11:FS, the challenger firm defining and building digitally native financial services through technology, product and design expertise, today announced the winners of its second annual Pulse awards, an in-depth review of the most impressive and impactful work by banking and fintech brands in the last twelve months.
Pulse is the 11:FS benchmarking and research platform containing thousands of user journey analysis videos from fintech and financial services companies, as well as best in class examples from other industries across the globe. The 11:FS research team is immersed in the fintech and banking ecosystem, rating and ranking the world’s leading digital financial services, and providing users with the biggest and best digital content in a single platform.
For this edition, the 11:FS research team has defined five new categories, reflecting changes in the fintech and banking landscape. The winners were then selected using a new rating framework in combination with the insights from the research team.
“The winners in each category have demonstrated leadership, innovation and execution. The have created market-leading products, beautiful, user-centric services and used technology to solve major pain points,” commented Ross Methven,
Practice Lead for Research and Benchmarking at 11:FS.
- Best incumbent strategy: Goldman Sachs
- Runner up: BBVA
Goldman Sachs has had an impressive 12 months, with its Marcus platform gaining £5.4bn in UK deposits in just 3 months, the acquisition of Clarity Money and the investment in Nutmeg through its Principal Strategic Investments arm.
“Marcus is incredibly well thought out, offering highly attractive rates, a new brand powered by an aspirational one, and most importantly, seriously effective execution. Goldman’s execution success is shown by Marcus’ scores in Pulse, which are high across the board but particularly when it comes to usability and visual design where it achieved full marks in several areas. Across onboarding, viewing transactions, accessing statements, and adding and withdrawing money Marcus is intuitive and simple to use,” commented Sarah Kocianski, Head of Research at 11:FS.
- US disruptor: Chime
- Runner up: Qapital
Since its inception, Chime has opened two million fee-free online checking accounts and is adding more customers each month than Wells Fargo or Citibank. The 11:FS Research team loved the fact that this service gets the user their paycheck up to two days early and helps them grow savings automatically.
“The simple, clean navigation of the app, and the transaction feed, which made great use of icons to illustrate spending, and maps to show where each spend took place. It is still a very young product, so it’s exciting to see how the product will develop and improve this year – especially with regards to bill payments,” said James Safford,
Market Research Analyst at 11:FS.
2018 was a year of monumental growth for Chime. To be recognised by 11:FS as the winner in the US Disruptor category is an incredible honor and a reflection of the work of our team and our dedication to our members
Chris Britt, Chime co-founder and CEO
- Best Onboarding: Joy
- Runner up: Starling Bank
The ability to get users through onboarding quickly and painlessly has never been more in demand, with Signicat reporting drop-off rates of 52% for the onboarding processes of Europe’s retail banks in 2018. 11:FS continues to see a huge amount of interest in onboarding throughout the year, so this is one of the categories carried over from the previous awards.
”Not only are Joy great at getting their users onto the platform, their KYC process means that they gain instant insight into these users, which they can very quickly pay off in the form of insights. The ability to onboard financial data and psychological data is really unique here, and wouldn’t work if the process were anything but perfect,” commented James Safford, Market Research Analyst.
- One to watch: Nubank
- Runner up: Klarna
Nubank’s app, through which customers can manage both credit and deposit accounts, scores highly in Pulse for both usability and design, with special mentions for its simplicity and use of colour.
“Its success so far is one reason we expect great things to come from Nubank, another is the fact it raised $310 million in 2018, with $180 million of that from Chinese tech giant Tencent. The advantages of additional capital aside, Nubank now has a strategic partner in the form of one of the most dominant figures in Chinese financial services from which it can learn,” commented Sarah Kocianski, Head of Research.
- Best design: Swell
- Runner up: Lunar Way
This category was a really difficult decision to reach, but ultimately the winner showcased the importance of radical design thinking and collaboration, using design giants IDEO and the Jobs to be Done framework, to build their product.
“In essence, Swell combines the high-level job that a user wants to achieve – growing their personal wealth when the housing market is no longer a viable asset – with the lower-level job of investing in tech-centric, environmentally-friendly and “good” companies; and understanding the language and products that they are investing in,” said James Safford, Market Research Analyst.
- Most attention-grabbing advertising campaign: ANNA for meowing cards
- Runner up: Habito
Our favourite from 2018 was the small business bank account ANNA, which burst into the public consciousness with a set of pretty bus ads and a truly strange three-minute video about a ‘card that miaows’. All in, it’s weird and fun.
“Love it or hate it, this ad is a great market entrance strategy for a relatively unknown product. Combining cats and comedians has all the makings of a viral video, and it seems to have paid off: the video clocked up nearly 300,000 views in the first month, significantly more than your average product explainer video,” commented James Safford, Market Research Analyst.
We wanted a card innovation that would make people take notice of ANNA, and after coming up with over 100 ideas, a miaowing debit card seemed like the obvious choice. It’s what our customers want, and more importantly it’s what they need
Daljit Singh, Chief Design Officer, ANNA