While consumers are using their phones more than ever, recent research suggests that marketers simply aren’t delivering when it comes to the mobile-first economy. 82% of consumers say at least one thing prevents them from purchasing on their mobile phones on a regular basis. But there is one vertical breaking away from the pack: Finance.
Ironically, financial tech or “fintech”, home to complex transactions such as mortgages, loans and, investments, is showing incumbents the way of the future, and consumers are taking note.
Here are 5 FinTech companies dominating m-commerce and spearheading the mobile revolution in finance:
Borrowell CEO Andrew Graham calls the company “the uber-ization of finance.” This Canadian company is simplifying the way consumers obtain three year and five year fixed-rate loans at low interest rates that reward good credit scores (which they provide for free!) Essentially, they’re a quick and easy way to pay off your high interest credit card balance, consolidate debt, expand your business, improve your home, and even plan your wedding.
The Borrowell Experience
Concise, simple. No distractions.
Nothing puts a customer at ease quite like a preview of where they are headed next. This shot includes a peek into what your free credit score will look like.
Scrolling down, they go out of their way to communicate safety and security through iconography and anxiety annihilating copy surrounding the big and bright call to action button.
Still curious about the overall picture? Borrowell capitalizes on scan and scroll behaviour to outline the four key steps to using their services.
Integral to Borrowell’s “fast, fair, and friendly” service is their clear, concise, and communicative mobile experience. They walk the walk. Their design and copy work together in harmony to create an intuitive user experience that makes large scale life decisions on a phone seem like the most natural thing in the world, and really, why shouldn’t it be?
WealthSimple has coined their service “investment on autopilot” and they’ve received 2016 and 2017 Webby Awards to back that up. According to CEO Mike Katchen, their success is largely due to self-identifying as a tech company rather than a financial institution. They’ve torn down and rebuilt their entire website twice since winning their first Webby. If that’s not commitment to innovation, I’m not sure what is.
The WealthSimple Experience
Much like Borrowell, clean, concise, nothing to distract from the goal of the page: to start investing today.
Rather than having customers fill out a form, WS opts for a finger-friendly survey (no more typos!) Questions? Concerns? Note the help button in the bottom right corner.
Once you click on the help button, you have the option of choosing help in a specific category or searching for a specific topic. This is far preferable to generic FAQs that may or may not address your question.
Of course, the true mobile first investing experience occurs within the WealthSimple app. After hundreds of reviews, the iPhone App (including all versions) has a rating of 4.5/5 stars.
In the same way most Millennials pay bills and transfer money through banking apps, WealthSimple has made saving for the future feel familiar and convenient for a generation of individuals with little job security. WealthSimple has done something major banks would hope impossible. They’ve turned investing into a simple, mobile friendly activity.
LendingTree is an American company that brings prospective borrowers to their website where they can compare rates on mortgages, student loans, auto loans, credit cards and personal loans.For an older company (founded in 1996) they’ve stayed remarkably current when it comes to mobile.
The LendingTree Experience
Homepage features, namely click-to-call and search make for a positive user experience. They’ve also bucketed their services appropriately and clearly prioritized personal rates with a bold CTA button.
A functioning click to call is a huge boon to customer loyalty. Even if the customer never places a call, the line of communication makes mobile transactions feel that much more secure.
Rate Comparison is where LendingTree really shines. They’ve designed a mortgage shopping experience that feels like you’re shopping for something as simple as a new sprinkler.
LendingTree’s branding may not be as sleek as a company founded three or four years ago, but they continue to adapt to consumer behaviour when it comes to mobile experience. By following m-commerce best practices, they continue to lead the pack. They've been invaluable in diversifying the mortgage industry by brokering rates between major players and prospective consumers in an intuitive fashion.
Wealthfront is an investment company out of California, similar to WealthSimple in that it is considered a “robo-advisor” targeting Millennials looking for an inexpensive and convenient way to manage their money. According to Index Ventures, “Wealthfront is one of those magic companies that seems to be doing everything right.”
The Wealthfront Experience
One of my favourite aspects of Wealthfront’s mobile presence is their editorial style layout and artistic imagery.
While their homepage is simple and sleek with intuitive navigation, a quick scroll has you immersed in Wealthfront’s philosophy and origin story, something many brands choose to limit to a few alliterative words and icons.
Like WealthSimple, Wealthfront uses a survey format rather than a dreaded form. They also include a task timeline at the top of the screen. This navigation allows busy and often distracted mobile users to see exactly where they stand in the signup process.
Full disclosure, I stole this screenshot from the desktop site, but it gives an excellent idea of what Wealthfront’s mobile platform is like, giving prospective users something to chew on.
Wealthfront's goal of democratizing investment opportunities is illustrated in beautiful editorial design and clear, engaging copy that makes for a smooth as silk mobile experience. Their mobile platform is a perfect example of how fintech is dominating the m-commerce world.
With so many tech companies nipping at their heels, big banks are trying their hand at mobile as well. CIBC has consistently been listed as the player to beat among the Canadian big banks. Their Hello Home app allows CIBC customers to easily and quickly apply for a mortgage from the comfort of their phone and provides an e-mortgage specialist they can chat with any time.
My Home's best feature is the form tool. The customer is able to simply take a photo of their documents rather than making a trip to the bank.
The MyHome app was originally created in a six week sprint. This goes to show that with the right talent and motivation, banks may not be totally blown over by young fintech firms. A few years ago, the idea of applying for a mortgage on your phone would have been laughable, but thanks to innovation of incumbents and newcomers alike, we are perhaps more inclined to complete these major transactions remotely than simple ones like buying a pair of shoes.
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