The Bankwatch

Tracking the consumer evolution of financial services

Posts Tagged ‘Digital Money

Bring the banking experience forward to the transactional experience


There is an enormous intelligence in this paragraph from Dave. It centres on the reality that with each transaction, a consumer is making a decision about their banking service. That service may be merely a payment card, or it may be a BarclaysBofALloyds Card. it doesn’t matter.

What has really happened is that the product experience has transferred from the old view of product, the bank account, to the new view, which is the experience. The experience occurs at the ATM, the POS terminal, the online banking session, the iphone app (oops you haven’t got that!). The customer experience is in the use of the account, not in the interest rate. That rate stuff is relegated to another mind space that is related to return and investment quality. That other mind space is critical, but not at the point of transactional experience.

United we fall | Digital Money Forum

Retailers don’t want to stop taking cards and go back to cash, but neither would they expect the product to be provided for free. So what is the real dynamic? Many people might sympathise with the retailers’ central complaint, that interchange has not evolved to reflect the modern retail payment environment, while being sceptical that a regulatory transfer of resources from one group (banks) to another group (retailers) will result in any benefit to the consumer. But there is a dynamic, so we cannot be static in response. We as an industry (by which I mean the electronic payments industry) need to demonstrate to retailers that our products are worth paying for. As I’m learning from the Innovation in Payments work over at the CSFI, if we restrict the value proposition to the payment transaction, this is difficult. It’s the value-added services around the payment transaction that create our future proposition.

This is essential stuff to consider in building new services. The traditional view of biulding a bank account goes like this:

  • how many free ATM transactions
  • how many free debit transactions
  • at which balance will interest kick in

These assumptions are negative in nature in a consumers view. How about a value proposition that says ..

  • monthly fee = $ XX
  • ATM – free
  • debit – free
  • interest – zero
  • savings account – no debit and high rates

Relevance to Bankwatch:
Of course I am simlifying here, but the point is to address the features of the account towards the requirements of the customer. Customers want simplicity, and understandabilty [I know that is not a word]. Take a look at any telco site and do the opposite. Allow customers to understand on the first page, what they are going to get.

Written by Colin Henderson

July 29, 2009 at 16:16

Posted in Payments

Tagged with , ,

A chat with Dave Birch | whirlwind review of changes in financial services


Today I had the pleasure of a chat with Dave while he visited Toronto on business. Inevitably the conversation weaved in and around banks, payments, and what is wrong with both. As we chatted it is evident there is much change going on in the world of financial services, and that change may or may not be as expected. It appears banks are not innovating much anywhere at the moment as predicted, while on the payments front there is a host of activity and very different activity in many parts of the world.

This fits with my general theme of these times that innovation in banking will come from outside banks, and that banks will generally (not all) be relegated to a role of financial utilities. We spoke about the enormous challenge banks have to digest the mergers and takeovers which resulted from the banking crisis. The combination of mergers, new regulation, and concern for conservation of capital leads many banks down this path. Euro banks have the additional challenge of absorbing SEPA and the associated changes there which are neither easy nor cheap.

Innovation will come from non-banks, from payments providers, even credit card companies, and Dave was kind enough to provide some insight there, and show me some pretty cool stuff coming later this year.

Back to the topic of banks the one thing they generally appear to have grasped is the importance of mobile; they remain unsure how or what to implement, but mobile is important, so we can expect to see more work in that area.

Now off to read my newly autographed copy of the 2009 Digital Money Reader!

Written by Colin Henderson

July 14, 2009 at 14:10

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