Destinee Day-Cassidy
Oct 24 6 min read

PFM VS. PFG

 

How to generate revenue and increase customers' financial wellness all within your existing digital app

Your consumers are increasingly looking to you to help provide solutions on how to meet their financial goals – and financial institutions are outright failing them. 

Why? Look no further than traditional PFMs. You know, the Mint.com’s of the world…

Over the last decade, bankers have been obsessed with leveraging Personal Financial Management (PFM) tools within their digital banking apps. The intent is to provide customers with a better experience that helps them manage their finances. Keyword: manage. 

But how much value are they really providing? 

Short answer: None.

 

Outdated PFMs do nothing more than provide fancy pie charts that show a customer’s spending, which are focused on the past and typically spotlight poor spending behavior. Getting alerts that tell you how many Starbucks coffees you purchased last month that could have instead gone to your savings account only shames customers and discourages engagement. 

Customers don’t need (or want!) any more negativity thrown in their faces. Simply put, no one likes hearing about how they’ve messed up with no suggestions or ideas for how to fix it. PFMs basically say, “Hey, you’re in a hole,” and that’s it.

 

Imagine if a fitness app told you how many cheeseburgers you ate last month versus providing you with positive encouragement for how many steps you took. Hell no – pass, thanks. I’ll eat as many cheeseburgers as I want on my couch out of spite. 

Financial wellness is no different. Positive encouragement is critical to keeping engagement high. I’m not going to lie, getting those achievement badges for hitting my step goal really makes me feel accomplished in my day. 

Financial institutions often spend $300,000-$500,000 on their mobile application, complete with a PFM feature, but with no real ROI to show. This makes sense. If engagement is low, banks miss out on opportunities. 

But it goes beyond that. With lower engagement, banks risk losing customers to competitors, particularly nonbanks. In fact, a new survey from Oracle found that over 40% of customers think nonbanks can better assist them with personal money management and investment needs, and 30% of respondents who haven’t tried a nonbank platform said they’re open to trying one.

It’s clear PFMs suck. And that’s not great news. But what if we told you there’s an insanely better alternative to PFMs that you can implement within your digital banking application today? AND this solution can produce revenue directly in your digital channel? 

That sounds like an offer YOU can’t refuse!

 

Personalized Financial Guidance (PFG) focuses on guiding customers through their financial journey, regardless of where they are or where they’ve been, and celebrating their success along the way. Keyword: guiding. 

Ultimately, PFG offers practical solutions on what customers can do with their money to meet their specific goals with a positive and encouraging approach. (We won’t shame you about the cheeseburgers!)

Solutions-driven versus insight-driven, Personalized Financial Guidance tells a customer, “Hey, you’re in a hole, and here’s the exact ladder you need to get out.” It’s essentially the 2.0 version of PFMs and what they were intended to be.

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With Finotta’s Personalized Financial Guidance technology, our Personified Platform allows banks to understand every customer's financial journey rather than a subsection of customers. That journey can range from paying off debt, starting an emergency fund, building wealth, etc. The bank can then pinpoint exactly where they are on that journey and provide products and services that meet their specific needs at exactly the right moment. Like opening and building an emergency fund for example! In this way our product recommendations generate revenue directly in your digital channel.

If you don’t offer a product to your customers, don’t worry! You don’t have to miss out on those revenue opportunities anymore! Our Personified product offers many options from our suite of third party vendors, getting you a piece of the revenue pie. 

As a result, banks deliver more personalized service that speaks to the pain points their customers face right now and build loyalty to make their business stickier than ever.

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Unlike PFMs, PFG also taps into gamification to help banks build better customer relationships, but in a fun and engaging way. Let’s face it, getting out of debt or saving for retirement is not exactly fun. 

These are also long-term goals, meaning customers don’t get instant gratification when their savings increase by $50 monthly. What is instantly gratifying is spending $50 on something tangible, like a pumpkin spice latte, every day until Christmas. 

By incorporating a gamified approach, customers can interact with their digital banking app much like they would with a successful fitness app. Banks can leverage this technology to build in levels and reward customers when they hit certain benchmarks on their financial wellness journey. Banks then increase engagement, move up their customer's share of wallet, and ultimately create sustainable growth and income for the financial institution through our Personified Platform, all while helping their customers. 

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Whether customers are building an emergency fund, paying off debt, building wealth, or anything in between, banks can deliver impactful suggestions and strategies in the moments that matter most to their customers. But doing so means moving away from outdated PFMs and towards true Personalized Financial Guidance – available only with Finotta’s Personified Platform.

Book a demo today to see how we can drive revenue growth for your FI while also supporting your customers’ financial wellness all with Personalized Financial Guidance.

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