Head of Retail Banking and Chief Customer Officer
Karen Larrimer had an idea that would cost PNC Financial Services Group a lot of money. And that was the point.
The idea became a product called Low Cash Mode, which alerts customers when they have a low balance, helps them manage their cash flow and offers at least 24 hours of extra time to replenish accounts and avoid a fee before their balance falls below zero. And while it may compel PNC to forgo some overdraft revenue, it reflects a brand purpose that Larrimer and her team developed during the COVID-19 pandemic, when many people struggled financially.
“Our purpose is to make a positive difference by leveraging the power of our resources to help all move forward financially,” said Larrimer, PNC’s head of retail banking and chief customer officer. “We worked to create a breakthrough experience that would enable consumers to avoid overdrafts.”
In a pre-launch pilot with nearly 20,000 customers, Low Cash Mode lowered customers’ overdraft fees by more than 60%. PNC expects the product to save customers $125 million to $150 million in annual overdraft fees.
As a member of PNC’s corporate diversity and inclusion council, Larrimer sought to make positive changes in the workplace as well. In 2020, she initiated a series of conversations among the Pittsburgh company’s retail bank leaders aimed at expanding awareness of and sensitivity to racial and social stratification, giving those leaders the tools they need to create an inclusive work environment. The meetings have continued into 2021.
Like many bankers over the past 18 months, Larrimer has gained a new appreciation for the power of remote work and virtual processes.
“While we look forward to coming back to see one another in person, we will certainly take these new skills forward with us, incorporating fresh perspectives into the way we think, act and communicate,” she said.
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