Banks Trending

Can You Add More Frictions Please?

Fintnews: Hi Mark, can you explain what your company does, first of all?

Mark: “Our main role is to act as an intermediary between our blue chip clients and consumers, to be the voice of the consumer and use the insight gathered to drive change in the business. Sometimes that involves us finding out what’s going on in the market, understanding the landscape and from that helping clients design, develop and test new product and service ideas. Ultimately delivering products and services of best fit and ideally finding new opportunities and new markets to move into.”

Fintnews: So if I understand this, the service Strive Insight provides is basically knowing the score, in street terms, and it is street level, or handset level at least, where the news and the action is happening. Bulky brands frequently operate from the 49th floor of What’s Going On Towers and can hardly see the street, let alone smell the millennial spirit emanating from it.

Big brands have the resources to deliver culturally significant and generation defining products and services. However, unless they are already highly integrated into the culture by having already delivered successfully, they are by definition on the outskirts somewhere, their sad faces pressed against the window as the cool kids have all the good times. I think that sums it up.

Mark expands on this, “In finance we’ve been looking at money transfer, high-street to high-street is changing, it already has changed, to phone-to-phone. High-street banks, they are going through a period of change.”

Fintnews: That’s a fact. Problem is, in my opinion, banks want to change what they do, or how they are perceived, without actually changing who or what they are. There’s so much they could clearly do, but it’s so far from what they are doing, they won’t do it. And the further behind they get, the greater the leap will have to be, and the more reluctant they are to make it, until one day they see the ship on the horizon and disappearing over it, and they’ll wonder how they missed it so completely.

I digress, but I do think the main problem with most high-street banks is the lack of agility, which is directly resulting from the corporate structure, which is the one thing they seem unable to authentically change. Because that means changing themselves, not just what they do. They don’t need consultants. They need counselling. I’m still digressing.

Mark details that, “we were helping develop an app-based lending product, and we were involved in consumer testing, from ideas to prototypes, not just how the app works but how the customer works. That project was an end-to-end loan. The users are borrowing from their bank, applying for a loan, getting approval, and the money is transferred to the retailer directly rather than the customer.”
fintnews: Sounds good in principle…

Mark: “The interesting part, the psychology of consumers, they found it hard to press a button on an app to transfer £5k or £15k because it was too easy, the process lacks ‘weight’. (Indeed … it lacks chronological wait as well.) We’ve seen similar in peer-to-peer money transfer, whereby unfamiliar users start by transferring £10 to see if it works.

Fintnews: Ahhh … a UX developers sweat-drenched nightmare. “Can you build frictions into this process please? It’s too streamlined and customers are used to obtuse banking practices. Can we hold up some totally unnecessary hoops to jump through so the process feels more familiar to them?”
The re-education of banking customers may take longer than we think.

Mark Yeomans, Director, Strive Insight

Originally printed in the 15th edition of The FintechTimes


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