GoBank Breaks the Mold

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Launched in June 2013, GoBank was created as a mobile banking platform with Millennials and avid smartphone users in mind as target banking customers. Since these customers prefer mobile, electronic transactions to paper or teller interactions, GoBank's full line of banking capabilities is available via mobile app. The bank is also branch-less with a wide network of free ATMs. Customers can open a bank account from their mobile device, deposit funds using remote deposit capture or a visit to Walmart, and perform typical money-moving transactions such as bill pay or person-to-person (P2P) payments. GoBank assesses little-to-no fees and offers its younger clientele a set of budgeting tools to help them manage their finances.
Unlike traditional banks that typically build mobile apps drawing on their existing online banking platforms, GoBank has created an experience specifically designed for mobile users who want to “bank on the go.” This approach has enabled GoBank to push the boundaries in mobile banking and introduce fresh new features, which then translate to their online banking site as well.
While Corporate Insight does not track GoBank for our Bank Monitor, Mobile Monitor or Bank Website Audit services, we think some of the unique features of this bank’s mobile app and website are worth highlighting for our clients. On the slides that follow, we highlight GoBank’s major strengths and innovations and provide descriptive screenshots from our onboarding and client experience.

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GoBank Breaks the Mold

  1. 1. BREAKS THE MOLD AUTHOR: ERICA BENSOUSSAN SEPTEMBER 2013
  2. 2. Introduction 2 Launched in June 2013, GoBank was created as a mobile banking platform with Millennials and avid smartphone users in mind as target banking customers. Since these customers prefer mobile, electronic transactions to paper or teller interactions, GoBank's full line of banking capabilities is available via mobile app. The bank is also branch-less with a wide network of free ATMs. Customers can open a bank account from their mobile device, deposit funds using remote deposit capture or a visit to Walmart, and perform typical money-moving transactions such as bill pay or person-to- person (P2P) payments. GoBank assesses little-to-no fees and offers its younger clientele a set of budgeting tools to help them manage their finances. Unlike traditional banks that typically build mobile apps drawing on their existing online banking platforms, GoBank has created an experience specifically designed for mobile users who want to “bank on the go.” This approach has enabled GoBank to push the boundaries in mobile banking and introduce fresh new features, which then translate to their online banking site as well. While Corporate Insight does not track GoBank for our Bank Monitor, Mobile Monitor or Bank Website Audit services, we think some of the unique features of this bank’s mobile app and website are worth highlighting for our clients. On the slides that follow, we highlight GoBank’s major strengths and innovations and provide descriptive screenshots from our onboarding and client experience.
  3. 3. 3 GoBank’s client messaging is fresh, familiar and funny, sounding little like the standard communication from a financial institution. The casual tone of their communication is engaging and helps the bank develop a “friendly” relationship with the customer. GoBank successfully carries this tone through all mediums, including the website, mobile app, email and YouTube videos. Casual and humorous client communication Customers, or rather “GoBankers,” are sent a warm welcoming email after they open an account. Mobile app leads with a joke when offering directions for switching banks.
  4. 4. 4 GoBank offers a full range of banking functionality via their mobile app. Customers can view recent transactions and monthly statements, access all bill pay capabilities, send money using a P2P payment service, utilize budgeting tools, and make updates to their account and personal settings (e.g., change mailing address and set alerts). In addition to offering a wide range of capabilities, GoBank’s app also includes innovative features, such as balance details before login and a budget-oriented fortune-teller. Mobile app is packed with capabilities Customers can opt to view their account balance without having to enter their login credentials. GoBank’s Fortune Teller lets customers know whether they should or should not make a particular purchase based on their budget.
  5. 5. 5 GoBank’s website design is engaging and has the simple feel of a mobile app. The site makes limited use of text and features large font sizes and graphics to simplify the user experience Mobile-centric web design Paying a bill is straightforward – customers simply fill in the details of this digital check (paper checks are not available to GoBankers). Before submitting a customer service inquiry, customers are asked to select an emoticon that captures how they are feeling.
  6. 6. 6 It’s not surprising that GoBank, a branch-less bank, would offer some innovations in the deposit-making realm. Aside from the standard RDC capabilities available at many banks, GoBank also offers two other unconventional features to help clients add funds to their accounts. New deposit conveniences GoBank’s website offers a direct deposit form that includes an image of a voided check – a necessary feature since the bank doesn’t offer paper checks. GoBankers can deposit cash into their accounts using their debit cards at any participating Walmart offering Rapid Reload.
