The Mass Affluent Consumers: Why and How to Engage Them?

The mass affluent – defined here as consumers with liquid assets of at least USD 100,000 – represent a key target cohort for banks around the world. Your ability to successfully compete in this segment and win market share is critical to driving profitability. Mass affluents are a highly coveted segment for their overall higher product holding and how they generally tap into your most lucrative financial products: investments and home loans.

RFI Global’s ongoing research into this audience digs into what makes them tick and what they really value from their financial providers. If you want to unpick what drives mass affluent consumers to choose one financial services partner over another, read on as I reveal highlights of our recent data.

 

The challenge

Whilst the mass affluent offer strong profit potential, winning and retaining them is a complex affair. Mass affluent consumers are financially savvy and more likely to shop around for products and consider alternatives. Comfortable with maintaining relationships with multiple financial institutions, they are much more likely to spread their assets and products across several providers. Our research shows they are more inclined to compare providers’ fees and charges, interest rates, product packages and digital capabilities when compared to the non-affluent.

What is more, not only do they want their financial providers to have a good grasp of their personal circumstances, but they also expect them to understand their unique needs, be proactive, innovative and add value to their relationship. This calls for very tailored solutions.

“They expect providers to understand their unique needs, be proactive, innovative and add value to their relationship”

And if their needs aren’t met, they’re more inclined than your average customer to switch providers. Across the 11 markets we surveyed, 25% of the mass affluent are considering switching their primary financial provider, whilst only 17% of the non-affluent are prone to do the same.

 

The opportunity

Mass affluent consumers’ investment activity offers a striking opportunity for banks to deepen their relationship with them. 70% of the mass affluent we surveyed do invest. Also, they hold about one third of their total net investable assets in investments. Yet, when they place their capital, only some 40% rely solely on their main bank, whilst over half enlist multiple providers.

Tomorrow’s winning financial organisations are those that will have concocted the most attractive wealth propositions as their ‘secret sauce’. Indeed, 35% of mass affluent consumers plan to step up their investment activity over the next 12 months.

Over the next 12 months, the mass affluent are planning to invest

A superior wealth proposition will help not only acquire mass affluent consumers but also grow client value, through cross-selling. 31% of mass affluent consumers globally are looking to take up new financial products in the next 12 months, with investments ranked as the single most popular financial product among the future actives. Also, among those considering switching their main bank, accessing better investment and wealth management products and services emerges as top motivator, as quoted by more than a quarter of these consumers.

Our data reveals key factors influencing their choice of provider. Besides fees and charges, the institution’s historical investment performance and its reputation, strong advisory services coupled with solid digital platforms to track and manage their investments top their list of considerations when selecting an investment partner.

The mass affluent estimate that close to 60% of their investment decision-making is influenced by advisory services. Therefore, access to professional and tailored investment advice and to investment research materials are services mass affluent investors value highly. And they rank these factors among the biggest relationship pain-points.

 

Final thoughts

The mass affluent opportunity is sizeable, and it has long been on the radar of financial providers. The winners of this clientele stand to benefit from better cross-sell prospects, stronger customer KPIs, higher share of wallet and profitability.

“Mass affluent investors’ total investment holdings tend to be 6.5 times higher than these of the overall investor population”

Our data-driven insights paint a picture of such highly diverse group – with many sub-segments and ever-changing needs and demands – that it is no wonder only a few providers truly manage to meet mass affluents’ banking and investment needs.

Yet capturing their share of investment wallet is key to profitability given mass affluent investors’ total investment holdings tend to be 6.5 times higher than these of the overall investor population.

 

All data referred to in this article is sourced from RFI Global Priority and Retail Banking Council 2021-2022. For more information and data on the mass affluent segment’s financial relationships, needs and preferences, get in touch.

 

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