New FICO Survey Finds that the Vast Majority of Consumers’ Financial Needs are Going Unmet

FICO research finds that only 1 percent of US consumers view banks as crucial to their financial success

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  • While the vast majority of consumers (86 percent) are satisfied with their banks, only 1 percent mentioned a bank when asked “what is crucial to the future of your financial success?”
  • 34 percent of consumers have at least one shadow financial account or engage in a shadow financial activity with a non-bank financial services provider.
  • 70 percent say they would be “likely” or “very likely” to open an account at a competing provider if that provider offered products and services that address their unmet needs.

Global analytics software platform provider, FICO, today released new research examining consumers’ shifting financial behavior and priorities. While the vast majority of US consumers (86 percent) are satisfied with their banks, they are increasingly open to working with new providers, including fintech companies and other non-bank providers, to address critical unmet financial needs.   

The research, conducted by Cornerstone Advisors and Nonfiction Research, asked US consumers what they considered crucial to their financial future and explored the types of products and services they were interested in to secure that future.

“Consumers’ expectations for banks are constrained by the products they have traditionally offered,” said Anna Hamilton, vice president of Portfolio Marketing for Customer Development at FICO. “While consumers continue to express positive sentiment towards their banks, our research has revealed a vast set of urgent financial needs that a majority of banks are currently not solving for.”

The research found that US consumers are beginning to address these unmet needs by turning to non-bank financial services providers as opposed to traditional banks or credit unions. 34 percent of consumers have at least one account with or engage in financial services activity with a fintech company, large technology company, merchant, or other non-bank provider. That percentage jumps to 47 for Millennials.     

“Shadow banking providers are siphoning a growing amount of business away from traditional providers, often in ways that are difficult to detect,” says Ron Shevlin, managing director of Fintech Research at Cornerstone Advisors. “For example, a quarter of a trillion dollars—$252 billion—in payments volume is now happening outside of banks’ payment products.”

A key factor driving this migration to non-traditional financial services is consumers’ growing uncertainty over their monthly finances. More than two-thirds of consumers (68 percent) experience high-stress about money every single month, while 53 percent say they aren’t on track financially.  

As a result, fintechs like Chime and Petal, who offer specialized services to help consumers with their financial futures, have been growing in popularity. Almost a third of millennials (31 percent), a quarter of Gen Xers (27 percent), and one in five Gen Zers (19 percent) express strong interest in these services.

The research also found that almost half of the respondents (45 percent) would pay a monthly subscription – akin to Netflix or Spotify – for unlimited access to new products and services, including:

  • 29 percent – would pay for a service to help negotiate money situations on their behalf.
  • 27 percent - would pay for a self-driving budgeting and investing service.
  • 27 percent - would pay for access to “Can I afford it?” advice on big spending decisions.
  • 25 percent - would pay for expert advice on how to ask for/earn more at their current job.
  • 21 percent - would pay for weekly emails that help them deal with status anxiety, social media, and the temptation to compare themselves to others

A majority of consumers (50 percent) would prefer to pay their current bank for these services, but they are willing to look elsewhere if necessary, with 70 percent of consumers saying they would be “likely” or “very likely” to open an account at a competing provider if that provider offered these products and services.

“Most consumers would prefer to get these services from their current bank, but they’re not going to wait around,” added Hamilton. “There is an increased demand from consumers for new financial services. For financial service providers, it will be critical to broaden their product offerings to help meet consumers’ financial needs and aspirations in the years to come.”  

For more information on shadow banking, visit:

FICO Market Research Infographic

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FICO (NYSE: FICO) powers decisions that help people and businesses around the world prosper. Founded in 1956 and based in Silicon Valley, the company is a pioneer in the use of predictive analytics and data science to improve operational decisions. FICO holds more than 195 US and foreign patents on technologies that increase profitability, customer satisfaction and growth for businesses in financial services, telecommunications, health care, retail and many other industries. Using FICO solutions, businesses in more than 120 countries do everything from protecting 2.6 billion payment cards from fraud, to helping people get credit, to ensuring that millions of airplanes and rental cars are in the right place at the right time.

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Greg Jawski for FICO
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