This contrasts against widely-disliked banks such as RBS that are routinely in the news for failing to help customers affected by fraud, and regularly displaying a ‘computer says no’ type attitude.
Secondly, there’s democratisation. App-only challenger bank Monzo is perhaps the best example of this. As I have written before, at the end of 2018 Monzo achieved a staggering £20 million investment from 36,000 customers in under three hours. Such events do not take place in a vacuum. Monzo has an intriguing ability to engage with its customer base through in-app customer service and online forums.
Monzo has democratised elements of its offering by directly asking its customers what they want from the brand. And I don’t mean by holding focus groups, I mean by holding an actual poll on a product decision and implementing the result. For example, back in September 2017 the bank admitted that its fee-free cash withdrawal policy was hurting the business’s financials. It then asked customers to vote on a new fee policy, and duly implemented the most popular choice.
Asking customers what they want, then doing that thing, might not seem like a ground-breaking idea, but it is surprisingly uncommon. The notion of introducing democracy into financial provision is still very much in its infancy. But fairness is an age-old concept that we seem to forget about in times of political turbulence and economic insecurity.
In the future, then, giving consumers the sense that they have a choice, that firms are listening, will pay dividends.
For more on how brands can become moral leaders, book our Future of Brand Purpose presentation.