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Building Better Account Holder Relationships

Late in July, MX wrapped up another Fintech Festival, an exclusive event for thought leaders in banking and finance to discuss the trends, issues and opportunities they see evolving in the industry.

Topics of conversation included customer advocacy, technology platforms, user experience, and the overall approach to how viewing the customer relationship from an institution perspective.    

Andres Cueto, SVP, Director of New Distribution Models at BBVA Compass, first outlined the benefits and beauty of open API platforms for digital transformation — benefits such as quick integration capabilities to new partners and access to new customers. Simple, task-oriented and largely reusable connections illustrate the power in open-source APIs, allowing institutions to connect with technology providers who are rapidly enhancing the user experience and providing tools for institutions to connect with their customers where customers want to connect.

Cueto identified four challenges to managing open-source data APIs:

  1. If You Build It, Will They Come?
  2. Regulation and Compliance
  3. Due Diligence
  4. Commoditization

He emphasized that institutions who can tackle these challenges and find a way to make them profitable will be the lucky ones to thrive through the disruption of the industry.

Bradley Leimer, Head of Innovation at Santander Bank, continued the conversation about tackling the digital transformation of banking by enlightening attendees on the shift from Fintech 1.0 to 2.0 and what that means for their institutions.

Leimer began his presentation with this question: “How many of the challenges we are facing right now in our industry are self-inflicted?”

Think about that. Banks are attempting to stay on top of the digital game (mobile apps, P2P payments, etc.) by implementing technology tools, but the technology systems are innovating at such a rate that it’s near impossible to keep up with, especially with the legacy systems many still have in place that hinders agile tech implementation.

Leimer continued his presentation with the idea that banks and credit unions will rebuild account holder trust by providing real value back to customers. He suggested solving one problem in banking at a time by partnering with fintech companies who are mission-driven.. With a hyper-focus on one problem, these fintech companies have the strength and flexibility; banks have the scope and trust. The partnership between the two is key to successfully navigating through the shift from Fintech 1.0 to 2.0.  

“The Fintech 2.0 revolution stage is going to be ten times more disruptive than what we’ve seen in the past,” said Leimer. “[There’s a drastic] trend toward better user experience, better personalization and better relationships with account holders.”

Building better experience, personalization and relationships is exactly what Brian Ford, Financial Wellness Revivalist at MX, brought to the table with his presentation surrounding financial strength and wellness for individuals. Ford taught that institutions need to have a stake in their account holders’ financial wellness because it’s a powerful way to mend the account holder/institution relationship.

Ford shared with attendees that financial strength comes from identifying what you, as an individual, value most. Identifying what you value directly corresponds with how you’re going to spend your money. Ford asked attendees, “Is the way you’re spending your money matching your life values?” In turn, financial institutions should ask, “Do the account holders we serve understand that we care about their values as well? Do they understand that their budgets and spending habits should reflect their values?”

Ford shared several data points to stress the importance of helping account holders comprehend where they are spending their money and what their full financial picture looks like because:

  • Fights over money are the leading cause of divorce.
  • Regardless of income, 70 percent of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck.
  • 8 out of  10 pe ople iden tify money as a significant source of stress. 

Institutions have an opportunity and an obligation to be the entity to provide guidance and stress relief surrounding money-related choices for account holders and guide them to financial greatness.

“True financial strength is about how money affects your life and your relationships,” said Ford.

MX’s Founder and CEO, Ryan Caldwell, then sat down with attendees for an informal question and answer session, directly addressing concerns that attendees asked about security, connecting with their account holders, and the best way to leverage technology (just to name a few).

Caldwell shared his insights into the industry and emphasized the importance of accessing aggregated customer data so institutions can send an early warning sign to customers and help guide, protect and advise an individual’s full financial picture.

For more information on enhancing user experience, read MX’s white paper “Design An Experience that Empowers Account Holders”.