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Digging into the Customer Experience: Brokerage, Online and OffBrokerage is Corporate Insight’s original areas of expertise, dating back to the introduction of Broker Monitor and e-Monitor in the 1990s. Our value-added brokerage and online services research digs deeply to identify and assess specific aspects of the customer experience.
|Cash Management Services|
This Broker Monitor report looks at the cash management features that brokerage firms offer to clients – a topic we last covered in November 2010. Specific features that we focus on include check writing, ATM/debit cards, online bill pay, online ACH and additional funding options. We look at cash management offerings as well as restrictions and fees.
Check writing capabilities are nearly universal in the Broker Monitor coverage group, as all firms except one offer check writing. Among the firms that offer check writing, two-thirds offer free unrestricted check writing to all clients. Several firms impose minimum balance requirements to access check writing capabilities. Two firms removed a $5,000 minimum brokerage account balance they had required for accessing check writing. One firm requires clients to open a separate checking account that is attached to their brokerage account in order to access check writing. Four firms charge clients an annual fee for the service.
Similar to check writing, ATM/debit cards are a popular cash management offering. All but two Broker Monitor firms offer an ATM/debit card to clients. Among the firms that offer a card, all but one offer the card at no additional cost. One firm charges a $30 annual fee for the debit card, though it does not charge one for check writing.
More than half – 55% –of Broker Monitor firms have their own ATMs or are part of a surcharge-free ATM network, where clients can withdraw cash for no fee. A majority of firms also have ATM reimbursement programs that offer rebates for ATM surcharge fees, when using a debit card for cash withdrawals at out-of-network ATMs. Four firms offer unlimited out-of-network ATM fee reimbursements for all clients. Four other firms reserve unlimited fee reimbursements for select qualifying premier accounts if they require a minimum account balance.
Additional Key Findings: