Millennial Banking Strategies to Boost Student Loan Application Completions

June 27, 2016

Relay-built mobile messaging platform increases student loan application completions by 10% and helps Citizens Bank effectively reach historically elusive millennial customer base.

It’s no secret that millennials have completely changed the banking customer experience model. They seldom respond to phone calls or emails, but still expect personalization and a felt connection in their digital interactions that mirror walking into a bank branch and speaking with someone one-on-one. Banks and other financial institutions must adjust their customer experience tactics to keep this age group engaged or they risk losing out on the $30 trillion in wealth millennials and Generation Xers are poised to inherit from baby boomers over the next 30 years.

Citizens Bank in Providence R.I. frequently experienced the frustration of not being able to reach millennial customers, especially when it came to completing student loan applications, where the applicant pool is primarily this age group. Completing a student loan application is a multi-step process and requires applicants to have important pieces of personal information readily available.

“It was very difficult to get them to provide us the information we needed after they started a student loan application,” said Mary Fiorille, head of the unsecured lending business at the $140 billion-asset bank. “There were delays in application closings.”

To address this problem, Citizens Bank teamed up with Relay Network to launch a mobile messaging solution designed to guide student loan applicants through the necessary steps and reduce the number of applicant drop-offs. Citizens captured applicants’ mobile numbers at the beginning of their loan application and then leveraged the Relay platform to send timely, helpful messages to prompt applicants to finish each step in the process.

As we move forward we are looking to explore how we can expand the use of the Wire and deepening the relationship with the customer across other products.

Mary K. Fiorille, Head of Partnership Lending and Business Strategy at Citizen’s Bank

The solution, called the Citizens Bank Wire™, yielded excellent results. Loan completions among applicants communicating through Citizens Bank Wire jumped by 10%, and the time to complete applications decreased by 40%. The Relay-built Wire allows Citizens to deliver proactive, specific reminders that feel personal to a historically hard-to-reach group of customers that value that type of individualized outreach.

After seeing such positive results from the student loan application pull-through program, Fiorille says Citizens will continue using the Wire to strengthen customers’ lifetime value and deepen relationships.

You can read full article from American Banker here.

If you’d like to set up time with us to discuss your digital banking strategy, reach out to us here.

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