• ANZ thinking like a media company to increase customer engagement


    Amanda gome

    ANZ has appointed a publisher with deep content experience to lead it’s digital social media strategy.  Amanda Gome (above) has lead a variety of offline and online business and media companies and content brands and knows all about how to use content to drive audience engagement.  Applying this to ANZ’s scale and reach is a great validation of a bank thinking like a media company to upsell existing engagement into high value content as well as using rich content to help attract and engage potential new customers.

    Our view is this is absolutely something funds should pay attention to in terms of translating mostly passive reach into tangible member engagement to mitigate churn and drive quality leads into premium products and services.  Most funds have access to an abundance of great content but the challenge is connecting this to the right people at the right time given the nature of the product and the low engagement base.  This is something a good online publisher with the right digital tools (like content personalisation and social media targeting/analytics) knows how to do.


  • Beautiful user data input UX from

    I love this simple but super effective quote request UX from  The request is a human centric narrative with the ability to modify any data in the request before submitting. is growing super fast and is a great example of excellent user experience being front and centre of customer acquisition and retention.

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    We tried something similar at Moneytribe where consumers could post an anonymous product offer request as a narrative sentence, but this UX combines both the narrative and data input very cleverly.


    More super centric digital UX at

  • Death by a thousand cuts – the great unbundling

    Great piece in the Business Insider on how banking services are being unbundled by lots of small, nimble and well funded digital startups.  This trend will undoubtedly impact super funds who are mostly so far behind the 8 ball in terms of digital services and UXP that they’re practically sitting ducks.

    The BI article links to a great pic by Union Square Ventures analyst Alex Pease that shows how start-ups are disaggregating traditional banking services (including wealth management) piece by piece. Talk about death by a thousand cuts.

    disaggregation of a bank





  • Norstrom labs shows rapid innovation in action

    US department store chain Nordstrom is a leader in global eCommerce, putting local players Myers and DJ’s to shame. The merchant, No. 28 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, brought in $1.3 billion in e-commerce revenue in 2012 (up 42% on 2011), and is aiming to hit  $6 billion by 2020. Since 2008, Nordstrom has been growing its web business 27% per year.

    Nordstrom has invested heavily in a strong labs capability to identify and validate new innovation quickly, and this video is a example of lean start-up approaches in action.  Super funds would do well to take note given how fast the financial services sector is being disrupted, both by new players like GoodSuper as well as big 4 banks like CBA who’s significant investments in technology, particularly mobile is driving record profits as well as serious member outflows from traditional super fund players. Since launching at the end of last year, the new CommBank mobile app has attracted more than a million registered users, while a streamlined online account opening processes has slashed times by 80%.

  • Mobile delivers ‘halo effect’ for banks seeking to sell more products – Bain

    According to consultancy Bain, digital and mobile services are a major driver of customer loyalty and product upsales potential. Select, focused investments in mobile services are proving particularly effective.  Takeaway for Australian super funds – focus on designing and supporting mobile capable digital experiences capable of getting you “on the deck” (presence on the members’ smart mobile device) by satisfying a range of  high value member needs across various customer types (e.g. FUM, age and financial engagement).

    JPMorgan Chase posted the biggest loyalty gains in 2013 among US national banks thanks to selective investments in mobile technology and more effective marketing, according to research by consultancy house Bain.

    Using data from a survey of almost 200,000 consumers in 27 countries, Bain finds that most banks are missing prime opportunities to deepen their existing customer relationships and are ceding new product sales to competitors.”The ‘easy growth’ is over for banks, as increased competition worldwide is forcing banks to fight over too few new customers,” says Gerard du Toit, a partner in Bain’s Global Financial Services Practice in Boston. “But there is a surprisingly large upside with existing customers to increase win rates on new product sales.”He says that two factors stand out in swaying customers to buy: the customer’s loyalty to their primary bank and the bank’s ability to actively sell to its customers.

    According to the study, a bank’s relative customer loyalty measure explains roughly half of the variation in its relative win rate, and it additionally finds that approximately one-third of banking products in the US are sold, not bought. That is, customers did not plan to buy a particular product, but they received an offer and then decided to purchase it.

    Bain identifies ‘digital transformation’, in the shape of smart online and mobile banking services, as a key factor in maintaining customer loyalty. Mobile banking in particular was found to deliver a loyalty ‘halo effect’, as frequent mobile banking users in all countries gave much higher loyalty scores than non-users.

    Loyalty on its own is not enough, however, banks also have to make a sound business case for the sale of new products, says du Toit. “The banking math is simple,” he says. “Loyal banking customers own more products, and buy more products – but that doesn’t mean they’re going to make your sales for you.”

    The study found that few large incumbent banks had made meaningful progress, with JPMorgan Chase standing out as an exception. Such factors as select investments in mobile technology, a concerted effort to improve the customer experience and effective marketing to tell people how the bank can simplify their financial lives combined to help Chase perform “well above average” in winning new relationships and cross-selling to existing customers.

    chase app2                       chase app

  • Minting Cash: how Square designed a product with no design at all

    Is the best interface no interface?  Fascinating insights to the product design process at US payments service

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  • New players to grab US banking market share as customers go digital

    We need some digital only super funds to shake things up a little in Australia too, either a major fin services brand launching a new 100% digital fund (similar to NAB and UBank, or health insurer Medibank and AHM), or a major retail brand looking for a presence in financial services.  The value would be less in the administration fees and more in prospective lead generation value across all financial needs.  Needs to built on a strong product comparison experience from the get go,though which is something most funds (particularly retails) would be kind of frightened of.

