Monday 8 October 2012

Recalculating! the online and mobile banking...

Following my previous post where I revisited the obscure language online banking uses, let's dive now into where the emphasis is made in online and mobile banking.

Today online and mobile banking offers are built around banking and financial products, not customer objectives. Today, it is up to the customers to choose and operate those products in order to achieve  their goals. Of course the banks are there to help bridge the gap between goals and means, between wants and needs... usually in the form of human financial advisors in the branches.

But interaction with those advisors is getting less and less common (when was last time you popped into your bank branch?...), while the changes in the objectives and wants of the users change more and more frequently. Paradoxically customers interact with the banks more often than never before through online channels. The problem is that those channels predominantly focus only on the products and their management.

Last time I compared digital banking and healthcare... for this post let's compare it with a GPS.

If the GPS were built in the same way than online banking, then the interface would not ask you where you want to go, but if you want to know how fast you would like to drive your car in this moment, in towards which geographical direction; it would also tell you what are the streets in the next intersection and of course your current position... but it would never ask for your destination or show you how far are you from it. Being up to you to find the way to your destination, to estimate the time it will take you to get there in your current situation and perhaps more importantly to figure what to do if you make changes, to analyze the traffic ahead and basically every decision needed to get to where you want to go.

Continuing with the GPS analogy... financial advisors work for you like a GPS... they ask you where you want to go and set you on your way... but the analogy ends there... as the GPS knows when you make changes and adapt to them... "recalculating" sounds familiar? the GPS will adapt without you having to ask for it....and you can ask for it anytime as well.

Was it the right exit? Is this fund still the best for me? Let's stop for a coffee, how much it will delay my trip? I want a new car, how much it will affect my savings? or should I take a loan? Which type of loan? how much money should I put as down payment?

A digital banking interface that takes the users objectives at heart and puts all the financial instruments and products subordinated to those objectives will help the users much more than the opposite.

As examples: How much monthly money do I want for my retirement? How close am I from getting it? Can I change my car? What are my savings objectives? how close am I from reaching them? How can I have more money per month and what will be the consequences? And many more

Today, technologies exist to know when the customer took the wrong exit or her situation changed... and in any case, he/she should be able to tell you... and the online and mobile banking to tell her what's best for him/her.

Customer centricity, not banking product centricity is the future.


  1. great article, as the previous one you've published in this series.

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