In the American Banker last week, there was an article called Web Simplicity Initiative Bearing Fruit for Wamu. As an example of Washington Mutual’s (WaMu’s) focus on simplicity, the article described changes that WaMu made to the online application for its free checking account– cutting the process from 8 pages & 15 minutes to 3 steps & 6 minutes. And to eliminate the need for mailing forms to new customers, WaMu uses the first check as a signature card.
I really, really, really liked the this quote from Richard Blunck, a senior vice president and WaMu’s director of e-commerce:
Simple, for us, is critical
My take: Simple is critical for just about every bank (along with just about every investment firm and every insurer). Many customer-facing processes are based on outdated requirements, overly complex business rules, old technology, and organizational silos that discourage innovation. The result: A complicated experience for customers. That’s why there’s enormous opportunity for financial services firms to apply a principle that I call ultrasimplicity, which is one of the Five Distruptive Customer Experience Strategies that I’ve written about in previous posts.
The bottom line: When it comes to financial services, simpler is almost always better.