  7. 7. 7 While other fee-free bank accounts are available on the market, GoBank stands out for leaving the monthly service fee at the customer’s discretion. Clients can pay nothing or they can spend up to $9 if they want the bank to be compensated for their services. GoBank is very transparent about their fee structure; no overdraft or penalty fees are assessed. “Pay What You Want” fee structure
  8. 8. 8 GoBank customers will rely on their debit cards for depositing cash, withdrawing cash and making payments. As such, the debit card features prominently on the website and app, with frequent mention of card customizability and activation. Similarly, P2P payments are an important part of the mobile banking experience and GoBank places more weight on this service than traditional banks do. Effective emphasis on debit cards and P2P payments Customers logging into the app are reminded to activate their card or notify the bank if it hasn’t arrived yet. New customers are encouraged to invite their friends to join and can do so by sending them $1 using the P2P payment service.
  9. 9. Summary 9 GoBank has put a lot of thought into creating a mobile platform that serves the needs of the millennial generation. The bank recognizes the centrality of mobile in the young consumer’s life and has developed a user-friendly app where customers can fully manage their accounts via mobile device. They can perform all available banking transactions, modify account and alert settings, and access budget management tools. Traditional banks, on the other hand, have lived in a web-centric world for the past 15 years and are only slowly adjusting their offerings to the emerging mobile reality. Their mobile apps mostly function as a way for banking customers to view account information and execute some core banking functionality, but little else. While GoBank has introduced noteworthy capabilities that will surely strike a chord with millennials, other aspects of the firm’s platform might not resonate with customers who have previously held a traditional banking relationship, even if they are heavy smartphone users looking for more mobile banking functionality. For instance, customers can’t open joint accounts, they can’t deposit personal checks greater than $250, they can’t get overdraft protection and they can’t initiate an external transfer from a linked account. With these drawbacks we are left wondering if the firm’s business model will be sustainable. Will GoBank customers actually opt into paying monthly service fees? And as millennials age, will GoBank change to meet their new needs (e.g., offering joint accounts as millennials start tying the knot)? We’ll just have to wait and see. Corporate Insight is currently conducting research on the millennial segment and expects to publish a major industry study later this year on millennials and finance. Stay tuned for future research on this topic.
  10. 10. 10 CORPORATE INSIGHT THOUGHT LEADERSHIP Facebook Marketing Campaigns - Social Media Initiatives in the Insurance Industry This slide deck highlights some of the engaging Facebook marketing campaigns initiated by P&C Insurance Monitor firms this year and offers a few Facebook marketing tips for insurers. User Insights Vol. 2 - Comparing the Desktop and Tablet Banking Experience This usability study provides insights to how mobile applications match up against traditional website interfaces, both in terms of usability and functionality for five leading banks. Optimizing the Online & Mobile Experience for Retirement Plan Participants This slide deck features industry best practices and includes five recommendations for DC plan providers looking to improve their Web and mobile offerings. 2013 Mobile Finance Trends and Innovations This study includes commentary on mobile developments, key takeaways for financial services firms and thoughts on what’s next for mobile finance. The Millennial Opportunity Whitepaper Examines the marketing tactics, strategies and online resources leading financial institutions are using to connect with Millennials. Also available as a slide deck.
  11. 11. 11 ABOUT CORPORATE INSIGHT Connect With Us Corporate Insight provides competitive intelligence and user experience research to the nation’s leading financial institutions. For over 20 years, the firm has tracked technological developments in the financial services industry, identifying best practices in online banking and investing, online insurance, mobile finance, active trading platforms, social media and other emerging areas. There are no assumptions in Corporate Insight’s work – we use live accounts at all of the firms we research, providing our clients with unparalleled, unbiased intelligence on the competition. Corporate Insight welcomes the opportunity to speak with the media. If you are interested in citing our research or would like to schedule an interview with one of our analysts, please contact Intermarket Communications at 212-888-6115 or corporateinsight@intermarket.com. ERICA BENSOUSSAN Senior Analyst – Consulting Services 212-832-2002 x-112 ebensoussan@corporateinsight.com BEN POUSTY Marketing Manager 212-832-2002 x-134 bpousty@corporateinsight.com Media Inquiries

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