Sounding off: Peg North – The American Financial Dream – Anything is Possible; or is it?

Why not more financial literacy courses and material?  

A startling 33% of all new mothers in the US are Hispanic/Latino.

Financial security is everyone’s goal and part of the American Dream; however, some need to understand the basics of finance here in the U.S.

The Hispanic population is young and growing; it is multi-generational; with money to spend. They also start new businesses, of all sizes, at twice the average rate.

By 2015, millions of baby boomers will have begun retiring, reducing their consumer spending. Hispanic consumers will play a major role in replacing those retirees in the consumer marketplace and will continue to contribute to the upsurge of economic growth.

Why isn’t every financial institution looking to court this group? Some have, but why not more? Why doesn’t every financial institution have some kind of Hispanic Literacy module?

One size does not fit all; but once sold, these are loyal (and viral) customers.

FDIC considers 21MM consumers “under banked” and has created some significant directives.

  • The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. approved a pilot program in August 2010 to encourage banks to create simple, low-cost deposit accounts.
  • The Treasury, in its latest budget proposal, is seeking $50 million from congress to create a "Bank On USA" program to extend local initiatives that encourage people to set up bank accounts. The financial-regulation measure signed into law in July 2010 also directs the Treasury to use grants and other agreements to draw lower-income consumers into the financial mainstream.
  • Dozens of state and local governments have launched programs, partnering with local financial institutions, to provide starter accounts with no overdraft fees and low or no monthly fees. 
  • New York City started this year with its summer youth work program in financial literacy and action. If workers did not have an account, easy directions aided the process for "NYC First Account"— facilitating pay through direct deposit. Of the 9,000 eligible young adults over age 18 offered the account, the city's Department of Consumer Affairs says, more than 2,000 signed up.
  • Community banks and larger financial institutions have stepped up their efforts to develop asset building through the development of products that remove barriers and corresponding objections to establishing asset building accounts such as savings and IDA accounts. For example, Pan American Bank in Los Angeles provides youth under 18 with savings accounts that are free of monthly fees and minimum balances and which are initially funded by the Bank. 

Knowledge of prevailing cultural, religious and language preferences is helpful in providing individuals quality service. Plus there is additional predictive data available on income, networth, investable assets, homeownership, switching accounts,investment plans, stocks, insurance purchases and more for targeting and segmentation.

Serve the underserved – smartly

In the past, consumer and business multi-cultural profiles have not been fully leveraged. Risk management, marketing, location and staffing are all impacted and can leverage data and work together. Focus and Hispanic understanding can lead to active, good customers.

Why doesn’t every financial institution at least have Hispanic Literature?

In America it’s all about a shared belief that here, anything is possible; including good and trusted financial services. 

Are you communicating effectively with Hispanics?

Now is the time. 

America is at the tipping point.

Peg North, as a strategy consultant at EthnicTechnologies, leads the use of unique proprietary ethnic, census, behavioral and demographic data and software to help clients develop strategies and implement direct to consumer programs; focused to produce ROI; leveraging multi-cultural (The New Mainstream) tools.

Sample of clients who have benefited from her diversity data acumen include: Bank of America, MasterCard, AmericanExpress, PNC, Ford, GM, Volvo, Sears, ING, Nielsen, Acxiom, Equifax, TU, March of Dimes, US Mint, USPS, Marriott, Hilton, American Airlines, Hachette, J&J, Kraft, Coach, Staples, ACE, HP, Dell, Pfizer, MetLife, The Hartford, AT&T, Verizon, NBC, Sirius and GE