The basis of digital payments is typically an account at a financial institution, which can hand these institutions quite a bit of influence over payment activity. It turns out, though, that consumers like to stick with their bank once they’ve opened an account. Even among persons aged 18 to 34, the average tenure for a checking account is 7.6 years, a number that goes up to 14.1 years for those 35 to 54 and fully 24.6 years for people 55 and up. The average tenure for a checking account is 17.75 years; for a savings account, 16.69 years
That’s according to research released Tuesday by Bankrate.com. The data came from a survey of 2,725 adults who have checking or savings accounts with a bank or credit union. Bankrate commissioned YouGov to run the survey.
This persistence with the same bank could be good news for traditional financial institutions, but possibly less so for challenger banks. Some 17% of account holders said they stick with the same account because “it’s the account I’ve always had,” a reason that was second only to “no/low monthly fees,” which registered with 24%. Other reasons include “convenient branches/ATMs” (13%) and “online or mobile tools” (6%). Some 10% simply indicated it is “too much hassle to switch.”
While 76% of checking-account customers pay nothing in fees, the average fee paid by the rest of the surveyed group came to $32.13 per month.
“It is heartening to see that so many Americans are avoiding unnecessary monthly checking account fees,” Mark Hamrick, senior economic analyst at Bankrate, said in a statement. “On the other hand, those who are paying an average of more than $32 a month are spending nearly $400 a year that could be used for more productive purposes such as savings or investing. Over the longer term, including the benefit of compounded returns, that can really add up.”