Say hello to Snoop!

After a successful beta and just under 12 months of hard graft, Snoop is officially open to the public and available on the App Store and Google Play. Snoop helps people spend, save and live smarter, using a clever combination of Open Banking and Machine Learning.

To celebrate the launch, we’re dedicating this issue of H! Lites to all things Financial Services, highlighting our thoughts and work around FinTech and of course Snoop itself.

What is Snoop?

Snoop’s a new kind of app, designed to help everyone spend, save and live smarter. Hi Mum! Said Dad is partnering with the Snoop team to build an enterprise-level app from the ground up.

Business Challenge
The Snoop team are on a mission to help consumers take back a large chunk of the £12 billion they lose out on each year as a result of their loyalty to the banks and big businesses they deal with.

To achieve this, the team is taking advantage of Open Banking and using machine-learning capabilities to deliver ‘Snoops’ - data-driven, personalised insights aimed at making consumers better off.

Over time the aim is for Snoop to become both a leading brand in tech, and banking, without ever taking customer deposits or lending. The best experience in banking will no longer be with a bank.

Hi Mum! Said Dad has partnered with Snoop to bring this mission to life and to take Snoop from a big idea to a fully functioning product that lives on consumer devices across the UK.

Snoop is built on significant heritage. The founders comprise a team that worked together at Virgin Money, with former Virgin Money CEO, Dame Jayne-Anne Gadhia, as Chair.

To take Snoop from big idea to a fully working product, Hi Mum! Said Dad worked in close collaboration with the Snoop team to deliver:

  • Research-driven product definition and user testing
  • User Experience, Visual Direction and UI design
  • Enterprise-level technical development from the ground up

Hi Mum! Said Dad run a continuous and fully agile process and operate as a dedicated extension of the Snoop business.

The platform is hosted on AWS, designed using the well-architected framework to provide a highly secure, high-performing, resilient and efficient application. It provides the backbone for the microservices and recommendation engine.

Moving fast is crucial, so Hi Mum! Said Dad and Snoop collaborated on a process to establish a reliable foundation, uncover and validate critical design decisions, and then move into an agile delivery phase that would lead to a Minimum Marketable Product (MMP) as swiftly as possible.

Our process of validating and testing a deeper prototype allowed us to gain clear insights into the way real consumers reacted to the Snoop proposition and the design decisions that had been made.

A net promoter score of 75+ for the prototype illustrated what users really connected with and found useful in the concept, and identified the areas where users tripped up, allowing us to pivot quickly and redesign elements and interactions before investing development resources.

Aside from modelling an effective program of getting things done and seeing very positive results in user testing - Snoop is getting noticed with coverage in The Sunday Times, FinTech Futures, 11:FS and messages of support from Richard Branson.

Open Banking Today: Is this the year of mass consumer adoption?

In February, we hosted a roundtable event to discuss Open Banking in 2020; 11 senior representatives joined from across the spectrum - ranging from fintech challenges through to traditional incumbents.

PWC’s 2018 report The Future of Banking is Open is frequently cited as go-to predictions for impact on the market. The thrust of that report is that by 2022 -  Open Banking will be worth 7.2bn. The lion’s share of that sum is marked as “revenue at risk” at 5bn. That is, revenue that new entrants could snatch from incumbents.

So the message is clear, incumbents better not lag or they will suffer new entrants eating their lunch. But how much of this have we actually seen?

The conversation was focused on the propositions that could potentially change the game, how big incumbents perceive the threat and some important factors for success.

Take a look at 9 key takeouts from the session here

Open Banking Tomorrow: The Marketplace Endgame

Open banking’s initial run was slightly disappointing - banks dragged their feet with compliance deadlines and early consumer facing propositions weren’t as notable as we might have hoped. Only a handful of products came out that were particularly compelling for consumers,  and fewer still had built up any sort of defensible lead. That inertia meant opportunity, and we had a think about the types of products that we believe could really move that needle - marketplaces.

Marketplace businesses like AirBnB and Uber benefit from several powerful traits that are ripe for emulation in FinTech products - self-reinforcing network effects, first mover advantages and huge scalability from their zero inventory models. Open banking marketplaces (and financial services more broadly) have the opportunity to disrupt and solve many customer problems - such as reducing discovery and search costs for financial products, cutting the effort costs of applying for or switching products and the maintenance costs of staying on top of all the different products and services they use.

To tackle discovery: Establish partnerships for the very best financial products/services across mortgages, insurance, money transfer etc and anticipate customer needs to surface the right product/service to the right customer at the right time - e.g. travel insurance for a customer who has just booked flights or mortgages for someone likely to be accepted based on their recent transaction history and potential deposit size.

The more customers you can attract, the more supply you will attract (and the greater your leverage with this supply-side).

To tackle applications and switching:
With great leverage over your supply-side comes the opportunity for building bespoke, in-app product application journeys that are more likely to convert as well as providing a stellar post-application experience.

It is also worth mentioning that such a marketplace doesn’t need to solely focus on financial products. Any platform that can aggregate significant demand in this way can be opened up to brands as a means to drive discovery and trial of both new and existing digital and physical products. American Express currently does this with the offers section in its app, allowing customers to ‘add’ offers such as discounts and money back to their cards which are automatically applied when they spend in-store or online.

To improve ongoing management: Close integration with third parties means a world where you can provide a consolidated view of all live products and their individual details.

The presence of a vast supply-side means there is always an opportunity to cross-sell/up-sell or recommend a product switch where it makes sense for the customer based on their transaction data or the arrival of new offerings onto the market which a marketplace is well placed to aggregate and curate.

Spinning up the machinery to build and maintain a service like this is going to be very difficult, but the rewards are potentially huge. To read more about how we recommend companies go about tackling this, how startups and traditional banks are going to go head-to-head over the coming years and what that journey looks like - read the full article here.