21 December 2014

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Colin Weir - Moroku

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What drives customer behaviour around money

07 August 2014  |  908 views  |  0

At Moroku we spend a lot of our time trying to unlock a key riddle

“If financial health is so important for so many, why are so few good at it?”

The flip side to this riddle is "Why do people spend so much time on other things, things that seem to matter less?

In our search to unlock this, we spend a lot of time trying to understand the things that drive us and engage us every day, driving our decisions, behaviours, habits and actions. The fields of neuroscience and cognitive psychology provide us with a lot of the insight here and has shown us a set of core human drives that make us feel alive and motivated and that these can be measured in the brain. Understanding this is important for us so that we can apply this understanding to building applications and systems that we can shift not only peoples mental state when it comes to banking and their financial health but most importantly help drive action.

From our research, core among these human drives are:

  • Control: Of ourselves and our environment
  • Competence: In our environment, to feel like we understand what’s going on and safely can navigate the world,
  • Congruence: To live in integrity with who we think we are and who we know we can become,
  • Caring: To care for other people and to be cared for
  • Connection: To connect deeply with others


As the internet has unfolded and banks worldwide have built out digital channels to serve customers cheaper and faster much of the risk management and connection has been lost. Gone are the days when the local bank manager knew most of his customers and were able to help guide them along. The relationship has been dehumanised, the connection gone and much of the control lost. With this banks have lost the capacity to help build competence within the service and teach people to core skills needed to budget, save, pay off debt and understand the core principles.

While most of us appear to be relatively good at short-term money management, other behaviours are more troubling. These include the lack of active and long-term savings in formal financial products, excessive reliance on credit (including to make ends meet), and difficulties in choosing adequate financial products and in taking informed financial decisions. How bad is the problem? In 2009 the US bank, Sallie Mae determined that only 49% of young respondents with a college education and 60% of young respondents with postgraduate education could correctly answer three simple questions designed to assess financial literacy.

So where to from here? We suggest thinking about these 5 core drivers when designing the customer experience for banking. We know that these drivers will pull people in, to spend more time thinking and working on the financial futures by offering people control through competence, that we do care and that there is a connected experience via the community inherent in the platform.

TagsMobile & onlineInnovation

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