Recap: Net Finance Conference 2015

by Eugenio Santiago

There were two topics in particular that I found most interesting at this year’s NetFinance conference in Miami:

  1. Digital strategies to support the Omni-channel experience
  2. Is Personal Finance Management (PFM) dead?

The first topic was a major focus of this year’s conference (two of three days devoted to Omni-Channel), so I found it rather ironic that the guest speaker, Chris Skinner, who was invited to talk on Day 1 of Omni-Channel has consistently stated “there is no such thing as a channel.” His belief is that in order to be a truly digital bank, which supports the 24*7 real-time world, the core of the bank needs to be a singular digital one.
With this digital core, a bank can deliver the real-time access to information that banking customers now desire. A digital core will also enable banks to provide a consistent experience regardless of how customers choose to access their bank (e.g., mobile, in-person, smart watch, etc.).
Having read Chris’ book: Digital Bank a few months ago, I agree. The outdated Omni-channel structure where legacy sits on top of legacy enables disruptors like Simple and Moven to quickly enter the arena of banking and make huge waves. The transition to a digital core sounds both costly and a tall mountain to climb, and it is, but it’s an evolution that needs to happen for banks to move past becoming a ‘mobile’ bank and towards becoming a digital bank.
The second topic, is PFM dead, was of particular interest to me because it aligned with some research I conducted in 2014. If your definition of PFM is tools by which customers can self-manage their spend and create budget goals themselves, then yes PFM is dead. But if you think about PFM as the usefulness that can be derived from this type of analysis, then no, PFM is NOT dead but very much alive.
Our competitive research has shown that banking consumers (those who are affluent and to a lesser extent all consumers) not only find this type of information useful, but they want their banks to be the provider of such insight. It is not enough for banks to simply present this data to consumers, but rather share this insight in both a contextually relevant and actionable way. Consumers want their bank to be a ‘trusted advisor’.
Banks have a wealth of information, historical and current behavior, to leverage that can enable them to better advise their customers of the behaviors and/or products and services they can benefit from to become more financially secure or achieve their goals. Making sure the message is goal oriented and clear for consumers to see how these actions will benefit them is critically important. However, the push to new products/services needs to be subtle and NOT the goal of PFM 2.x. The value of these types of insights can go a long way to instill loyalty, a more personalized touch, and a greater sense of financial confidence for your customers.

If you are interested in learning more about either of these topics, how to execute PFM 2.x, or are interested in how Key Lime Interactive can assist you in your transition to becoming a digital bank, please feel free to reach out to me.
The transition from Omni-channel to a digital core will happen faster than you think, so stay informed and ahead of the curve.

The iPhone 6 Review

by Kathleen Henning

Last month, Apple released two new iPhones, both of which represent a significant size increase over the last model. The iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus both come in gold, silver, and space gray models and with capacity of 16 GB, 64 GB, or 128 GB. Apple has improved the camera on both models, though only the 6 Plus has optical image stabilization. Battery life is increased on both, but the 6 Plus offers nearly double the battery life for calls.

I received mine in the mail on release day, and it’s been more of an adjustment than I would have expected. The size is still startling at times, though I opted for the ‘smaller’ 6. The power button has been moved to the side, a big departure from its location on all previous iPods, iPhones, and iPads. Hitting power on the side is still not a natural maneuver, though I now sometimes find myself trying to do it on my iPad. The expanded screen size is more significant than would be immediately apparent. Mobile web browsing is smoother, and it is much easier to read email attachments like PowerPoint and Excel files.

The more rounded shape of the phone is striking, but it’s surprisingly slippery in your hand. Carrying it around with you is somewhat of a challenge, as neither the 6 nor 6 Plus fits in the same places the iPhone 5(S) would have. I found myself purchasing a new small bag so it would fit, since it is definitely not a phone I can keep in my pocket! While I enjoy the new screen for browsing, I sometimes find myself missing the manageable size of the 5S I had before. I had contemplated purchasing a 6 Plus, but I’m very relieved I decided against it.

The new operating system represents another small shift for iOS. Health is now a built-in component, and it’s easy to track your steps. I would enjoy a breakdown by location or time, but I imagine that’s what 3rd party apps are for. Voice and video messages are a neat feature, as is the ability to share your location. All of these features are simple to activate and use, which is a critical part of getting users to adopt them.

