Are You in the Financial Health Business?

By: Jennifer Tescher, CEO of CFSI

Whether they yet realize it or not, banks and other financial services companies are in the financial health business.

That means they are in business to help their customers develop a strong day-to-day financial system that makes them resilient in the face of challenges and enables them to take risks and seize opportunity.

Sounds obvious, but it is not the dominant paradigm in the financial marketplace. Providers have long been focused on selling stand-alone products, in branches. The in-person sales experience is meant to uncover needs and build relationship, but the overly-scripted “what are your goals” conversations often feel like a veneer for a product sale. Compensation models based largely on product sales don’t help. Neither individual products nor surface conversations about goals are sufficient if your value proposition is to help customers improve their financial health.

Enter Envestnet | Yodlee. Earlier this week, the company won Best In Show at Finovate for its new AI FinCheck app, designed to help financial institutions and wealth management firms mine customer financial data to help customers measure, guide and improve their financial health.

Part of Yodlee’s Personal Financial Wellness Solution, the FinCheck app tracks customer spending, saving, borrowing and planning and provides customers with a holistic view of how they are faring. Providers can then use the insights to provide their customers with customized advice and tools help them along the financial health journey.

My organization, the Center for Financial Services Innovation, worked closely with Yodlee to build the product methodology, which leverages our industry-leading financial health indicators. As a leading data aggregator, Yodlee was in a strong position to think about how to leverage transaction and investment data, both for the benefit of its bank and wealth management customers and for consumers who will ultimately use the tool.

Measuring the financial health of customers and helping them understand how they are faring is a critical first step for a financial health company. What happens after that determines if providers succeed or fail.

How are providers communicating financial health data to their customers? What specific advice and guidance are they giving? Do they have the products and tools needed for customers to make improvements? How are they supporting them along the journey? How are they creating an end-to-end experience that links tech and touch?

Doing the work to answer these questions — revisiting mission and strategy, identifying gaps in the product suite, reviewing the customer communication regime, testing and learning what works — this is what it takes to be in the financial health business.

Yodlee is in. Are you?

Learn more about how to align your organization to the business of financial health at www.cfsinnovation.org.

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