed up with Kasasa to conduct the first Consumer Banking Insights Study, which was executed online by Harris Poll from Dec. 26-31, 2013. The study polled 1,020 U.S. adults ages 18 and up to gauge their banking and checking preferences, feelings and behaviors. Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents' propensity to be online.
*Throughout this release, "megabank customers" are checking account holders who consider one of the big national banks to be their primary banking institution, and "community bank and credit union account holders" are those who consider a local community bank or a credit union to be their primary banking institution.
Additional data from the Consumer Banking Insights Study is available upon request.
Kasasa, a national brand of free rewards checking and saving accounts, works exclusively with select community banks and credit unions to offer consumers the banking experience they seek. Kasasa provides customers with an account that is free with no minimum balance, and account holders receive refunds on ATM fees nationwide. Kasasa products allow customers to earn really high rates and receive rewards, like cash back and digital downloads from iTunes® and Amazon®. Kasasa is available at more than 1,200 branches, which, when combined, represent the 11th largest branch network in the nation. Working with more than 200 community financial institutions, Kasasa marries innovative products with the personal touch of local banking. For more information, visit www.Kasasa.com.