One of the housekeeping points I chatted through recently with @theactualpolson was the matter of company expenses. As much as I left my old job on good terms I had to relinquish my beloved old company credit card, so I needed to apply for a new one to cater for the massive Lang Cat expense budget. I picked a high street bank (one who we all own a small stake in) who would also top up my air miles along the way. I applied online, telling them that I had only been in my current job for less than a month, and asked for £1k credit limit. Within a matter of seconds the website welcomed me as a customer, and gave me a credit limit of £7000. The whole process took me around 3 minutes, I didn’t need to sign anything, and 48 hours later the card arrived.

It’s scary just how easy it is to get into debt, both in terms of the availability but also the ease of the user journey. I put in my details onto a website, and 48 hours later could have been £7k in debt. Easy. Worse still, it seems to me that financial services as an industry has put much more effort into the user journey for debt based products rather than savings. Much has been written about Wonga (and other such companies) yet despite the eye watering interest rates they charge they still get customers using them. Wonga’s own published stats show that over 2/3rds of their customers are under 35, 100% have mobile phones, and on average the money is sent within 5 minutes of the online acceptance. 86% of their customers rated the process as (very easy or easy). The process is quick, easy, and it is tablet & mobile friendly. As @terry_huddart recently noted, a lot of platforms have an awful lot to do in this respect.

We have conducted some research into the user journeys for investing via a number of the leading D2C platforms, and we will be sharing our findings over the coming months. There are some good examples of clear, simple & easy to use websites, leading into decent well priced products & solutions, but others have much to do. As an industry we need to make it as easy to save & invest as it is to get into debt. Hopefully this is just a case of providers upping their game & building an easy to use end to end customer journey, but the cynic in me can’t help but wonder if their customer journey innovation will continue to be concentrate on debt products.