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Fintech fights abandonment with easy access
Fintech startups are taking a page from online retailers to keep users from leaving the site before they have completed their transactions.
"Abandonment" is the bane of the industry. Potential users often leave apps before they complete the signup process or before they hit the "buy" button for all kinds of reasons. Today's startup entrepreneurs are working to improve the user experience by focusing on simplicity. The big hit of 2015 -- trading app Robin Hood -- has won big kudos for its streamlined look.
Users want financial products that look and feel similar to the apps they're using on a daily basis, from Gmail to Facebook to Amazon, says Nikita Filippov, managing partner at Octoberry and developer of banking app Sense. Right now, "when you go down to the mobile bank [app], it looks like the 90's."
At recent Finovate conferences, presenters hawked apps and ideas that focused on "frictionless" experiences. Here's what some of the hot startups are doing:
Hedgeable (Best in Show, Fall 2015)
"People don't like complicated," says Mike Kane, CEO and Master Sensei at Hedgeable. Hedgeable, private banking for millennials and Gen-X, displays the dozens of menu options a traditional private bank would, but with bright colors, symbols like a gas gauge for setting risk tolerance, word clouds, and bold, easy to click boxes. "People like visualizations," says Kane. The Hedgeable platform is social, a la Venmo. It also takes the online social offline, inviting users who invest on the platform to parties and events.
Avoka (Best in Show, Spring 2015)
"We create a very simple environment," says Don Bergal, Chief Marketing Officer at Avoka, which boasts one of the fastest mobile credit card signup processes -- a mere 90 seconds. Bergal says the company tries to figure out what will send users away prematurely. It's not totally intuitive. Sometimes it's just one question too many. Other times it's asking for a photo too early in the process. Retail sellers are the best at managing abandonment, says Bergal. (But even retailers struggle: one study suggests the abandonment rate averages about 67%.) Financial service are also struggling to make the sign-on process fluid between units and services. "We try to create a user interface that doesn't look like the classic mobile bank," he says.
"You have to take fintech and apply to the average, everyday person," says Max Haynes, CEO of mobile app PaySwag. For PaySwag that means reaching the under-banked. Haynes was "stunned" to find that nearly half of under-banked people don't have an email address they check on a regular basis. But they do have a smart phone they use daily. "It's a simple revelation," he says, explaining that these mobile users also expect 24-7 coverage for everything from messaging to banking.
Blooom (Best in Show, Fall 2014)
The 2014 hit in New York still