Marketing Briefing: Turning a card into a key
- As the pandemic eases its grip on hangout spots, credit card startups like Yonder are taking advantage with a unique take on card perks.
- Meanwhile, consumers’ demands for better CX from financial services continue to climb.
Yonder is a London-based credit card startup that aims to provide city dwellers with a feeling of exclusivity when they pay for things. For the most part, that manifests itself in card-linked discounts for certain places across London.
CEO and founder Tim Chong sums it up by saying it's about making the card feel like a “financial accessory” to fun city life, rather than another bureaucratic bug you need to sort out.
The origin story of Yonder starts with Chong’s personal life. Chong emigrated to London from Melbourne a little while back. He describes his experience as a mix of both the excitement of moving to a new city and the nerves surrounding getting set up financially.
“On the one hand, learning how the culture works, discovering the city, and meeting new friends is all super exciting. On the other hand, getting a bank account, a credit card, and your life admin set up as well is stressful,” said Chong.
For now, Yonder focuses solely on London, but the hope is to expand to other cities in the UK, and eventually across Europe.
“We're very much a product for people who really love the adventure of moving to a new city, whether that's London, Edinburgh, Manchester, Liverpool, or international cities across Europe, like Amsterdam, Berlin, and Barcelona,” said Chong.
Shaping the card
On its website, Yonder describes itself as a ‘card-shaped key to the city.’ Part of creating that sense has meant reimagining the look and feel of a credit card. In this case, Yonder has opted for the vertical and velvety with a card that purposely resembles a hotel key. “It relates to this idea that a hotel key unlocks the best of your experiences,” said Chong.
Another point Chong mentions about the card is that the name of the card owner is placed front and center. That’s so the user feels more like the focal point of the card, rather than the brand itself.
Packaging the card
Chong sees card packaging as an opportunity to present Yonder’s personality as a lifestyle brand, rather than a financial brand.
“If you think about it, packaging is the only piece of marketing material that has a 100% open rate. And so we worked hard to make sure that our packaging really communicated the brand we’re building, which is not just a challenger bank, but a lifestyle brand,” said Chong. “Much more like a direct-to-consumer brand that actually happens to be a financial product.”
One challenge that presents itself to Yonder is how to partner with the right places as it expands. The places should feel like spots a local would take you to, according to Chong, rather than a place you go to just to redeem some points or discounts.
“[We want to] create this sense of ‘I never knew about that place, but I'm so glad I've discovered it now',” he said.
The thing is, collecting that information and building a unique product for each city takes time, which of course makes patience a big part of Yonder’s strategy going forward.
In the numbers: Demand for better CX from financial service providers continues to increase
With products and services becoming increasingly tailored, consumers continue to demand better customer service – and that demand has been steadily increasing in the past few years, according to Broadridge's 2022 CX and Communications Insights: Engaging Customers in a Digital World. Compared to 2019, the percentage of consumers demanding better customer service this year has gone up by 30%.
Customer service remains a consistent demand in the financial industry. But assuming there’s a set of to-dos in order to reach a state of ‘quality customer service’, that checklist changes as the years go by and new generations become the ‘it’ gang for marketers. This would make things tricky for any industry, but it may be an especially noticeable struggle for financial services, which are notoriously weighed down by legacy components in their business models.
For this week’s briefing, Matt Swain, managing director for Broadridge Communications & CX Consulting, shares his thoughts on the biggest takeaways from the report and what companies need to do to appeal to Gen Z faster than their competitors.
What is the biggest takeaway for financial institutions?
“One concerning trend from our research over the past four years is that companies across industries are trending in the wrong direction relative to customer experience. In 2019, 35% of North American consumers agreed that most of the companies they do business with need to improve the customer experience they provide. By 2021, that number had increased to 59%, and it then increased again in 2022 to 65%. When we asked these same consumers which types of companies provide the best customer experience, the bottom four performers were investment companies, insurers, loan providers, and retirement services companies. We’re seeing a further separation between customer experience leaders and the rest of the pack, which should be quite concerning for financial institutions.
So, what actions can trailing organizations take to improve customer experience? We found that there were multiple factors influencing this consumer sentiment, ranging from customer service, to product and UI enhancements, as well as improvements to the communications experience. To further complicate the challenge for financial institutions, not all customers want to be served in the same way. Many customers expect to be able to personalize their experiences based on what works best for them. The good news is, more consumers are open to sharing personal data to enhance the customer experience – particularly the younger generations, with 49% of Gen Z and 55% of Millennial customers onboard.”
How can financial firms tailor communications to engage Gen Z and Millennial customers?
“Engaging with Gen Z and Millennial customers will be critical to the future success of financial institutions as this next wave of wealth transfer gets underway. In fact, 74% of Gen Z say they would spend more money with a company that provides a good customer experience. Beyond the underlying theme of personalization and reducing friction, some of the tools and technologies that we have found these demographics to be particularly drawn to include digital interactive documents with customizable sections, QR codes to facilitate an easy transition from a printed communication to a digital experience, as well as short, informational, personalized videos as a communication tool.
Investing in these types of enhancements to the communications experience can also help satisfy a broader organizational goal of many of our financial institution clients – reducing print and mail expenses. According to our research, if financial institutions made their digital experiences more engaging, 83% of Gen Z and 87% of Millennials would go paperless! And for those who still want paper, their ask is simple: use plain language, provide relevant content, and summarize important information for a quick read.”
What we’re reading
‘First-party’ is where the real party is at
New policies from companies like Google are making it harder for banks and credit unions to rely on third-party data in their marketing efforts. To get past this obstacle, banks may need to start relying more on their own data in store – no matter how siloed away it is. (The Financial Brand)
Be the change you want to see in the world – or, like, pretend to be
Deutsche Bank is under investigation for greenwashed marketing. The bank and its subsidiary DWS may have been marketing themselves as more environmentally friendly than they actually are. (DW)
Banks are taking dance lessons from TikTok
Bank marketers are zeroing in on TikTok as a viable way to attract Gen Z attention. (The Financial Brand)
And this week’s latest Google query: ‘How to get UK authorities off your back’
The Competition and Market Authority continues to look into whether or not Google is engaging in any ad sketchiness. Today, the tech giant is the UK’s largest service provider in the online ad spend industry – so yeah, there’s a lot to explore. (PYMNTS)