As more American consumers move online to search for better returns for their cash deposits, certificate of deposits (CD's) offer one of the lowest risk, highest yield financial instruments.

For banks that offer CD's to consumers, long gone are the days where the bank updates their rate sheet and post it in the lobby window in hopes of attracting new accounts. Today, we are seeing banks step it up in a big way by revamping their websites to display their rates to a larger audience and hundreds of banks in the country have even gone further by partnering with comparison rate sites to advertise their offerings.



For banks that want to increase deposits via CD's, we've come up with a list of the top five areas to focus on:

1. Offer competitive rates

Consumers love a great deal and one of the best ways to differentiate your bank is to offer more competitive rates. We've seen rates go as high as the mid- 2% range recently but some banks are still offering rates as low as 0.10% so the higher your rate, the more attractive it will be to consumers that comparison shop.

2. Offer the best CD product you can

We all know consumers have a lot of choices when it comes to their banking business so you want to differentiate your offering beyond just rates. We've seen banks offer more flexibility for early withdrawal penalties, shorter terms, and better rollover options to name a few of the product improvements that are gaining in popularity. Therefore, we recommend revisiting your CD offering to see if is well aligned to the needs of your target market and making improvements that are consistent with your bank's strategic objectives.

3. Sign up or advertise on popular websites

Even with the best rate and product offering, if you can't get your CD product in front of qualified consumers, you will fail to get enough traction.  So go where consumers are already shopping for financial products. Lucky for you, some of the following sites already have more than a million viewers per month. To do your homework, a site we recommend to check for traffic is so you can better analyze the traffic to the site. Just remember, traffic is just one way to measure a site's potential and you will want to go deeper to better understand the quality of content that is published and what that may mean for its reputation.



Although some banks don't pay anything at all to get their rate offering published, you may have to pay advertising fees which can easily surpass $10,000 per month to be featured or to rank higher in search results. There's no such thing as a free lunch when it comes it piggybacking off of other sites traffic but there are ways to being creative such as offering higher rates or getting more positive customer reviews to rank higher.

As with all good things in life, don't be surprised if these sites are more selective on the banks that can advertise on their site since they have limited real estate on their sites and can afford to pick and choose their bank partners.

If you are still up to the challenge, contact these comparison sites and get started today.

4. Get banking licenses in as many states as you can

The best way to increase business for many national banks is to get licenses in as many states as you can. For example, we know that states such as California, Texas, Illinois, and Florida have more Americans living there so there's a higher probability of success for your CD offering if you allow applicants from these states to open accounts.

We've seen banks add additional state licenses in a matter of weeks but it could take years so start early if national expansion is something that is aligned with your bank's roadmap.



5. Provide an easy online way to open new accounts

Last but not least, provide a way for consumers to purchase your product online without going to your branch especially if you are like 99% of banks that don't have branches in every major town in the U.S.  After all, there's no point in getting consumers interested in your offering, if they can't sign up easily for a new account. For your CD offering, consumers will need a way to apply, get approved, and fund their account all online.

Our company, Prelim offers white label software that your bank can use to instantly open accounts online 24/7, 365 days a year.  Our customers such as Total Direct Bank use our software to open millions of dollars of new deposits every single day.

Contact us today at to learn more.



Heang is the CEO and Co-Founder of Prelim and previously spent 15 years in banking at Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo, and Bank of America.