Archive | January, 2009

Internet banking is NOT on the wane

From Finextra:

“US consumers are spending less time on traditional online banking sites, creating fresh challenges for banks as they scramble to attract retail deposits in a shrinking economy.

In general, engagement at many of the top banking sites declined in Q3 2008 versus a year ago, according to data released by comScore. Four out of the top five online banking sites experienced declines in the average number of minutes spent per visitor in the third quarter of 2008 versus a year ago, with Wachovia down 12% and JP Morgan Chase down eight percent.

Marc Trudeau, senior director, financial services, comScore, says: “Americans have less cash, are spending less and have experienced a significant decline in the value of their assets. As a result, we’re seeing shifts in the way consumers manage their finances online, such as less frequent and shorter visits to their banking Web site, which has significant implications for marketers trying to reach new and existing customers.”

Article continues

Colin over at BankWatch has some interesting thoughts here, and I tend to agree – this data may have many explanations, other than people just simply using the internet less. Saying there is a ‘shift in the way consumers manage their finances online, such as less frequent and shorter visits’ is not due to the capability of internet banking itself, more the conditions in which we live.

As the capability of internet banking increases, so too will the control and confidence of customers in their money – these conditions should draw people to internet banking, not send them away.

As Colin says, people are too worried about the important things in life – family, work, basic existence, and avoiding their financial position.

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Innovation round up – January 09

FINANCIAL SERVICES INNOVATION

THE CENTRE FOR FUTURE BANKING FROM BofA AND MIT – Research and innovation for BofA provided by the masters at MIT. Good blog here too.

THE SAND PIT – Money! Get It. Grow It. Blow It – gotta love the Gen Y generation. Have a look at this independent site. Don’t know if it will be round for long though – do people care enough?

ANZ’s SMALL BUSINESS HUB IMPROVES – The SBHub has improved, providing a community space for small business people

CBAs HISTORY OF THE MULLET – Obviously, this is a good area of content for CommBanks cricket sponsorship

CASH IN YOUR UNWANTED GIFT CARDS – Gift Cards come full circle, as this company buys them from you, or allows you to swap for another.

ING LION DEPOSIT – The amusing idea Emakina came up with consists of a website that becomes “alive” thanks to the performance of a bunch of actors.

WELLS FARGO + WACHOVIA BLOG – A communication medium for those wanting to keep across the merger

10 CHARACTERISTICS OF NEXT GEN FINANCIAL SERVICES WEBSITES – Explore enjoyment, trust, comprehension in this slideshare pres

HSBC CREATES PERSONALISED INFLIGHT MAGAZINES – offering passengers at Heathrow’s Terminal 1 a chance to select magazine articles on topics they’re interested in and have them bound into a hardback form they can take on their flight

ALLSTATE GARAGE – Allstate wanted to develop a niche, online community for motorcyclists with subtle and minimal sales push. The results are mixed and poorly executed conversion mechanisms have interfered with what may have been an interesting foray into insurance 2.0

UBANK LAUNCHES MONEY BOX ON YOUTUBE – YouTube webisode aimed at taking a light hearted look at the credit crunch. Read what Charis thinks too.

THE ERA OF THE SPECIALIST IS OVER – “Specialists you can get by picking up the phone. They’re the ones that have all been let go, by the way, as institutions have rationalised their operations, contributing to their own commoditisation. The generalist, on the other hand, has a very bright future.”

BANKS MUST DITCH SECURITY QUESTIONS – Banks are putting their customers at risk by using standard security questions, such as mother’s maiden name, to confirm identities online or over the phone, according to Symantec.

WANT TO KEEP ON TOP OF BANKING BLOGS AND NEWS? – All the best blogs and news sources are here.

WESTPAC AND VIRGIN CREATE SOME CONFUSION WITH A NEW BRAND? – Ignite, a new card from Westpac to replace Virgin cards … not sure.

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INNOVATION

LOOK BACK AT 2008 – Wotnews has gathered the articles that summarise, laugh at, criticise, celebrate and reflect upon news and issues throughout the year.

NEWSMAP VISUALISES THE HEADLINES – Maramushi’s Newsmap takes news feeds from Google News and creates a visualisation based on the popularity of stories.

FORRESTER BLOGS – some excellent experts here have their own blogs on ecommerce, IT, security, marketing, etc. I like this one on ebusiness strategy in particular.

HOW MONOCLE MAGAZINE DEVELOPED/DESIGNED THEIR ONLINE PRESENCE – Dan Hill, ex Monocle online guy, details their approach in creating a powerful online presence for a truly modern journalistic heavyweight.

MOBILE PHONES TO HARD TO USE – “Some 61% of those interviewed in the UK and US said setting up a new handset is as challenging as moving bank accounts.” With our obsession with staying with the latest trends, too often we leave customers behind

WITNESS THE MOMENT – See a montage of all the photos of the inauguration collated here into one interactive image. The install is worth it.