With iOS 8, fingerprint banking is starting to look like a possibility. Simple Bank, an online-only bank, has enabled login via fingerprint. As using your fingerprint for ID becomes more normal, it will be interesting to see which companies adopt this model. The fingerprint will be the main ID component of Apple Pay, which should help further normalize the feature.

Apple also introduced the Watch. This will come in two different face sizes and with a variety of different band choices. The feature set is still pretty vague. It will be able to receive and respond to at least some calls, text messages, and emails. It will have access to apps to some degree. The battery life is unknown, as is how much it can do away from an iPhone, which is required for some functionality. What is known is that it will be connected to Apple Pay and have some additional check in abilities, like at airports and hotels. The current launch date is ‘early 2015’ so hopefully as that approaches more details become available.

The big question mark still remaining is Apple Pay. When does it launch? Current rumors have the date as October 20th. How quickly will merchants be added? Will it trickle down to smaller companies and businesses? When will Apple allow 3rd party access to NFC? I’m sure I’m not alone in my curiosity here. Our recent series on mobile payments concluded that while there are some better and some worse options, there isn’t a game changer. This is the first real entrant that has that possibility, so I’m excited to see how this plays out.

New Director of Quantitative Research Leads Competitive Initiatives

KLI couldn’t be happier to welcome Dana Bishop to our team as our new Director of Quantitative Research. Dana has been working in the field of user research for 20 years and flaunts extensive experience with a variety of research methods. Above all, Dana has perfected the art and science of creating simple, yet highly-informative large-scale online user experience research studies. Her graceful orchestration of traditional scaled questions and directed tasks for users results in detailed feedback, thoughtful analysis and poignant evidence that informs design for clients far and wide.
Prior to joining Key Lime Interactive, Dana was lead researcher and manager of Keynote Systems’ Competitive Research group. While at Keynote, Dana led longitudinal quantitative research studies across numerous verticals and global markets for companies such as Carnival, Expedia, Travelocity, Wells Fargo, U.S. Bank, Yahoo!, and State Farm Insurance. Dana began her career in the 1990s in San Francisco where she spent 3 years at Charles Schwab & Co conducting a nationwide field study and weekly in-lab sessions with customers; as well as time spent running usability testing for edu-tainment software in school environments.
After just three short months as part of the KLI team, Dana’s expertise is in high-demand! Custom studies are exceeding client expectations and all the while, Dana and other Key Limers are preparing the following types of reports for incremental release:
KLI Competitive Research. Naturally, with the addition of Dana to the Key Lime team, we’ve both expanded and refined our competitive research. Dana is spearheading several existing and new reports that fall under the following categories:
Competitive Index:
Currently our Auto Insurance Competitive Index and our Mobile Banking Competitive Index are widely used by nearly all top players in their respective industries. For this research KLI runs a survey to deeply understand the perceptions, beliefs, needs and desires of users when using their mobile devices (both web and apps) in context of a given industry and then indexes and compares capabilities across major players; ultimately ranking them and revealing strengths and opportunities for the industry and individual companies to move ahead. Inquire about the purchase of either of these reports, or suggest an index for your industry…
Competitive Benchmark Studies
Additionally, KLI publishes annual Cruise Competitive Benchmark results in June each year. This is a task-based assessment of the leading cruise industry websites by users (a mix of first-time and experienced users). The study analyzes the user experience in trying to learn about the cruise line, find a cruise of interest, and book online. It measures the user experience in terms of satisfaction, site reliability and performance, as well as NPS and likelihood to return and purchase. Dana’s keen understanding of what the cruise industry needs and pays attention to when executing sound design changes is part of what makes this benchmark study novel and desired. The study capitalizes on the value proposition offered by the various brands: Are they selling the ratio of cost to experience well to their digital consumers? Are they painting a clear picture that informs decisions and promotes action? At present, leaders in the industry are working with Dana to refine the June release to include exactly what they’ve been missing. Want to be involved in that conversation? Have ideas for a similar study in a different vertical? Learn more…
Custom Competitive Benchmark Studies
To take this one-step farther and truly meet the demands of KLI clients, Dana is leading the development of Custom Competitive Benchmark studies for several clients in the retail, travel, medical and financial industries. These studies are quite similar to the general Competitive Benchmark studies in that they are also task-based assessments of sites within a given industry by users. They also focus on which site(s) are providing the best user experience; but differ in that they allow companies to custom design aspects of the study along with KLI researchers. Companies can “ customize” by selecting the competitors they are most interested in benchmarking themselves against, as well as having input about the tasks users complete, and timing of when the study fields. Need to benchmark yourself against competitors in your industry? Learn more…

