November 18, 2010 |
The numbers comparing 2010 to 2009 are startling: there has been more than a doubling of consumers who are simply burying their hands in the sand rather than monitor their personal finances. We may be on the road to a likely financial recovery for the nation, but data show that for many it’s still an ugly and slow healing process. The latest action from the Fed suggests that banks, payment companies and tech specialists need to be modifying their mix of products, messages and offers in the face of a protracted recovery, which for many feels more like protracted fear and pain. What’s the benefit in the latest mobile gizmo, remote deposit whatsit or alternative payments gadget if your targeted audience wishes to avert their eyes from the very thing you’re trying to improve their relationship with (their money)?
Yet there is opportunity. Half of consumers have relationship with more than one bank (10% have four or more relationships!), consumers always predominately trust banks more than tech companies, and people need ways to simplify the complexity of managing so many interaction channels, financial products and mixed economic trends in order to achieve financial health in challenging times. For example, as Mark Schwanhausser points out in his new report ‘Personal Finance Management PFM and mobile can work together quite well and pragmatic features, benefits and messages must be given the highest priority.
Perhaps most startling to me is seeing a sharp drop in online bankers in the same graph that shows more people confessing to simply “turning off the set” instead of monitoring what’s going on with their money. I read this as evidence that as of this writing, 2009 consumer marketing strategies are still being deployed–and rejected. No one wants to be out of touch with their money in a consumer-driven economy.
With more than half of consumers having two or more financial relationships, banks and payment firms can increase success by providing superior solutions to immediate problems. People need financial solutions, bank are their preferred source for getting it, and amidst an abundance of available providers and technology solutions the time is ideal for service providers to break from the pack.
Its my observation that economic recoveries are the time in which unexpected successes are possible.