Platformification? Embedded Banking? Banking as a Service?
Steps you can take now – today – to capture customers at the right moment
There’s been much written in the financial press in the past few years about platformification (an open banking platform that allows producers and consumers to connect, interact, and exchange value), and embedded banking or banking-as-a-service (where customers can obtain a financial product or service from a company that has nothing to do with finance, such as a store or doctor’s office). Pundits have pointed to the rise of fintechs and retailer partnerships and warned of impending peril as banks and credit unions become disintermediated from their customers. Yet, the announcement last week that Amazon will begin offering Affirm’s BNPL (Buy Now Pay Later) service to some customers in the U.S. reminded us that meeting customers where they are and when they need you remains the key to maintaining and growing banking relationships.
While striking partnerships with Amazon, Walmart, American Airlines, and other key retail partners can be rewarding when it comes to acquiring new customers, there are many incremental steps that FI’s can take to make sure they’re still capturing customers at the right moments. Let’s explore a few areas where our clients are seeing success.
Tapping into home equity has been on the rise lately, as consumers look to unlock the increased values of the equity in their homes. And the popularity of providers like Kukun and Houzz – services that offer consumers a method for envisioning home improvements, calculating their cost, and understanding how they will enhance property values – is also on the rise. We’ve seen many of our clients integrate these 3rd party providers into their bank websites and mobile apps, paired with financial calculators and guided selling solutions to offer a single destination for home remodeling.
Credit unions and banks have long recognized that their customers first fall in love with the car they want and then next try and figure out how to pay for it. Offering pre-approval letters and car buying services to move financing considerations closer to step 1 have helped. However, our clients have also seen significant success with a simple, three-step process. First, they leverage the digital channel to allow their customers to calculate the monthly payment they can afford and the right price range for the car. After that website visit, follow-up email campaigns executed during the typical 30-day car buying window keeps their brand in front of the customer during the shopping process. And then, as a third step, customers are invited back to the bank’s website and offered the ability to shop and compare best-fit auto loans, with an online loan application or connection to a banker as the final call-to-action.
While the challenge in mortgage is similar to that in auto – finding that dream home is the first step and financing the second – successful FI’s understand how to extend their brands upstream to meet customers where they’re looking for homes. We have many mortgage provider clients that have expanded their licenses to place branded financial calculators on real estate agent partner and MLS websites, integrate tools into home shopping portals, or place traffic drivers in SEM and social media campaigns to target in-market home buyers.
The Upper Hand
Banks and credit unions still hold the upper hand over fintechs, retailers, and e-commerce providers when it comes to best serving customers. They are the preeminent, trusted financial brands, hold the banking charters, and have the necessary experience when it comes to offering credit and insuring security. Leadfusion can help you develop these inclusive experiences and extend your brand so that you meet your customers where they are and when they need you.