Encouraging customers to consider new products is an art form in which few banks excel
For most banks, complications around the product discovery process begin at onboarding and in-app, few have been able to venture outside of tightly quarantined product sections, listed vertically and presented ruefully on the final tab of a bottom menu bar. Selling is a sensitive subject, after all.
For many, the discovery of the bank’s wider product set begins early in the relationship. At initial application stage, many providers offer product selection guidance such as calculators and comparison tools to inform the choice of the main account type the user has come for. In some instances providers offer simultaneous complimentary product applications by simply checking boxes as part of the process. This bundled application approach is used by other non-financial service providers, and creates an experience whereby the user feels they are building a customized experience unique to their needs. PNC and Ally provide this approach effectively, but it can lead to convoluted onboarding journeys and surprisingly long product checklists at a time when others are streamlining.
Another approach – spearheaded by neos and challengers – offers a single point of entry for a new to bank customer to become a member of the bank rather than specifically a checking account holder. Primarily asked to set login credentials to register with the platform, the new user is asked to base their relationship on a foremost product or service from a list. This approach to account opening, in which platform enrolment is prioritized, requires a sensitive assessment of the content that sits on public pages, and requires marketing to drive attention to the platform’s capabilities as much as accounts and rates (a narrative more providers have been following anyway).
The lion’s share of providers – 70% of US retail checking providers – we track offer straightforward product menus, in which users can browse through possible product and service offerings should they decide they need something else from their bank. Most of these will direct users to in-channel applications.
Personalizing the experience, 15% of providers mark or highlight products deemed appropriate for the individual. Perhaps more adventurous, fintech entrench product offerings throughout the app experience. With product offerings listed on the homepage at login where users can begin application journeys, SoFi is direct and unapologetic about pushing new products to its users.
In some ways, there are extremes in terms of how product discovery is approached by the market: either hide sales away so as they don’t interrupt the user experience, or drive product options in front of users as part of daily banking engagement. In deciding on how product discovery and applications sit within an app each provider must of course factor in the number and complexity of products the bank wants to put in front of each user – and what lifetime value could look like.
Offering a solution to this is the chatbot. Using natural language processing, generative and predictive AI some banks undoubtedly now have the ability to execute full new product journeys – right from advisory to application help and support services. More providers are moving towards offering conversational chatbots and dialogic engagement more broadly. Balancing on the right side of regulations and truly acting on behalf of the customers’ best interests will be the goal for banks and other lenders looking to offer next generation product discovery.