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And again: The Future of Banking May 16, 2011

Posted by reto wettach in innovative interfaces, service design.

The Technology Review, published by the MIT, has an interesting article on “Redesigning Banking” (here a version without the need to login) through a user-centered approach. They quote a couple of innovative solutions which came from closely looking at the way people deal with the financial issues:

One insight is that “it’s easier to get people to try something if they have to opt out of it rather than opt in.” So, one project (BankSimple) developed the concept of a goal-based saving accounts (“Trip to Hawaii” or “New Laptop”), which was introduced by automativally setting up such an account called “emergency fund”. I am wondering whether this would be legal in Germany – to make people opt-out of certain services…

(image source)

Similar to the goal-based saving is the concept “Punch the Pig” (feature described here, needs some searching) by a bank called PNC, which allows users to “spontaneously set aside a small amount of money, getting a small emotional kick at the same time.

(“safe to spend”-feature from BankSimple)

Another innovative concept is the “safe to spend” balance, which “deducts amounts set aside for goals, upcoming bills, and card debits that have not yet been processed. “
(Technology Review is writing about BankSimple – under the title “Redesigning Banking with Behavioral Economics in Mind“)

(image source)

Rauhreif, a company founded by two former students of the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam, where I am a professor, recently launched their own banking app called moneymoney. One important focus of their app is the interactive data-visualizations, which allow a quick overview of the transactions on your bank-account.

Generally speaking I think there is a lot of space for innovation in service design for banking! I had a meeting recently with some bank people and they explained to me that there is too little competition in banking and therefore innovation was slow in the past – however, they also see a change in this pattern!



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