MATTERBOX – London-based Matter works with product manufacturers to compile collections of items carefully designed to please specific audiences, and it sends them out to consumers at no charge

APPARENTLY CLEMENGER BBDO IS THE 11th BEST AGENCY IN THE WORLD – There are some big names in lesser places..

WHAT USER EXPERIENCE DESIGN IS NOT – Read Whitneys list defining user experience design – really interesting, and good to remember when engaging a user experience designer .. .you do do user experience design and testing don’t you? Don’t you???

WHITEHOUSE.GOV LIVE MINUTES AFTER INAUGURATION – Fresh new content and look was ready to go.

HOW TO FIX THE INNOVATION GAP – A conversation with Judy Estrin – The author and tech executive says we are living off the fruits of previous research and need to seed new ideas.

UNDERCOVER ECONOMIST – The author of the famous book is also a blogger for FT – nice insights here.

THE FUTURE OF HOUSING – The air has gone out of the real estate bubble, prompting a return to more modest housing, lending, and development.

TAKE THE TOYOTA VIRTUAL TEST DRIVE – Try taking the car for a drive

10 APPS THAT MAKE THE MOST OF LOCATION (THE POWER OF GPS) – The future is here and it’s in your pocket.

THE MOST INFLUENTIAL MEDIUM IS … – still TV surprisingly. Magazines higher than expected, with the monster that is Online surely bearing down on them both.

DEAR MR PRESIDENT – A real movement to use technology to be heard is growing since Obama harnessed the online community to take power. Only problem is, its powered by Pepsi. At least IKEA didn’t take themselves too seriously – Embrace Change!!

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ANZs SB Hub improved

Check it out = looks a lot better than a few months back.

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Find your next Customer Experience role

Browse customer experience jobs from a range of sources here.

I must say the term Customer Experience Associate is now used in all sorts of retail positions – mostly to do with those working on the floor in retail environments. Make sure you filter those roles that apply to you in management or practice.

This one at Cisco looks interesting for example. Quite possibly the worlds longest job description.

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Mobile phones as complex as bank accounts

Simple, easy user experiences are harder than you think to create, but so critical in uptake. This wil become more important as technology evolves faster then ever.

BBC reports:

“The complexity of modern mobile phones is leaving users frustrated and angry, research suggests.

Setting up a new handset is as challenging as changing bank accounts, said 61% of those interviewed.

Compiled by consultants Mformation, the survey found 85% of users reporting they were frustrated by the difficulty of getting a new phone up and working.

Of those questioned, 95% said they would try more new services if the technology was easier to set up. “

“There is an enormous range of things modern phones are capable of doing but the paradox is that many people are not using these capabilities,” said Mformation spokesman, “If an application does not work once or twice, they just will not use it or try again,”

Article continues

Won’t the real challenge then be to get customers to use their bank accounts on their mobile phones – this appears impossible given the above stats.

You only get one shot at getting it right!!!!

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True Money Management is upon us, people

I’ve written previously about the need for internet banking offerings to drastically improve, or at least be prioritised against traditional ways of serving customers. The irony is that customers may be the ones to leave us behind…

And now this report from Finextra:

“Research published today by Monilink, the mobile money people that run the mobile banking services for some of the UK’s major banks, shows that the downturn in the economic climate has heralded a return to tried and trusted methods of money management.

The research, which was delivered in partnership with the Future Foundation, shows that over 60% of all Britons plan to watch their spending more closely during the economic downturn, with the same number of people also agreeing that people have become less careful about how they manage their money over the past few years. Perhaps most poignantly, a third of all Britons have now started budgeting for the first time ever, rising to over 40% of the 25-34 year old age group.

The general improvement in financial responsibility by consumers, is matched by a growing rejection of some of the more modern financial instruments. 85% of all Britons believe that we have become too reliant on credit over the past few years. While only 42% of consumers now trust services such as price comparison sites to honestly compare prices and give them the best deals.

However, two thirds of all Britons want to manage their money at all times, 24 hours a day and many are looking to the mobile phones and laptops to say better connected with their money. Over 70% of consumers say that digital means helps them run their budget more efficiently, with well over half of all people saying they would like their bank to offer them more technology tools that make banking more convenient.

John Milliken, managing director of Monilink commented: “It remains to be seen if the downturn has really stimulated a permanent change in our attitude to credit and other services. However, it does appear that the appetite for self service financial management tools, such as online and mobile banking is likely to be a permanent shift, as people get more and more used to having an ‘always on’ connection to their money.”

So, with decreased confidence in consumers, increasing volatility in the industry and the competitive landscape, as well as increasing capability and decreasing comparitive cost of direct channels means the time is NOW to get internet banking sorted … for good.

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