Magazine article American Banker

Proven Products as Cross-Sell Centerpiece

Magazine article American Banker

Proven Products as Cross-Sell Centerpiece

Article excerpt

Many financial companies have enrolled customers for an Internet service, but far fewer have had much luck with follow-up sales.

In their efforts to change this, some are using one online service as a foundation for brand building and cross-selling.

E-Trade Financial Corp., for example, has thrived as an Internet brokerage house but has had less success promoting E-Trade Bank. The New York company aims to correct this not by hyping the bank but by better familiarizing customers with online banking, and it is using its Quick Transfer service to do so.

Quick Transfer lets the user move money from outside bank accounts into E-Trade trading accounts and routes them to an account management screen that uses the E-Trade interface to show balances at their external accounts.

Robert Shenk, E-Trade's vice president of retail banking, said Quick Transfer "is a simpler first step for many customers. This is a great way, and a low-impact way, of trying out our online banking."

Citibank.com customers can transfer funds from one institution to another. Catherine Palmieri, the director of the Citigroup Inc. unit, said that at first there was concern that Citibank would lose accounts by offering the transfer service.

But the opposite has occurred.

"We've actually found that the inflow is 75%, versus the outflow of 25%," Ms. Palmieri said.

And the more active the customers become on the Internet, the more likely they are to use it to research and buy other services, she said. …

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