Growing interest among Texans to secede from the union got me wondering: What impact would that have on the US banking industry?
Based on my consumer research, here’s what it would mean:
1. The Unbanked problem would go away. OK, that was worded a bit too strong. The Unbanked population wouldn’t go away entirely. But among the other 49 states, the percentage of consumers that are unbanked stands at 6%. Among Texas residents, it’s 50% higher — 9% are unbanked. If, however, Texas takes Arkansas with them, then we’d really make progress at eradicating Unbankedness in our lifetime!
2. Bank loyalty would be negatively impacted. Among the residents of the other 49 states….hold on a second here….
It’s getting tedious referring to the two groups as “residents of the other 49 states” and “residents of Texas.” For the sake of convenience, let’s just refer to the two groups as “Real Americans” and “Fair-Weather Americans.” You OK with that?
Now, as I was saying: Among Real Americans, 10% switched banks last year. But among the Fair-Weather Americans, only 5% switched banks. I have no data to prove that they were too lazy to do so — you’ll have to make that call yourself.
3. Satisfaction with credit card rewards programs would improve. When we asked consumers about their levels of satisfaction with various aspects of credit card rewards programs — e..g, how quickly rewards are earned, variety of rewards earned, dollar value of points earned, etc. — Texans, oops, I mean Fair Weather Americans were less satisfied with those programs than Real Americans. Why? One could guess that it’s a result of Texans’ unrealistic expectations of those programs, but I have no data to corroborate that.
4. Community banks and credit unions would suffer. Among Real Americans, 43% would prefer a community bank or credit union for their next banking purchase. Among Fair-Weather Americans that percentage drops to 37%. Maybe Fair-Weather Americans don’t know what credit unions are. It’s possible.
5. Awareness of banks’ P2P payments offerings would magically improve. More than half of Fair-Weather Americans (52% to be exact) aren’t aware whether or not their bank offers P2P payment service. Just 43% of Real Americans are unsure. If Texas goes, overall awareness of banks’ P2P payments capabilities goes up. Just like that.
As you can see, a Texas secession would be a mixed bag for the US banking industry.
In case you were wondering, if Texas secedes, AT&T and Sprint will suffer. In the other 49 states, 24% of consumers say they do business with AT&T Wireless, and 8% have a cellphone plan with Sprint. Among Fair-Weather consumers, however, one in three are with AT&T, and 15% are with Sprint. So go ahead and leave, Texas. I don’t like AT&T and Sprint anyway. Actually, I don’t like any of the telcos.
Now I know what you’re thinking: “Hold on there a second, Snarketing-boy. Texas is just one state. Removing them from the mix wouldn’t change the overall numbers that much.”
That’s true. But don’t tell the Fair-Weather Americans that. They think their influence far outweighs their actual numbers.
On a personal level, it would be really cool if Texas secedes. I could then brag that I “studied abroad” to get my MBA, and that I have “international work experience” based on the two years I lived after graduation.
This post is dedicated to @chrissandoval. Gonna be sad to not be able to refer to him as my “fellow American.”