Leda Writes for Fintech Futures: You can’t always get what you want

Dr Leda Glyptis 11:FS Foundry CEO
5min read

Every Thursday, Leda Glyptis, 11:FS Chief of Staff creates #LedaWrites. This week she turns her attention to digital misconceptions and alpacas.

Did you know that it’s a common misconception that alpaca wool is unethical? Apparently, they love being sheared but, just like sheep, they don’t shed their wool. So even if they didn’t enjoy it, shearing is still good for them. It’s not a case of what they want but what they need.

In the era of customer delighters and a massive focus on what people want, on gamification, on fun, on softness, is there room to focus on what you actually need?

You can’t always get what you want, but if you try then sometimes you can find what you need. And needs are bigger than wants. Needs are the things that let you survive. Wants are the things that are nice to have, little extras.

When you have what you need it’s rarely exciting but that’s the foundation you can use to focus on what you want. Without your needs being met you won’t survive.

With that in mind, has our digital transformation, product design and service design, feature design and the things we have spent time and money on, focused on the right things?

By focusing on feature parity and cool new interfaces have we missed out on the essentials? We the bankers have tried to focus on what we think people want, or should want, and not on what they need when it comes to money, and where we may fit in.

I believe there is a fundamental misconception in how digital work has been undertaken in banks.

We have started from the assumption of our continued existence. The fact of a customer’s custom is treated as a given. The expectation of “air time” is foundational. And we have used “digital” first as a channel, then as a distribution mechanism but always as an extension of the things we use to do what we do.

We, as banks, assumed “digital” was there for us to make more money. For us to use as we saw fit. For us to do more of the thing we do. Our thing.

But we were wrong, digital banking doesn’t need to be more of the same old thing. And it doesn’t need to be greedy to be profitable. Doing it right means it costs you less (and yes it means you cost your clients less) but you can do more and, more to the point, you can do better.

Read the full story at Fintech Futures.