Back to Blog

Will Consumers Put Finances on Autopilot?

driverless_car_autopilotEarlier this week, DepositAccounts published a great post, “Are You Ready for Driverless Banking?” It’s a clever title I wish I’d thought of first. And importantly, they posed it as a question. Because whatever you call it, the level of desired automation in banking, investing (hello, robo-advisors), and even insurance (Pay as you Drive), is a fundamental issue going forward.

Do consumers want control, or convenience. When it comes to money, most would answer “both.” Forced to choose one or the other, they’d invariably say “control” because it’s the right thing to say/believe. But if you observe consumer behavior, they almost always head towards “convenience” at the expense of even basic control (see examples below).

It’s a paradox that drives financial product managers and marketers crazy. How do you build a UX for consumers who say one thing, but do another? Welcome to the world of dieting and gym memberships. You embrace the paradox, dare say you actually profit from it, by providing services customers say they want. Then you get out of the way and let them, or not. Just don’t rub it in their faces when they inevitably fail at their New Year’s resolution (again).


Some examples:

What consumers say: I want the very best security in the world.
Reality: Just show me the money, I’ll worry about security another time.
Solution: Provide simple-to-use deposit-fraud insurance for peace of mind.
Fee opportunity? Absolutely.

Transaction tracking
What consumers say: I want to view and consider every transaction.
Reality: Would rather watch a puppy video on Youtube
Solution: Stream transactions to users, prioritized by size/type (e.g., Google priority mail)
Fee opportunity? Maybe, but only if bundled with other value-adds

What consumers say: I want to stay within my monthly budget, no exceptions
Reality: I can make it up next week/month/year
Solution: Show them where they stand in real-time against historical norms and known upcoming expenses (e.g., Simple’s Safe to Spend)
Fee opportunity: Maybe, but only if bundled with other value-adds

Shopping (for financial services)
What consumers say: I want to look around for the very best rate/price/terms/service
Reality: I’m good
Solution: For major “considered” services (e.g., mortgage, car insurance) show how your prices compare to others. Yes, you may make it easier to find your competitor, but most customers that go elsewhere would have anyway. More likely, if you are “close enough” price-wise, you’ll get the business, as long as it is tangibly easier to buy through your UI.

Image licensed from