October 2016 Trends & Highlights: More Response to DOL Fiduciary Ruling, New Products and MetLife Says Goodbye to Snoopy

by on Nov 11, 2016



  • Ten Firms Continue to Respond to the DOL Fiduciary Rule A number of firms—Fidelity, MassMutual, Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, Morgan Stanley, Nationwide and VALIC—published press releases, commentaries and articles expressing their commitment to their customers and an improved outlook after the DOL fiduciary rule. Some financial institutions took it a step further: Principal added a private microsite, Merrill Lynch provided a private site letter, and Nationwide and American Funds both introduced private site pages centralizing related resources in a common location. Lastly, MassMutual notified customers that its DOL fiduciary rule podcast series was recently updated.
  • New Mobile App and Digital Payment Capabilities – In October we saw more mobile app integration of 3D Touch and fingerprint authentication in addition to new capabilities and an increase in mobile payment capabilities. TIAA and Wells Fargo added fingerprint authentication for Android and iOS platforms, respectively. Three firms—Geico, Esurance and E*TRADE—debuted 3D Touch capabilities, and TIAA added a file sharing option to its 3D Touch pop menu. Capital One introduced a Today widget, a new iOS 10 feature. Ameriprise users can now transfer funds via the firm’s mobile app, and State Farm mobile app users can update their profile information and report property claims. Both Ally and Fifth Third provide compatibility with Masterpass, BB&T and USAA cards are compatible with Android Pay and Samsung Pay, and TD Bank now supports Microsoft Wallet.
  • Seven New Products from Five FirmsJackson National introduced a fee-based Perspective Advisory variable annuity specifically designed in response to the DOL fiduciary rule. Barclaycard US reintroduced two cards to its public site: the Barclaycard CashForward World MasterCard and the cobranded Frontier Airlines World MasterCard. Ally introduced a 15-month Select CD account available for a limited time to celebrate the Second Annual National Online Bank Day. U.S. Bank and Citibank both introduced basic accounts, the Safe Debit Account (checking) and the Citi Savings account (savings), respectively. Citibank also added a new banking package, the Citi Priority Account Package, which provides customers with tiered interest rates, preferred rewards and dedicated Citi Priority customer service.


MetLife Introduced a New Global Brand Platform

The firm introduced a new logo and tagline, “MetLife. Navigating Life Together,” that focuses on commitment to a strong customer experience. MetLife anticipates additional changes to the customer experience in the coming months, according to a press release and a public site Navigating Life Together page. The firm also announced that it would no longer use Snoopy and the Peanuts Gang to promote its services.


New Public Site Header


Previous Public Site Header


Firms Donated to Hurricane Matthew Relief Efforts

Aside from press releases, articles and social media posts about preparedness, contact information and local branch closings—which we saw from Allstate, Ally, Capital One, Capital One 360, Citi, Lincoln Financial, PNC Bank, USAA and Wells Fargo—a number of firms donated to Hurricane Matthew relief efforts. BB&T led the way, donating $1 million and delivering truckloads of bottled water and cleaning supplies to affected communities; Discover, SunTrust and TD Bank followed with donations of $500,000, $250,000 and $200,000, respectively. Citi and Wells Fargo encouraged their customers to donate with money or rewards earnings.

VALIC Overhauled Public and Participant Sites

Both new sites are fully responsive and include more data visualizations, strategically placed links to educational content and transaction pages, and organizational features, such as intra-page tabs and expandable sections. The public site notably includes revamped educational content in the form of a new sitelet, and the new participant site features an improved retirement readiness tool and homepage.


Retirement Readiness Tool – Future Incomes Results Page (Top)