Placing your heart in the hands of an app is nothing new, but now mobile users can do the same with their money. Banks are turning to Tinder-like tendencies in an effort to give customers a more personalized experience and bolster loyalty on the way.
Many financial institutions have long struggled to implement digital strategies, especially those meant to bring on new clients. Bank of America, however, has pinpointed personalization in the past, via a self-matchmaking service with its Merrill Lynch division. It was the only brand in Gartner L2’s customer acquisition report that allowed users to search for an advisor with LinkedIn. Prospective users who connected their LinkedIn account to Merrill Lynch could identify advisors within their professional network, boosting the prospect’s confidence in their choice of advisor. Most recently, the brand began testing scarcely staffed branches equipped with tablets and video-conferencing capabilities that fall in the same digital-meets-do-it-yourself appeal as popular dating apps.
Portland-based Umpqua Bank is taking the Tinder tip quite literally with an app of its own. Launching this week, the app lets customers browse profiles of bankers and interact with the bankers of their choice before setting foot in physical locations. Profiles include a photo, some details about the employee, and information regarding their background in banking. Once matched, customers can even keep their new relationships confined to the digital world if they’re not able to make it to a physical branch.
Although personalization through digital tools could provide a much-needed millennial update to dusty bank brands, it can also result in privacy risks for parties on both sides of the screen. In order to ensure that the new digital initiative is kept in check, financial services brands will need to make sure employees are well-trained for the new medium.