Does my Bank Want to Help me?
I pointed out my bank’s lack of data savvy once before . I would love it if they could be helpful, but I’m forced to wonder: Is my bank trying but failing to be helpful? Or are they just pretending to be helpful, but really hoping to charge me an overdraft fee?
On their online banking site, they list a notice of how they use a low balance alert to try to help me avoid an overdraft fee.
That $25 courtesy notice might have been helpful when I was in college, but not so much now. Why not? Well, either because I’m super rich, or more likely because my family cell phone plan, cable/internet bill, credit card payment, housing costs, child care costs, utility bills, and most other bills are all over that arbitrary $25 amount.
If they wanted to be helpful, they could at least raise the low balance alert threshold to cover the 80th percentile of my withdrawal amounts.
If they really wanted to be helpful, they could alert me any time my scheduled bill payments would put me below a threshold determined by the remaining predicted payments.
In other words, if they really wanted to help me, they should be smart enough to come up with a meaningful threshold and update that threshold based on upcoming scheduled and predicted activity.
Data and predictive models enable companies to provide a new level of service to their customers. But companies have to want to help their customers and have to know how to use their data to help their customers.