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Jobs-first Approach to Fintech

Subhajit Das, 4/13/2016


For many people, the advent of peer-to-peer lending, mobile based banking and automated investing heralds a fate for the banking industry that is similar to what happened with the music industry. While the situation is comparable in many aspects, it is different in many others. Especially, if we consider the jobs-to-be-done (JTBD).

Music distribution was addressed by digital delivery in a much better way than the incumbent methods. Thus, despite early hiccups, it became the norm. But there are multiple JTBDs in financial services – keeping deposits safe and accessible is not the same as providing revolving credit which is not the same as a mortgage. The social, emotional and functional dimensions of each are different from the customer’s perspective. For example, the level of trust involved in opening a new savings account is different from that when acquiring a new credit card. For most people, much more emotions are involved in a mortgage than in a credit card. Purchasing a car after the arrival of a baby is not the same as purchasing one after marriage. Additionally, the JTBD occur at different times and under a variety of circumstances – a person may not need auto financing when she is trying to open a new account. Understanding the JTBD can help to make an appropriate choice between purely digital and hybrid solutions.

There is no doubt that technology will change how financial services are accessed and used. But instead of merely digitizing everything, it can be used to improve the ways in which the social, emotional and functional dimensions of the JTBD for which people hire financial services products are addressed.