One on One with LemonadeLXP’s John Findlay
We recently sat down with John Findlay, co-founder and CEO of LemonadeLXP, a learning experience and digital adoption platform for financial institutions and fintechs. Clients for this Ottawa, Canada-based company include TD, Bank of the West, Associated Bank, Great Plains Bank, Visions FCU and others. LemonadeLXP has won numerous awards including won Best of Show at FinovateEurope in 2019.
Here’s how John sees potentials and pitfalls in this dynamic digital banking era:
Can legacy banks still compete in the digital banking and challenger bank environment?
Yes, I think they can. Where digital and challenger banks gain lots of media attention, outside of our little world it’s the mega banks that are most favored by millennials. I think people still want the convenience and personal touch of a large branch footprint. I think digital and challenger banks will have a tough battle on their hands when the novelty of their offerings wears off.
What’s the most overlooked aspect of building a strong digital banking presence?
To me it’s the human dimension. First, when financial institutions (FIs) roll out new tech, most of the focus is on development, implementation and marketing. Often what’s forgotten is the need to train frontline staff so they have the knowledge and confidence they need to promote and support the tech to customers.
What’s more, FIs typically don’t do a great job of supporting their digital banking products. Often the only help customers can get with the tech is the equivalent of online manuals – and I wonder how many of us read the VCR manual back in the 1980s or even our mobile phone manuals today?
Also, consider that at many banks’ and credit unions’ staff don’t have to bank with their employer. Since they don’t bank at their workplace, frontline staff don’t necessarily have any experience with their FI’s tech. So how can they be expected to promote and support the technology to customers?
Robinhood and others are developing gamification of their platforms for customers. Why is this trend going to continue on the front end and back end?
While gamification is a relatively new term, we’ve been gamifying stuff forever. Personally, I’ve made games out of boring stuff my whole life. I’ve even built a career around it! And the reason for its persistence is because it taps into our organic hard drives. The problem is, not all gamification is created equal. So while some platforms’ gamification efforts will succeed, many will fail. It’s not just a matter of tacking points, leaderboards, and badges onto your widget. It’s about thoughtfully weaving game elements into your experience in order to motivate specific behaviors.
How important is training staff for digital banking compared to building out a customer-friendly front end?
In my opinion, these are equally important. The customers who aren’t using your digital banking products, where are they? They’re in your branches and calling your contact centers. Having a digitally fluent frontline is crucial for promoting and supporting your tech to customers. But if the tech’s clunky, even if your staff is digitally fluent, adoption gains will be temporary.
What is the development in the digital banking space that most excites you?
I’m mostly interested in the intersection between technology and people. Tech’s great, but in most cases, people are the drivers. I’m excited about the opportunity to build tech that makes people’s lives better. There’s nothing more exciting than when you build something that you really believe people will love!
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