September 2018 Trends & Highlights: Discontinuations, Current Trends and Website Overhauls

by on Oct 16, 2018

Removals and Discontinuations – In September, many firms removed insignificant site pages to focus on a more simple and straightforward customer service experience. Capital One no longer promotes the Capital One Café on the public site. E*TRADE removed its private site Cash Management page, which offered links to cash management tools. Lincoln Financial Group removed the public site Retire Well and U.S. Department of Labor Fiduciary Rule pages. Nationwide removed the public site New Heights Fixed Index Annuity product page, though alternative versions still exist. Santander removed the public site Switch Services page, which provided resources for visitors to move direct deposits and bill payments from another bank. TD Ameritrade no longer provides a Glossary page on the public site.

Nine firms also retired underutilized products and services. Ally Bank removed the eBills function from the private site Pay Bills interface. On the Navigate International page, BlackRock & iShares eliminated the interactive map in favor of a more text-heavy design. Chase notified customers about plans to discontinue the Blueprint service as of November 11. Liberty Mutual removed the Website Feedback function on the pre-login bill pay interface. Principal’s advisor site Manage My Alerts and Email Preferences pages no longer offer servicing notifications, which allowed advisors to opt in to email notifications for fixed rate changes and GMWB percentages. Santander no longer offers optional password change alerts in the Security tab on the private site Manage Alerts page. TD Ameritrade no longer provides the option to enable the AutoLaunch of trading tools on the private site. TIAA discontinued its interactive survey that asked about users’ top financial priorities. USAA no longer delivers alerts via Twitter and has removed relevant settings on the private site Delivery Settings page.

Emerging Market Trends – Firms across various financial industries addressed investment opportunities in emerging global markets. American Century, John Hancock and Legg Mason promoted a commentary explaining how to capitalize within Turkey’s unstable economy. Calvert’s Impact blog featured an embedded commentary on the changing environment of emerging markets. Franklin Templeton featured both a commentary and podcast describing the current market climate in Argentina, Turkey, South Africa and Indonesia. Lord Abbett highlighted a commentary juxtaposing the decline of the Turkish economy with the development of the Chinese economy. MFS featured a commentary highlighting developments in U.S. labor relations with emerging markets. OppenheimerFunds featured an article offering a more conservative opinion about India’s prospects as an emerging market. PIMCO promoted a commentary called Shifting Realities and Opportunities in Emerging Markets.

 Gender Equality – Six firms across multiple industries addressed gender issues, with one firm—Merrill Lynch Wealth Management—tweeting in recognition of Women’s Equality Day. Chase tweeted about balancing finances with motherhood. E*TRADE included Gender Diversity as a thematic investing category. Lincoln Financial and New York Life highlighted its ranking in the Forbes Best Employers for Women list. MFS promoted a commentary discussing financial considerations unique to single women.

SEPTEMBER HIGHLIGHTS

 Capital One Consolidates Two Designs into a United Site

Capital One overhauled its banking private site for Capital One and Capital One 360 clients. The updated site houses account information and servicing for both accounts in a unified design. Previously, clients would select which they wanted to access after login. The firm removed main navigation menus, implemented a design with responsive capabilities similar in aesthetic and functionality to the mobile app and reorganized the site to place an emphasis on accounts followed by tools and services. While the site includes new features—such as an updated Statements & Documents page with a built-in PDF reader—some account services task interfaces remain unchanged, resulting in a disjointed experience.

Updated Capital One Private Site Homepage (Truncated)

Previous Capital One Private Site Homepage (Truncated)

Previous Capital One 360 Private Site Homepage (Truncated)

TD Bank Redesigns Its Public Site to Mirror the Recent Private Site Overhaul

TD Bank overhauled its public site to mirror the recent private site revamp with larger fonts, responsive capabilities and an updated navigation menu. The public site now separates personal banking from the small business, commercial and investing counterparts; the Personal site section incorporates flat elements and better spacing to present the same content across fewer pages. Overall, the revamp offers a more digestible site structure, enhancing usability and the general customer experience through a simple design with less clutter. The firm summarizes the public site upgrade on the dedicated A New Look page.

Updated TD Bank Public Site Homepage (Truncated)