Friday, 20 August 2010

Apparently the web's dead - should financial brands be worried?

This week Wired called the death of the web. This piece came a week after a column in Ad Age asking 'Do we still need websites?' The argument is that with 'simpler, sleeker services — think apps — [user experience is] less about the searching and more about the getting'.

So what does this mean for financial services. There is an argument to say that financial services hasn't fully embraced the full power of the web yet as a customer enablement tool, so maybe many brands could circumnavigate it all together. For some services like payments this could already be deemed the case, with the increasing pace of mobile payment solutions in the market, there is currently no need to open a browser at all.

The greatest opportunities though probably lie in the servicing side of the business. Manage my account and customer query could very effectively be executed through secure apps. Why force your customers to a web interface when it could all be browserless and mobile. Far more convenient. More likely to be secure and certainly more convenient for the customer.

In truth the web is unlikely to die any time soon. There has been plenty of counter-evidence written to prove its continued vitality and in truth financial services need to improve user-experience across the internet, but as people look for more defined content interactions browserless becomes vital if a brand is to ensure that their website doesn't become a virtual ghost-town.

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