JamesBond007.5

Banking Assignments: They’re not all about the money.

Overview: Although they can appear intimidating, bank shops are some of the easier shops available to mystery shoppers. These shops can range from inquiring about accounts, actually opening an account, asking about investment services, or asking about other services the bank may offer.

Project variations: If you’re doing more than just a teller shop, have your backstory ready. It doesn’t need to be elaborate, but it should be plausible. This is especially true for those shops where you have to inquire about investments.

Visit and reporting requirements: Most visits should last between 15 and 30 minutes. The reports can range from simple yes/no with minimal narrative to reports that are mostly narrative. The longer reports tend to pay more but they will require more observations and more complete reporting of the details. Be prepared to record timings, but they won’t be as extensive as fast food timings.

Strategies: Most of the time the shop guidelines will give you scenarios to use. This is especially true of the investment scenarios. Hint: If the banker starts talking about mutual funds, annuities, or anything not typically associated with a bank, make sure they cover or remove the “Insured by FDIC” signage. That question will [or should] appear in some way, shape, or form. And if it doesn’t appear and the banker fails to cover/remove the sign, that is something that needs to be reported as it’s a violation of the banking regulations.

Special note: If you have an account at the bank you’re shopping, you might be able to score a teller shop and a Customer Service Rep shop on the same visit. One bank that I have an account at has those shops and I do them 3-4 times a year.

While there are some bank shops where you will actually open an account for a period of time, most of the time you will only be seeking information. Therefore there is no reason for the banker to need to see your ID. Be aware that they may ask and just reiterate that I’m only seeking information at this point.

What others have to say: There is a general consensus among shoppers at www.mysteryshopforum.com that banks are some of the easier shops available and are probably a good way for a relatively new shopper to get their feet wet.

Estimated pay: Generally, I’ve seen these shops start at about $10 and go up, depending on the MSC and how hard it is to fill the shop.

MSCs: Ath Power Consulting, Troy Dolan, Informa Research, Bare International, Marketforce, and Customer Service Profiles are some of the MSC’s that have bank shops.

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