    New players to grab US banking market share as customers go digital

    Up to a third of banks’ market share in America could be up for grabs by 2020, with new digital-only players and retailer-run enterprises taking on the old guard, according to research from Accenture.

    Americans are changing the way that they bank, turning their backs on branches in favour of online and mobile channels, Accenture’s survey of 2001 suggests.This, combined with a willingness to shop around for banking products means that online-only players and new technology entrants could snap up as much as 15% of revenues over the next few years. Big-box retailers, with their name-recognition, money and existing customer relationships, could prove an even greater threat, gaining 20% of the market, either by working with banks or striking out on their own.According to the survey, online sales of key banking products have shown double-digit growth year-over-year, while sales of the same products via branches have declined. Sales of mortgages via the Internet increased 75%, while sales at branches fell 16%. Web sales of checking, savings, personal and home equity loans and money market funds all also increased.

    This switch is partly down to a willingness among customers to shop around – a third of traditional retail banking products sold last year were from institutions other than customers’ primary banks, according to the survey.

    “The Internet has long underperformed as a sales-channel for banking products, leaving branches as the dominant sales engine. As that calculus changes, market share will be increasingly up for grabs – particularly given consumers’ strong tendency to look outside their primary bank for new products,” says Wayne Busch, MD, North America banking practice, Accenture.

    Meanwhile, services like mobile cheque depositing has helped drive a 50% growth in m-banking use over the last year, with a third of Americans now using it at least once a month.

    However, branch networks – which US banks spend around $50 billion a year on – are still seen as important – 60% of all products are still sold in them. Asked which area their banks should be investing in and developing, 38% say branches, behind online at 43% but ahead of ATMs on 21% and mobile, 20%.

    Accenture says that banks should look to bridge the online and offline worlds by experimenting with smaller, ‘light’ branches, kiosks and a small number of tech-packed flagship centres to promote the brand.

    Mike Goodson, head, management consulting, North America banking practice, Accenture, says: “There is little question that branches remain important in the minds of US consumers today. They are cited as the number one reason for loyalty, and eight out of ten consumers see themselves using branches as often or more often in five years’ time.

    “But this is changing quickly, as profitability pressures motivate banks to promote less costly and more convenient ways of banking to customers. The rapid rise of mobile banking illustrates how quickly customer behaviours can change through digital technologies.”

    From at


  • Nutmeg, Stocktouch Asset Performance UI

    Nice portfolio asset performance UI from UK consumer financial investment site Nutmeg.  Shows Nutmeg’s vs. market average vs. average competitor returns (usefully after fees) across a range of risk profiles.  Simple but very effective.  Note quite up there with Stocktouch (below) in terms of deeper and timely engagement but it’s a nice link between product performance and risk profile.


    Stocktouch provide a much deeper engagement experience, with market performance drilling down into sector performance and individual asset performance, plus links to recent public news (which provides insights into why the stock is performing well or poorly, green/red).  This kind of functionality drives continued interaction and supports lots of ‘what if’s’.

    Who’ll be the first super fund to deploy this kind of rich UI for portfolio performance?




    More Asset Performance UI examples here -

  • Pinterest board – best practice digital & mobile UI for super funds

    We’ve launched a Superapps Pinterest site to collate all the best and most interesting examples of digital and mobile UI applicable to Australian super funds.

    Pinterest Board

  • Playtime for super funds is over…

    Robert Gottliebson writes in today’s Business Spectator or more regulatory changes on the way that open another chink in the defenses of Industry Funds.  By removing the default relationship between smaller businesses, industry super funds and employees:

    “Currently, most employees on awards are virtually required to use industry funds. The relevant industry fund is often specified in awards and, in any event, small enterprises do not have the systems to enable them to send money to a variety of funds. This has enabled the industry funds to capture 26 per cent of the superannuation pie. While industry funds are below the 31 per cent held in self-managed funds, industry funds dwarf the 20 per cent held by the traditional retail funds headed by AMP, MLC etc.

    The government will allow small businesses – which are the country’s largest employer – to remit compulsory superannuation payments made on behalf of workers directly to the Australian Taxation Office. This will cut red tape for small business but also make worker superannuation entitlements more secure.

    Once employers have transferred money to the tax office, workers will then be able to instruct the tax office as to which superannuation fund that money should be sent. The industry funds will no doubt work very hard to keep the money but suddenly employees have a clear choice, which they have never had before.”


    I once had a chat with a COO of a major industry fund who astonished me when he said, “We don’t really care about retention – members go but they always come in no matter what we do”.  This won’t be the case for much longer unless funds offer a really compelling and competitive offering.  It won’t be too long before all the crazy structural ties between consumers and default super funds are completely removed, and the Big 4 retail bank digital offerings make most super funds look prehistoric by comparison.

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