Amid tightened credit and historically low interest rates, millions of UK consumers grew dissatisfied with the extremely low returns generated by traditional savings accounts. One of the largest digital banks in Europe wanted to help its customers better achieve their financial goals by investing in funds. Doing so would require building customers’ investment confidence and enhancing their self-sufficiency without charging significant fees. The UK investment market had seen an increase in “robo advisors” after the Financial Conduct Authority required financial advisers to charge for service. Although a dozen fintech startups rushed to meet this demand, research showed that customers preferred to receive these services from a brand they trust. This presented a significant new opportunity for established institutions that could quickly develop products and services that met investors’ needs.
The bank engaged Wipro Digital and Designit to create a “bionic” investment adviser. This service offered affordable, AI-led investment advice, supported by human interaction, to help customers looking to invest but lacking the confidence. The objective was to design a service that would help customers understand whether investing was right for them, and if so, how much to invest and the investment vehicle(s) that best fit their lifestyle and risk tolerance.
Wipro Digital and Designit assembled and co-located a cross-functional team that included multiple bank resources. Working in agile, iterative sprints, the team quickly gained a comprehensive understanding of the market, competitors, and customers’ demographic and needs. This information was used to design, build and test a new “Investment Match” app that met the needs of “Cash Saver” customers. The team conducted customer testing every 2 weeks to ensure hypotheses were understood and outcomes achieved, with key learnings incorporated into the next phase to ensure the desirability, viability and feasibility of engagements throughout the customer journey.
The “bionic advice” service merged existing bank data with input gleaned through in-app questionnaires. It also incorporated a goal-planning tool to help customers better frame their investment choices. The personalized output boosted consumers’ confidence in their investment options and helped them to determine how much – and where – they could safely invest. All advice was provided in a regulated manner compliant with MIFID 2 to ensure suitability.
Embracing new ways of working and utilizing a collaborative test-and-learn approach enabled the UK banking leader to go from idea to prototype in a matter of weeks, and from prototype to Minimum Viable Product within a few months. The bank launched a pilot-ready application that delivered an outstanding 15% conversion rate. Customer feedback indicated an appreciation for the app’s simplicity, and 15% of customers followed the investment advice they received.