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Prisma Campaigns Blog

Written by Ianai Urwicz
on December 12, 2020

Sshare of wallet (SOW) is one of the best indicators of loyalty and a great way to objectively evaluate how well your your strategies to cross sell and retain your customers are working.

In this post, we'll talk about how to measure and increase SOW in banking.


Definition of share of wallet (SOW) in banking

In marketing, share of wallet (SOW) is “the proportional amount of money that a client invests in products and/or services of 100% of the personal budget destined to that category”.

While customer satisfaction and Net Promoter Scores are important ways to measure loyalty, SOW indicates the extent to which loyalty is being translated into tangible results.

In banking, SOW is understood as your institution's share of all products a customer owns across their various banking relationships. The easiest way to calculate it is to use the a generic average, which in the U.S. is 8.5 products, excluding investments. So if your customer has an auto loan and a savings account with you, your share of wallet is 23%. If you get them to sign up for checking, SOW will increase to 35%.

As always using an average has its limitations, especially as you zoom into individuals. For a 45-year-old in their prime borrowing years, who might have more products than the average, your share can end up overstated. And for their gen-z kids, who probably have fewer products than the average, it can be understated. Despite that, financial institutions can and should be using SOW to set high-level business objectives.


To increase share of wallet you must become the Primary Financial Institution.

The advisory firm RFI Group authored one of the most comprehensive studies on the SOW in banking. After surveying more than 40,000 consumers through 21 markets, its main conclusion was that "in order to create a fertile field for cross-selling and therefore increased SOW, one must become the Primary Financial Institution (PFI)."

Here are the four universal factors driving PFI status:

  1. Frequent use: PFI is the institution with which the customer transacts more frequently. That means more interactions, activities and engagement.
  2. Recurring payments: customers use their PFI to pay their regular bills. A customer's usage of online and mobile bill payment is a good indicator, while automatic bill payment setup is even better.
  3. Brick & Mortar: customers still value physical channels the ability to interact face-to-face if necessary, even if they don't use them regularly. Customers' #1 criteria to choose a PFI is branch convenience, and #6 is nearby ATMs. 
  4. Loyalty / Longevity: customers tend to identify the institution they are using the longest as their PFI. To make them stay, a good retention strategy has to be in place, with sticky products like a sound rewards program and an attrition-reduction program.

Using technology to increase SOW

While working on these four factors has different angles, the role of technology cannot be underestimated. To begin, a great part of the interaction today takes place in digital channels. Additionally, behind the scenes, technology is an enabler of better non-digital experiences as well. 

From working closely with dozens of banks and credit unions of all sizes to improve their SOW, we found three capabilities that can be game-changers:

  1. Using your data for insights and targeting.
  2. Leveraging your digital channels for targeted cross-selling.
  3. Making automated messages feel personalized and relevant.

At the core of these capabilities is a marketing automation platform that can act as the "midde-man" with connections to data on one side and integrations with digital channels on the other. It pulls data from any source in an automated way, uses it for segmentation and personalization of centrally managed campaigns, and then pushes messages out in a coordinated way, through different channels.


Learn more about how marketing automation can increase your SOW

Prisma Campaigns marketing platform has been specially designed for financial institutions. To know more about how we've helped institutions increase their SOW with data-driven, cross-selling campaigns in their digital channels, click here to schedule a demo today.

The roadmap to personalization in banking
An exclusive report by Ron Shevlin

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Image credit: shutterstock.

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