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Shaping the future of finance

When we talk about customer journeys, what do we mean?

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I was struck by one slide in a presentation the other day. The slide stated this: I need a mortgage … to buy a house

Why did this strike me? Probably because you realise, from the customer view, that financial services has nothing to do with money. It is 100% to do with living a life.

We’ve had this conversation for decades. A loan is not a loan … it is an enabler of buying something you want. From the customer’s perspective, money does not matter. It is their lives that matter, and whether they can live their lives without worry.

When you approach the market from that perspective, everything in financial services turns a little bit on its head.

I am buying insurance. I am not buying insurance because I want it. I am buying insurance so that if my house burns down or my partner dies, I can still get on with my life. The insurance is purely there to pay the bills that need to be paid, to ensure that I keep my home and can eat and sleep.

I need a loan. The bank says: are you good for the money? What they should be saying is: what for? Why do you need this loan? What are you buying?

I guess the core issue is that financial markets view monetary transactions as just that. A transaction. What we as an industry should be thinking is what does money facilitate and enable. What is it that people are using us for? What’s the end-game?

Sure, many of you may already be there, but far too often financial institutions think from the inside-out. How many people can we get insured or in hock this month? It would be far better to think outside-in. We are here to help people grow, progress and enjoy life.

This brings me back to something I regularly return to: Copernicus commerce

. My idea of Copernicus commerce began in the 1990s, when working with insurers and banks on re-engineering their processes. The core of Copernicus commerce is realising that the customer is the centre of the universe and you float around it. Too often, we allow planets to get in our way. Think of Venus as products and Mercuy as organisation and staff. We allow Venus and Mercury to blind our view of the Sun … the Customer. Equally, we think the customer, the Sun, floats around our company which, for the sake of the metaphor, is Earth. We sit in our office looking out at the world believing that everything floats around us.


The world is not focused upon you or your company. It is focused upon the people who buy your products and services and, every day, you should be asking yourself: why do they buy these products and services?

They don’t take loans, savings and investments to borrow and invest. They take loans, savings and investments to enable them to live their lives and have fun. They borrow and invest to have houses, a nice car and a good life.

Bottom line: think about the customer journey and where they want to go. Don’t think about your bonus, profit and next sale.

Chris Skinner Author Avatar

Chris M Skinner

Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog,, as author of the bestselling book Digital Bank, and Chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club. He has been voted one of the most influential people in banking by The Financial Brand (as well as one of the best blogs), a FinTech Titan (Next Bank), one of the Fintech Leaders you need to follow (City AM, Deluxe and Jax Finance), as well as one of the Top 40 most influential people in financial technology by the Wall Street Journal's Financial News. To learn more click here...

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