Unbundlings: Disrupting the Disruptors – Part 1

In our previous post, we posed the question of whether or not Asset Managers would move closer to customer relationships as they race to acquire more assets. [And, as we go to press and will cover in our next post, RIABIZ News reported that BlackRock is indeed getting closer to retail customers.] The questions and feedback we received inspired us to say a bit more about what we mean of these “unbundlings”. But first, we need to restate some of the behavioral shifts in digital and customer expectations. What follows is part 1 of that exploration…  

The Customer Journey – They Want It Now

Today more than ever, consumer attention is increasingly tricky and even more expensive to get. Given AI and the other predictive technologies available, if you’re lucky enough to garner consumer interest, you should (and need to) be able to communicate the action that’s on their mind. Otherwise, you’ve lost them. In order to create stickiness, financial Institutions need to start using latent technology, data, and other signals to surface the component of their customer journey at the right time (and the technology and messaging platforms need to be able to deliver).

Increase Reasons for Intentional Engagement vs. Nagging-based Fear Engagement   

Account opening, funding, rebalancing, monitoring and closing occur not only at different life stages & life events, but at different times of day, in different locations, and for 500+ other different reasons. We’re already seeing “set it and forget it” apps use native advertising to target consumer acquisition by leveraging these 500+ other data points, but why not put the action you’re writing about right in front of the consumer? Remember, consumer psychographics play a huge role in site visits and retention. Give them what they came for.

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You’re In or You’re Out

Apple, WeChat, and WhatsApp allow you to make payments natively in their app. If you’re a broker/deal or investing firm, now’s the time to get a seat at the table with your product. The question is not if but when these mega platforms will offer what you do — with or without you. Not only have we revealed our take on them…

Looking to China: What Facebook and Snapchat can learn from WeChat  

Apple Pay Cash launches in beta today, letting you send and receive cash in Messages

Facebook Messenger beats WhatsApp and Apple with clever new payment feature

Prepare for the Outcome

  1. Build your technology: If you have a mobile app you already have the APIs, the question is whether you can turn each piece of the customer journey into a component to be surfaced for each activity.
  2. Build your components: Include your differentiators – brand, price, legacy or some other USP. If you believe in your differentiators, there’s no reason to fear putting your components in front of your customer.
  3. Monitor the landscape: Use the resulting benchmarks (a product /feature comparison and time trial) as a set of goals for your team. For instance, if the top online account opening product takes three minutes to complete, how do you beat that, given that time to completion is a known point of friction to new customer acquisition?  
  4. Collaborate and push the platforms: If you’re spending marketing dollars on a platform, you should be asking them to enable transactions/actions to occur natively on these platforms rather than risk losing the customer in the old model of CTR.  

In part 2 we’ll cover the tools you need to deliver on the promise of everything-at-their-fingertips as well as why an open API could be the difference between your company’s life or death.


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