As experts in knowing and having the understanding of how to use your own product to perfection – we, as Product Developers and Managers often times forget that the user may not be on that same plane just yet – even if the need and willingness to adapt is present. The basic background of use-cases we are targeting may not be what they’re implementing the product for.

I have been recently involved in a Product betterment (if you will) exercise that quickly turned to a massive pivot.

In a recent feedback study for my current employer – a large hurdle we have faced is for our clients to rely on and download the mobile app to manage their Home & Auto Insurance policies and file a claim through the app – the agenda behind this release was to be at pace with competitors who also offered the same.

Problem here was client’s refusal to download and use the app even after incentivising through promotions, added features and links to more information to save costs and prevent damages to their insured properties – including the use of connected sensors in the home or automobile for instant alerts and updates.

“Mobile is an issue for facilitating the product, those who are downloading are only using the alerts but not the core product – meaning those who aren’t downloading probably are thinking they don’t need updates and alerts – the main features aren’t being used!”

The users here are averse to using the core product on the mobile app platform.

After discussion with peers in the industry as well as other sectors where products count towards a significant change in your financial standing (both long-term and short-term) – including those for Travel providers who would see clients drop out right at the end when purchasing an expensive tour on the mobile app and log back in through desktop to their website to complete the booking; even an app like Autotrader consistently mirrored the same feed-back : Mobile has been troublesome for products with financial impacts, the rate of non-adaptation in direct proportion to the monetary toll.

Could this be one of the reasons why more North American banks are offering free mobile tablets to their customers? Given their customer base by quantum of business comes majorly from the retired and soon-to-retire group that is aged 45 and above.

Improving the web-based platforms certainly sounds like a more viable solution for the short-term improvement in adaptability of these users. Web-based platforms can be used on desktops and laptops – a larger screen on a plugged in device which won’t suddenly die out of battery in the middle of a large transaction and that can enable a better visual of confirmation emails and statements. An optimal solution would be to make the web-based platforms mimic the mobile platform to be able to build the comfort of the user. Or vice-versa if the web-based platforms aren’t very heavy or can afford to have some features shredded to resemble the mobile app.

The demographics of the financial services market are rampantly changing but at the same time it’s not totally wise to discount this group that holds close to 27% of the wealth and investments in North America alone and disregard their comfort in using tech – the fact that most use an email and are confidently transacting via online banking is reason enough to pivot web as the primary platform and then help them transition over to mobile.

Of course this would be far more difficult to achieve for larger financial institutions that have separate mobile apps for each of their businesses – Banking, Wealth Management and Insurance being some of the examples.

Putting in place some improvements and simplifying the online web-based process of filing claims with the addition of some great user-friendly design brought in the numbers and positive metric changes from day one of the implementation, the younger more tech-savvy clients still continue using the mobile app to perfection and we are now in the process of trying to implement similar transitions to other verticals as well.



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