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What is a Financial Supermarket?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 20 September 2016
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Financial supermarkets are institutions that offer a broad range of different financial services. The concept of this type of establishment is to provide individuals and businesses with the tools to manage their resources through a single provider, rather than securing various services from a multiplicity of sources. In some instances, a financial supermarket may offer incentives that encourage customers to enroll in all applicable programs offered at the store, a measure that may save the client money and possibly increase the return that is earned off investments and other financial accounts.

The typical financial supermarket will provide all the essential services of a commercial bank. Customers may establish checking and savings accounts with ease, set up a certificate of deposit, obtain loans, and even establish a line of credit. In addition, the supermarket will also allow the consumer to secure life insurance coverage, and participate in various types of investing activity, such as purchasing bonds or buying and selling stocks. All these services are available as stand-alone services, but some supermarkets also offer bundled packages that allow consumers to establish three or more related accounts for a discounted fee.

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One of the main benefits for the consumers is the convenience associated with doing business through a financial supermarket. It is possible to deposit a check, add money to savings, buy and sell a stock, and check the current cash value of a life insurance policy, all in one visit to the supermarket. This one-stop-shop approach can save a great deal of time, as well as simplify the process involved with various transactions. For example, if the customer wishes to purchase stock shares and prefers to pay cash, it is a simple process to transfer the correct amount of fund out of his or her cash account in a real time fashion.

Depending on the suite of services offered to consumers, the financial supermarket can also save customers money in terms of finance charges and account fees. The concept of bundling services, common in the telecommunications industry, is also found with some supermarkets in various nations. For example, if a customer establishes a checking account, a savings account and a life insurance policy, and purchases a bond issue through the supermarket, there is a good chance he or she may receive a higher rate of interest on the savings account, and possible also not have to pay a monthly checking account fee. When this is the case, bundling all financial services with the financial supermarket makes it possible to save a little money each month, as well as earn a higher return on any balances currently on deposit.

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