A quick glance at the state of personal finance shows that people want transparency and control more than ever. A few telling trends in this direction include:
- Free weekly credit scores from major issuers
- Mobile-friendly stock trading and robo-advisers
- Budgeting and saving apps
To cap it all, Wells Fargo released a payments tool called Control Tower that gives customers better control over their subscriptions and recurring payments.
Clearly, consumers want to better understand and manage their finances. Here’s how you can help them do just that.
Can Your Institution Support New Technologies?
Weekly credit reporting isn’t the hurdle that it used to be. Many financial institutions now provide a brief snapshot of a consumer’s credit (often in the form of VantageScore 3.0). Many regional and community institutions also feature this ability.
However, some of the other apps mentioned above aren’t as easy to replicate. Getting into Control Tower territory requires AI. Thus, providing consumers transparency and control might sound easier said than done—at first.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. There are three steps to offering better money management to your account holders. Then, there’s one easy way to get started.
1. Provide a digital footprint
About 75% of Americans want their financial institutions to provide a digital footprint of some kind. They want to see their spend on each card. Not only that, they want to categorize that spend.
People want to see their subscription payments, which includes weekly or monthly charges at a fixed price, such as Netflix or Hello Fresh.
They want to see their recurring payments, which includes monthly charges at varying prices, such as utility and phone bills.
Finally, they want to see who has their card on file, including any place or app where their card information is saved, such as Uber and Amazon.
Offering this kind of information gives consumers a better picture of where their money goes. It also gives them ideas about how to save or otherwise maximize their dollar. Giving consumers this knowledge establishes trust and empowers them to make better, more informed financial decisions.
2. Give consumers control
Yes, you can give consumers control merely by providing a digital footprint. But taking it a step further increases trust and makes those informed decisions much easier to follow through on.
Here’s what that might look like using a free trial subscription as an example:
- Send a reminder before the free trial expires
- Provide the ability to cancel or keep the subscription
- Give the option to keep the payment on the original card or switch to a new one
- Show and categorize subsequent charges from the same vendor
- Send other relevant reminders for expiring or changing subscriptions and cards
Giving consumers this level of control—and all from one app or location—offers the kind of convenience and ease that drives loyalty.
3. Incentivize payment management
Pushing card users in the direction of their best interests completes your institution’s role. By helping your members or customers achieve their financial goals, you earn PFI status—that is, you become their primary financial institution.
Imagine helping your card users like this:
- Find the best card rewards for any given transaction type
- Offer rewards or bonuses for using a particular card for a particular transaction type
- Enable seamless flexibility in paying with different cards
It’s all possible. And leveraging machine learning here can really make a difference, too. With a capable subscription payment management platform, your financial institution can provide transparency, identify payment types, suggest personalized payment changes, and incentivize certain financial behaviors…
And it can do it all automatically.
How to Get Started
There are two ways to get started with providing subscription management services. Both have their merits.
First, you can develop such a system in house. If you have a strong development team with working knowledge of AI (and adequate time for a new project), then you may be able to provide such a service on your own.
Second, you can partner with WalletFI. WalletFI white labels for institutional use, ensuring your brand builds consumer trust and loyalty.
In-house development offers more control, but it’s a costly, time-consuming proposal. Partnering with WalletFI cedes some of that control so that you can get started immediately with an already-working product.
Either way, you’re on your way to increased cardholder satisfaction!
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