FinnovateFall 2020: Digital tools creating a new kind of banking customer

The emergence of a suite of personal finance digital tools is creating a new kind of banking customer, says Adam Dell, head of product for Goldman Sachs’ Marcus.

Dell says that a new kind of consumer is emerging

Dell spoke to an audience watching the FinnovateFall 2020 digital conference. He says there is an asymmetry of power when it comes to data is being rewritten.

“Consumers have a lot of questions about their financial life,” says Dell. “Allowing them to answer those questions is a great innovation around financial wellness.”

A veil has been lifted over the practices of traditional banks, adds Dell. Personal finance management (PFM) tools have shown them that “they’re not getting a fair deal”.

Fees from incumbent banks have only been on the rise as interest rates plummet, says Dell. “Through the use of these new tools people are seeing where their money actually goes.”

The Marcus exec argues that a combination of a PFM and a banking service is a powerful thing: “It creates synergy between a financial situation a consumer is in and the products and services they can utilise.”

Resistance

Dell adds that consumers are turning to digital services more during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Consumers are appreciating the value of avoiding contact where it isn’t necessary,” he says. “It’s certainly more delightful to deposit a cheque digitally than stand in line at a branch.”

Interruption of income has brought to light the importance of having a safety net. Marcus has seen a significant uptick in the rate of savings from customers as they prepare for a potential shortfall.

He adds that while consumers have embraced digital services like Venmo, PayPal, and Sqaure, banks have been slow to appreciate the shift.

“If you think about how consumers behave online, they are looking for new experiences by comparing shops. [They want] ease, simplicity, transparency and fair deals.

“It’s not just the price. Lots of things go into the calculation of what is a fair deal.”

Traditional banks continue to resist the inevitable, argues Dell.

“Those who sit in the middle of the value chain risk being eliminated.”

Related: FinovateFall 2020: COVID-19 a chance to build, not just react

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