Last August, I mentioned that people are concerned about fintechs/techfins getting into banking, but the real ones to watch are tech companies moving into financial services out of a necessity to remove friction in their process, improve their customer experience, and enable increased sales. As this signal gets louder, the interesting thing to note is how some are moving from the fringe and closer to core FS experiences.
- Uber started by enabling more drivers to work on their platform by providing car loans and bank accounts, and is now looking to keep riders [and cash] in the ecosystem through Uber Money/credit card.
- Amazon started providing small business loans to enable more sales on their platform, partnered on a credit card, and now also provides Amazon Cash for the unbanked and Amazon Pay to reduce online purchasing friction with more to come.
- Apple started with Apple Pay and then moved to partnering on a credit card to keep money in the ecosystem, turn PFM into a lifestyle choice, and leverage the power of the default.
- Microsoft is working on a retirement platform.
- Google started with Android [Google] Pay and now announced a partnership to launch consumer checking accounts.
As we look to solve client needs across our companies, it’s critical to use a first principles approach vs. design by analogy. It’s not enough to digitize current processes — we need to innovate by deeply understanding our clients and solving problems that set the experience bar across industries. Experiences that meet clients where they are and integrate into their lifestyle, are relevant and timely, and align to their mental models of how things should work.