Due to the use of specialized terms and abbreviations, reading bank offers may remind a client of learning a foreign language. However, the bank's main task is to make the information understandable and provide a detailed explanation of its offers.
Using Mystery Shopping, Maritz conducted a Bank Communications Compliance Study in six leading US banks in order to evaluate customer communication. An analysis of phone calls, face-to-face meetings, and POS-materials showed:
One-third of current bank customers had a very limited understanding of the credit card offer after speaking with an employee. Nearly half of the potential clients rated their level of understanding from average to low.
At least twenty-five percent of clients were not informed about the key terms of the credit card offer. And surprisingly, almost three out of four clients weren't told about details such as minimum payments or late payment penalties.
While most clients mentioned the bank's honest attitude, some of the project participants reported vague information and hyperactive attempts to sell something.
"The findings show that banks and credit card providers have to work hard to protect clients against inconsistent and confusing information and to help them avoid pricey fines," says Michael Matza, a senior strategic consulting director of the Financial Services Research Group at Maritz.
The Bank Communications Compliance Study covered 780 evaluations by Mystery Shoppers in six major US national banks (409 visits and 371 phone calls).