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Is Financial Primacy Possible with Consumers Today?

January 31, 2024|0 min read
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The average consumer has at least 5 to 7 financial accounts with different providers. This makes it nearly impossible to use primacy — how many consumers consider an institution their primary financial provider — as a measure of success for bank, credit union, and fintech leaders. 

So how do consumers think about their primary financial relationships and what drives them to open and close accounts? MX’s latest survey of more than 1,000 U.S. adults sheds light on what primacy means to consumers:

Defining primacy is complicated. Only 38% of consumers define a primary financial relationship as where their paycheck is deposited. The next most common definition? Where consumers conduct most of their day-to-day transactions (20%). 

Consumers don’t believe in exclusivity. Seventy-seven percent of consumers believe an individual can have more than one primary financial relationship. This jumps to 80% among Gen X and Baby Boomers.

But consumers do still claim a primary financial provider. Eighty-three percent of respondents say they have a financial provider they consider their primary one.

Primary providers range from big banks to fintech apps. When asked what is the name of the financial provider you primarily use, the top most-often named providers included: 

  • Chase
  • Bank of America
  • Wells Fargo
  • Chime
  • PNC
  • U.S. Bank
  • CapitalOne
  • Truist
  • Navy Federal Credit Union
  • CashApp

Longevity doesn’t equal primacy. Very few respondents defined a primary financial relationship as the account they’ve had the longest (8%). But, that doesn’t mean keeping customers for the long term is a thing of the past. 

Financial providers can keep consumers engaged for the long-term. When asked how long they’ve had their oldest financial account, 22% of all respondents have had an account for more than 15 years. 

Women are more likely to keep the same financial account longer. Twenty-six percent of women have had their oldest account for more than 15 years, compared to 18% of men. Respondents who identify as White are also more likely to have longer relationships than non-White respondents — 25% of White respondents have had their oldest account for more than 15 years, compared to 19% of non-White respondents.

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Want to learn more about what matters most to consumers in their financial relationships?

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