How Banks Can Reach Multicultural Consumers in the Financial Marketplace

banks multicultural consumers financial marketplace

Banks Multicultural Consumers Financial Marketplace1 in 5 United States residents speaks a language other than English at home, and more than 25.1 million people in the U.S. are limited in their use of the English language, limited English proficient (LEP). Language barriers present unique challenges for the financial services industry and without professional language support, banks and lenders may be losing out on business with LEP consumers who may find it difficult to access banking services.

When a limited-English speaker seeks a financial institution to participate in the financial marketplace, banks must empower the LEP consumer to make informed decisions in their preferred language. By offering high-quality, multilingual customer support to LEP consumers, both the consumers and the financial services industry win!


4 Reasons to Offer Multilingual Customer Support

1.) People Prefer to Do Business in Their Native Language

Research has shown that people prefer to do business in their native language, especially when they have limited-English proficiency. This gives banks an opportunity to speak directly to these markets in the language they prefer, giving them a leg up on competition by providing high-quality interpreter services for these consumers.

2.) Hispanic Influence Surges

50% of U.S. population growth from 2010 to 2015 has come from Hispanics, and the U.S. Census expects the U.S. Latino population to more than double within the next two generations. The U.S. Hispanic market was booming in 2015 at $1.3 trillion. In 2020, that amount is expected to reach $1.7 trillion. Neilsen

Spanish is the most spoken non-English language in the United States, and providing the best-quality language services for the Spanish language market is key for reaching and retaining this influential market.

3.) Asian Languages Market

The Asian languages market, roughly 18.3 million Americans, was $825 billion in 2015 and is projected to grow to $1.1 trillion in 2020 according to UGA. After English and Spanish, Chinese is the next most commonly spoken language in the United States, and the most commonly spoken language in the world, outnumbering English speakers 2:1. According to Selig Center Director, Jeff Humphreys, Hispanic and Asian consumers are driving the U.S. economy forward.

4.) Buying Power of LEP Populations

There was a record 42.2 million immigrants living in the U.S. in 2014, making up 13.2% of the nation’s population. Pew Research

Between 1990 and 2013, the LEP population grew 80% from nearly 14 million to 25.1 million. That’s over  8% of the U.S. population. Migration Policy Institute

For banks and financial institutions, there is an incredible opportunity to speak directly to LEP consumers, whose buying power will continue to show considerable growth in the coming years. Hispanic and Asian-American populations alone represent 70% of LEP consumers in the United States, and providing excellent language services means not missing out the opportunity to connect with and serve new markets.

3 Common Barriers to Banking and Financial Services for LEP Consumers

1.) A lack of reliable access to language support for seeking information and resolving issues.

2.) Limited access to educational resources about financial products in the customer’s preferred language. Financial literacy and processing highly technical language can be difficult for native English speakers, and even more so for LEP consumers.

3.) Limited access to vital documents in the preferred language of the consumer.
*Resolving issues that are common barriers for LEP consumers aid banking institutions and lenders in improving customer acquisition and retention of LEP consumers.

5 Ways Banks and Lenders Can Reach and Retain More LEP Consumers

1.) Understand the Specific Language Needs of Your Consumers

Working with a professional language services provider can help your financial institution to interpret demographic data in the locations you serve to ensure sufficient access to the languages your customers are likely to need. In addition to identifying the most common languages spoken by your customers, be sure to choose a language service provider who can provide access to a number of languages. Whether national, global, or local, assessing the needs of your current and potential consumers is key in order to expand the reach of your institution to more LEP consumers and to improve customer satisfaction with financial services.  

2.) Cultural Awareness Training and Reliable Access to Customer Service

Providing staff with education in cultural awareness aids staff in working effectively with customers of different languages and cultures, and can increase staff adoption and efficiency. In addition to cultural awareness training, Telelanguage offers free support materials to help staff communicate more effectively with LEP populations.


3.) 24/7 Access to Multilingual Customer Support

Communication isn’t limited to business hours in the financial sector. Customers may be needing to access your phone support after business hours – regardless of their preferred language. Having quick and reliable access to professional interpreters in banking will ensure that your customers can get the support they need in seconds, not minutes. Telelanguage provides the fastest connect times (average time is 7 seconds). in the industry to U.S. based certified interpreters.

When a situation arises where your staff needs extra support quickly, be sure to choose a language services partner who can meet the needs or your staff promptly. Telelanguage offers responsive customer support 24/7, 365 days a year.


4.) Have Pre-Translated Materials of Vital Documents

For banks, having prepared translations of vital documents in the top non-English languages of your consumers is crucial. Having the means to prepare specialized documents in a timely manner is also key. Telelanguage translation specialists are subject-matter experts, meaning we provide you the best-qualified linguists for your project. Telelanguage has the capacity to translate documents from English to over 100 target languages and vice versa. View a list of the most commonly translated materials for banks and financial institutions here.


5.) Flexibility and Performance

One-size-fits-all doesn’t describe the banking world, and it shouldn’t describe your language support either. Telelanguage provides banking and financial services clients with the leading-edge technology and professional services they need to offer the best language support with flexible solutions to meet the needs of your institution, including:

  • Advanced features such as automated interpreter connect
  • Customized and language dependent rate plans
  • Online and on-location training
  • Filter-based qualification interpreter connect
  • Detailed customized usage reports and client newsletters
  • Performance improvement consulting/service reviews
  • Online tracking system and account management



How Telelanguage Can Help

Free Download: Language Services for Banking and Financial Services | Telelanguage

Download Your Free Copy!

As a financial institution, if you aren’t offering competitive language support, you may be missing out on business with multicultural consumers. Telelanguage empowers your LEP customers to be able to navigate the financial marketplace with confidence. Our network of 5,000+ U.S. based professional interpreters is ready to speak in more than 300 languages.

Telelanguage offers complete language service solutions for the financial services and banking industry to ensure that effective communication is taking place in every situation:

  • Telephonic Interpretation
  • Video Remote Interpreting
  • On-Site Interpretation
  • Document Translation

Learn why banks are switching to Telelanguage. Download your free copy of Interpretation and Translation Services for Banking and Financial Institutions.


Ready to take your multilingual customer support to the next level? Contact us for more information or to request a free quote or demo for your institution. No matter what language your customers speak, Telelanguage can help.  


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