Bank Product Proliferation: Too much of a good thing

By Jim Marous

When someone walks into your bank or credit union branch or visits online to open a new account, how many options are available to choose from? More importantly, how many different legacy products exist that are no longer offered, but still need customized maintenance, specialized communication and integration with your new digital offerings?

Has our desire to provide the best products for everyone resulted in product clutter, complexity, confusion, and additional costs? Now, there’s new evidence that customers will reward us for reducing choice and for helping them move to the right product.

Beyond just reducing the current number of products we promote, it is also important to close the books on outdated product portfolios, consolidating legacy products into a more refined, less complex set of offerings. By doing so, your institution will reduce costs, generate new revenue, simplify your customers’ lives and provide the foundation for future growth.
In a recent research paper from A.T. Kearney entitled, Reducing Complexity in Retail Banking: Simple Wins Every Time, it was found that the origin of banking’s product proliferation challenge is the industry’s product-centric view and the lack of a traditional product lifecycle. By remaining siloed and focusing on the impact of individual products, there had been little internal incentive to reduce complexity for the customer’s benefit.
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