Corporate Insight Names 2016 Monitor Award Winners; Reports Trends, Best Practices
NEW YORK, Jan. 10, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Corporate Insight announced today the release of its annual Monitor Awards, including major trends and best practices in online and mobile innovation for 2016. For more than 15 years, Corporate Insight has presented gold, silver and bronze medals to recognize the most innovative and valuable digital offerings in the annuity, banking, brokerage, credit card, insurance, retirement and asset management industries.
“Throughout 2016, we saw a steady series of digital innovations to the user experience across the many industries and companies we track,” noted Dana Peterson, Vice President of Monitor Services at Corporate Insight. “We saw an uptick in web and mobile site revamps, with a general focus on better content, tighter security and improved personalization. We analyzed many innovations to the mobile experience that included new features and capabilities to enhance the client relationship.”
Corporate Insight’s Monitor Services teams use rigorous, proprietary grading software to review key online tools and resources from more than 100 financial services firms and insurers. The Monitor Awards highlight the best resources and most important features of the online user experience.
2016 Gold Monitor Award Winners
Gold medals are presented for online features that exceed Corporate Insight’s criteria for overall excellence and usability. In 2016, the following companies received the most gold medals across nine industry verticals:
Advisor Monitor Awards
Life Insurance Monitor Awards
Annuity Monitor Awards
Mutual Fund Monitor Awards
Bank Monitor Awards
Property & Casualty Monitor Awards
- Liberty Mutual
Credit Card Monitor Awards
Retirement Plan Monitor Awards
e-Monitor Awards (Online Brokerage)
- Merrill Edge
Healthcare Monitor Awards
- BCBS of Massachusetts
A Look Back at 2016: Summary of Key Trends
As part of its Monitor research services, Corporate Insight (CI) analysts use live accounts at each financial institution covered, identifying customer-centric improvements and trends as they occur in real time. The Monitor Awards are a culmination of a year’s worth of website tracking and user experience assessment. The following is a summary of the most notable trends from 2016.
Website Revamps & Design Changes; Continued Proliferation of Responsive Design
Financial firms in every industry segment either redesigned or entirely revamped their public, private and advisor websites. Many prioritized improved design and streamlined site navigation, integrating responsive design across devices. For example, nearly half (43%) of the firms in the Life Insurance Monitor coverage group updated their websites in 2016. Notably, every revamped website features responsive design, with a majority (79%) of firms now offering responsivity on at least part of their public sites, and 50% offering partially or completely responsive private sites.
Firms continued to use microsites to host educational resources, and promote products and investment strategies. Within the Mutual Fund Monitor coverage group, Franklin Templeton, for example, launched a new ETF line of business named LibertyShares in June, and promoted the products through an accompanying microsite. In December, Vanguard released its Investing Revolution microsite, which helps investors understand the firm’s mutual fund products, costs and investing ideas.
Tools and Calculators, with a Strong Focus on Retirement Savings, Credit Health and Financial Wellness
In the Retirement Plan Monitor coverage group, Fidelity, Nationwide and MassMutual stand out for new retirement readiness and financial wellness tools. Fidelity added a number of notable tools, including a robust retirement readiness tool, a contribution rate planner, as well as a tool that provides personalized participant tips and actionable advice. Nationwide added 15 educational retirement- and investing webinars, as well as a new My Healthcare Estimator tool. MassMutual overhauled its retirement readiness tool, making it one of the more comprehensive and effective offerings in the coverage group.
CI tracked an uptick in financial wellness resources within the credit card industry in 2016, with five firms in the Credit Card Monitor coverage group offering free FICO credit scores. Bank of America was the first to do so, integrating scores online and its revamped mobile app. Similarly, Wells Fargo’s new FICO credit tool outlines score factors, history, credit reports, credit education and FAQs.
Mobile Technology and Enhanced Capabilities
Firms added innovative features to their mobile apps in 2016, incorporating new technologies such as iOS 3D Touch and Amazon Alexa voice recognition. Within Property & Casualty Monitor, the most innovative use of mobile technology in 2016 came from Liberty Mutual and its subsidiary Safeco as they became the first to create apps. This technology allows clients to ask various insurance questions, such as how to deal with flooding, and receive immediate answers.
Mobile wallets continue to proliferate, as card compatibility with Android and Samsung Pay increased markedly throughout 2016. Masterpass and Microsoft Wallet are rolling out as well, with updated digital payment pages and banners posted to banking sites. Chase and Wells Fargo also launched their own payments services.
Rollout of Automated Investing Platforms Continues
An unprecedented number of brokerage firms entered the automated investing space in 2016. Three firms in the e-Monitor coverage group – E*TRADE, Fidelity and TD Ameritrade – launched automated investing platforms, while Merrill Edge and Wells Fargo Advisors announced plans to launch their own in 2017. Most recently, Charles Schwab announced plans to launch a hybrid robo-advisor – Schwab Intelligent Advisory – which will combine professional advice and algorithm-based technology in the first half of 2017. RBC Wealth Management began piloting RBC Investor Gateway, a digital advice option, in collaboration with FutureAdvisor.
For more information on Corporate Insight’s 2016 Monitor Awards reports, please contact:
Director of Public Relations
About Corporate Insight
Corporate Insight provides competitive intelligence, consulting and user experience (UX) research to the nation’s leading financial services firms, insurers and educational institutions. For more than two decades, the firm has published customer experience-focused research and has advised clients on key competitive issues with a focus on improving digital capabilities. The firm offers subscription-based Monitor Services in 14 verticals, including brokerage, healthcare and alumni relations, along with custom research and consulting services, digital capabilities audits, special studies and UX research. To learn more, connect with us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.