Syndicated Report: KLI Mobile Banking Competitive Review


Consumers drive technological advancement in the banking industry and in the past 18 months they have driven the top US banks to offer complete mobile programs with a variety of services to meet the needs of this on-the-go audience.
The evolution of banking tools began with the ability to receive a text message to your feature phone with your balance information.  Since, we’ve seen tremendous expansion as mobile solutions have evolved to encompass features like visual check capture, debit card deactivation, person to person payments and have even begun expansion to include offers in the past month.  As the teller lines get shorter at the brick and mortar locations, this broad feature list has become an element of attraction and retention of consumers for banking institutions.
Additionally, as the leaders pave the way, regional banks and credit unions observe and mimic solutions that prove successful.
The Mobile Banking Competitive Review by Key Lime Interactive summarizes these new, successful and well received features across the industry so that both the leaders and the small institutions can make at-a-glance decisions about areas that they should work to improve to satisfy their existing and prospective customers.  KLI’s research experts highlight opportunities that they discover in their evaluation and ultimately assist in moving the entire industry forward.

In a detailed report KLI profiles the competitive mobile landscape of six of the top US retail banks: Bank of America, Chase (JP Morgan Chase), Citibank (Citigroup), Wells Fargo & Company, USAA and PNC and ultimately reveals which bank offers their consumers the best mobile solutions.
This includes a general discussion about what these banks are doing to provide for their retail banking customers via mobile optimized sites and apps (iOS and Android).  Data is captured from real customers of each bank and includes screenshots of features from behind the login screens of each provider.
Additionally, KLI shares the methods employed to rank the banks based on consumers’ self-reported preferences and insights; provides a best-in-class feature list, as well as a comparative list of the available features of the six; and identify trends and opportunities that bridge the gap between consumer expectations and the current banking solutions.  This consumer based solution differs from other syndicated reports as KLI uses these consumers’ preferences to weigh the importance of features.
An expert capabilities assessment, comparative feature ranking, and user ratings were combined to determine an overall score and ranking.
User feedback was incorporated by gathering responses from users (n=500), to understand which features and tasks were must-haves when it comes to interacting with the mobile property of a retail bank.  From those results KLI prioritized user’s needs and preferences, and then placed the features into four tiers relative to importance and these tiers played a part into the weighted score we awarded each feature when tabulating a final score for each mobile property.  Additional information about the logic included in our scoring algorithm is detailed the full report.
For more information or to reserve your copy reach out to our sales team at

Which Retail Bank Offers The #1 Mobile Solution? Bank of America, Chase, Citibank and Wells Fargo Compared. Winner Announced in Free Webinar.

On December 6th, 2011, the leading user and consumer research agency Key Lime Interactive (KLI) will share the findings of their Mobile Retail Banking Competitive Review.  In this webinar, and associated detailed report, KLI profiles the competitive mobile landscape of the four largest US retail banks: Bank of America, Chase (JP Morgan Chase), Citibank (Citigroup), and Wells Fargo & Company and ultimately reveals which bank offers their consumers the best mobile solution.
The webinar will include a general discussion about what these banks are doing to provide for their retail banking customers via mobile optimized sites, apps (iOS and Android) and tablets (iPad). Additionally, KLI will share the methods employed to rank the banks based on consumers’ self-reported preferences and insights; provide a best-in-class feature list, as well as a comparative list the available features of the four; and identify trends and opportunities that bridge the gap between consumer expectations and the banking solutions.
“The key difference between this report and other published reports in the mobile banking space is that features, options and experiences are graded based on the consumers’ self-reported preferences.” says Alex D. Rodriguez, lead KLI researcher for this study.  “By incorporating a user survey in this competitive review we gain an intimate understanding of user needs and rank mobile elements accordingly.  This rich data set functions to help the key players shape their offering to appeal to their target audience versus simply providing a solution that matches their competition.”
Researchers, Designers, Executives, Journalists and Bloggers in the finance industry are encouraged to join the webinar on Tuesday December 6th, 2011 at 2pm EST.  Webinar Registration

To inquire about purchase of the published report please reach out to