This week, Dani and Ned are joined by John Crittenden, a member of the Original Generation of Fintech, for a deep dive into wealthtech and the financial industry.
While the financial industry has always relied on technology behind the scenes, the Fintech revolution has been a huge game-changer. Now, consumers have access to more transparency, better pricing, and much more. Though this is where Fintech started, we are still a long way away from where we can go with this. When Fintech first broke onto the scene, being the cheapest in the game was really relevant. However, if companies simply offset this lower cost with hidden fees, nothing much has changed. Unfortunately, this has happened in the past which is why there is still a long way ahead for the industry. These days, being the cheapest in the game is simply not strong enough as a value proposition.
When asked about why finance is so difficult, John shares that finance is 100% a game of trust and confidence but companies have not gotten there yet. If companies have not established trust and confidence, their price or offerings do not matter as they have yet to create a bond with the consumer. So far with Fintech, no one has really crossed this horizon of trust and confidence yet.
Furthermore, Fintech has been obsessed with financial literacy and offering financial knowledge and education. However, even though there is so much material out there, people do not care about these detailed documents. To stress this point, John likens finance to health. If you exercise, eat well, and curate good habits, you will have a better health outcome. People do not need to know about their biology or how their body works. Finance is similar as people are overwhelmed with all this information that they do not necessarily need to know. Instead, what is more important is financial behavior and habits. If financial institutions are able to cultivate better financial habits in their clients, they will be able to form a bond of trust and confidence.
For the past 150 years, the financial industry has attempted to change human behavior around spending, saving, investing, and other fields. However, no matter how much material they print, no matter how much content they create, it has been difficult to change human behavior. What it comes down to is that there is a certain percentage of the population who will behave a certain way and a certain percentage who will not behave that way. As an industry, we need to figure out how to focus on those who want to create new behaviors and habits around their finances. Furthermore, we need to consider how to send a message of inclusiveness to those who maybe aren’t at that stage yet.