loans

Why fintech could drive online car buying in the US

Years ago, the thought of buying clothes or shoes online seemed unlikely. After all, there are certain types of products that logic would dictate need to be purchased in person.

But today, there are few products that aren’t purchased online, and even big-ticket items like cars could soon be routinely purchased sight unseen through the web.

What can high street banks learn from Wonga.com?

Is it any wonder that those in need of a loan (and a fast one) turn to Wonga and not a high street bank? 

One is approachable and colourful and isn’t full of boring text or ambiguous wording, and the other is an institution the public has gradually learned to call the enemy. 

Of course, the two aren’t really comparable. The need to turn to Wonga is often caused by desperation (and being desperate is a reality for lots of people post 2008). And Wonga itself is gradually acquiring a reputation as not exactly a pillar of the community, as many are educated about the realities of interest rates. 

However, despite selling different products, Wonga still has lots to teach the high street banks. More and more customers turn to banking websites before their branches, but the bank websites are often dry and difficult to use (albeit with some very nice mobile app alternatives).

So, to demonstrate how the user experience for some banks compares to Wonga, I’m going to look at the recently re-launched ‘people’s bank’, or TSB. And for a fairer comparison, I’ll look at Lloyds Bank, too.

Chiefly I’ll look at the ‘approachability’ of the homepage and the copy therein, as totems for the service on offer.

Amazon to provide loans to merchants: report

Selling products online can be a lucrative business, but it’s typically not an easy one, particularly for small merchants. While the internet helps address some challenges, like finding customers, margins can be tight and merchants often struggle with cash flow.

Enter Amazon, the 800-pound gorilla of ecommerce. Already a significant source of sales for some merchants through its Amazon Marketplace, the Seattle-based company is now positioning itself to be an even larger fixture in the lives of many businesses with the launch of a service called Amazon Lending.

Mobile search and PPC: are finance brands missing an opportunity?

Mobile search is growing rapidly, increasing by 250% for Q1 year-on-year as traffic on mobile devices increased four-fold. It’s also a trend that looks set to continue. 

Mobile now accounts for 11% of all UK search spend compared to 8% in the US, yet many companies have been slow to wake up to the opportunities that it presents for increasing brand awareness and customer acquisition.

One such case in point is paid search. Brands are spending big bucks on some keywords, but are neglecting the mobile searcher. This not only reduces the opportunities for acquisition, but could also negatively impact Quality Score. 

With this in mind, I looked at which brands are most visible for each of the three most valuable keywords (mortgages, insurance and loans), and whether they make the most of their prominence by linking users to a mobile site.