One key “advanced PFM feature” (see our most recent report for more) is the ability to track outside accounts under one roof, a.k.a. “account aggregation.” But a nagging problem remains with this wonderful automated solution: “login maintenance.”
The user must do some fix-up work whenever their login credentials are changed for one of the accounts or when the bank throws a curveball to the aggregation robots. It happens a lot and is one of the main reasons customers stop using aggregation services.
PFM providers struggle with how best to educate and motivate users to stay on top of this routine maintenance.
BillGuard uses a proactive approach that I like. When I recently changed the password on a credit card, the company sent me an email explaining that they were no longer able to access my transactions and that it was probably from a “change in the way the bank handled logins” (see first screenshot below). In my case that wasn’t true, so it would be helpful if BillGuard also mentioned that the cause could be a password/username change.
Then the company did an excellent job walking me through the maintenance process and providing positive strokes at the end of the process, e.g., my card is now “protected” (last screenshot).
But I especially appreciated BillGuard’s extra effort during the aggregation process after I’d reestablished the login to my credit card. Since it was taking extra time to download the transactions, BillGuard asked if I’d like to continue waiting or close the session and have the results emailed to me (see second screenshot). Excellent customer advocacy!
BillGuard email about “card connection issue” (12 July 2012)
During the download process, BillGuard asked if I’d prefer to close the page and have the results emailed
Close-up of the message
After aggregation is reinstated, BillGuard shows my card is now “protected”