Hey everyone, happy Tuesday! It’s hard to believe that we’re already in mid-October. This year’s truly tested our patience, grit, and sanity. As a reminder, the team and I host meditation sessions every week in the mornings (EST). If you’re feeling overstressed and want a breather, pun-intended, join us for a refreshing 15 minutes!
The team and I have been coding and pitching almost non-stop for the last week, preparing for our latest release. In our downtime, we’ve been thinking about future state ideas, which we would like to share and get feedback on. Email back a yay or nay if you feel strongly about any of these ideas!
Adding an in-app voice assistant in addition to enabling Siri. As part of this, we’re exploring a Reconcile memoji to be your friendly, virtual financial assistant.
Incorporating an emotional intelligence layer into our voice engine so we can more empathetically respond to your requests. We want our assistant to make you feel empowered and at ease, so communicating effectively is a top priority for us!
Adding a social Q&A feed for you to easily ask and read responses to your most pressing financial questions. We ran a small experiment last week after writing about the prevalence of social finance and found that many of you appreciate the free advice that comes with. Click the tweet below to see the results.
🤑 Fintech Finds 🤑
Another day, another fintech launching a credit card or checking account. In this case, Venmo, Credit Karma, and Gusto are the culprits. Being in the space for a while now, I can confirm that almost every SMB and consumer-focused fintech roadmap outlines a potential credit/debit card or checking account. Why? Simply, fintech’s are looking to own more of the customer relationship and make incremental revenue on interchange and deposits. However, do these institutions really think consumers will shift away from their existing legacy banks? Ron Shevlin, the fintech guru, studied recent consumer checking account openings and found that mega-banks still dominated the space as they handled 70% of applications in Q2 of 2020. As a middle-aged millennial, I feel that fintech’s entering the banking and credit space should focus more on Gen Z as they’ve not been embraced or entrenched into the mega-bank ecosystem yet. Speaking from experience, I’ve been a Bank of America and Chase bank customer for almost a decade now, and even though I think both stink with their branding and digital products, I’m not going to switch banks anytime soon. There’s just too much friction and inertia to do so for me. This is where I think fintech upstarts need to focus on transformational product-building (i.e. what is a no-brainer product that I would be a fool not to buy into?). In the case of Venmo and Credit Karma, they’re focusing on marginal improvements to merchant rewards and digital user experience, which won’t dramatically shift customer behavior. We’ll see what happens, but I’m not really impressed with their new announcement 🤷🏽♂️
🤖 Voice Tech Finds 🤖
As always, Bradley Metrock delivered amazing content about the adoption of voice assistants (highly recommend his newsletter)! According to his research, 47% and 28% of fortune 100 companies have deployed an Alexa skill or Google action respectively.
Quite frankly, this is impressive growth and a strong vote of confidence for the future of voice-enabled features. Voice apps are still in the nascent stages of consumer adoption and seeing mainstream, established brands deploying them will only help end-users feel more comfortable with the technology. This period feels like a flashback to the early mobile app store days, in which only the techies were a part of. Now, we’re shifting past the early adopter into the broader mass adoption phase!
Music to our ears …
Thanks for reading!
Jaimin Desai - CEO & Co-Founder of Reconcile
P.S. If you appreciate these newsletters and want to help us develop more content, we’re looking to bring a marketing lead onto the team. Reach out if you’re interested! Otherwise, would love it if you could help spread the word and share your favorite newsletter!!!