Friday, 7 May 2010

Redefining financial services one character at a time

Photo courtesy of

Steve Bee at Paradigm Pensions announced last week that he would be creating a Twitter style glossary aimed at defining all pensions terms within 140 characters. A challenge, but nevertheless this is the kind of activity that the digital space is enabling more and more. The need for simplicity in financial services is indisputable and the need for that to happen online is even greater.

However, what Bee's done goes further. By inviting pensions 'experts' to contribute to the glossary he can reach a fully consensual crowd-sourced definition that can be broadly agreed by the industry and become highly useful to the consumer audience. This sort of collaborative exercise should happen more within the industry.

The barriers that exist between providers have been built around the need to protect customer data, protection of IP and corporate espionage. In reality the walls have been extended so far into organizations, that simply don't require them, that collaborative behaviour is anathema. If the industry is to rebuild consumer trust some of these walls need to come down and there needs to be a far better sharing of information for the good of the industry not just for the good of individual companies.

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