I have never played with Google Search and fintech terms. This post hopefully addresses such a glaring shortcoming in a light and humorous way. The objective of the game is to enter words in Google Search and see which top results are displayed, sometimes to hilarious results. Obviously the results should be interpreted via the lens of consumer searches.
Without further ado, here are some of the searches I entered, along with the top Google results that came back as of May 3, 2015:
“Is bitcoin”: safe, dead, legal, mining profitable.
Arguably internet surfers are cautious to negative.
“Is ripple”: the next bitcoin, anonymous, decentralized, a cryptocurrency
“Is Lending Club”: legitimate, good, available in my state, worth it
“Is Prosper”: legit, a good investment, available in my state, safe for lenders
Users clearly have heard of Lending Club, alternative lending and are tentatively trying to gauge the risk to engage.
“Is crowdfunding”: taxable, legal, how does it work
Again the risk/cautiousness theme here.
“Is Venmo”: safe, free, reliable, legit, how does Venmo work
Are you starting to see a trend?
“Is Wealthfront”: worth it, good, safe, publicly traded
“Is Betterment”: legit
“Is a robo adviser”: right for you
“Is Fidelity Investments”: open today, a good company, a fiduciary
“Is Vanguard”: too successful
“Is Schwab”: a good broker, a broker dealer
Admittedly I am confused by these. The roboadvisor output makes sense, but the others…
“Is Western Union”: open on Sundays, open today, 24 hours
“Is Xoom”: safe, legal, safe to use, good
“Is Azimo”: safe, trustworthy, legitimate
“Is Transferwise”: safe, legit, reliable, legal
I particularly like the stark difference between what I assume potential users of remittances services ask for from Western Union and its challengers. Very telling.
“Is mobile banking”: safe, secure, safe on ipone, going to catch on in the future
“Is debit card”: a credit card, considered cash, debit card fraud considered a felony
Some people google the most interesting things, how did fraud and felony make it at the top of the searches?
“Is ACH transfer”: safe, free, same as direct deposit, a wire transfer
“Is direct deposit”: a wire transfer
“Is wire transfer”: same as ach, immediate, reversible
“Is SEPA transfer”: free, fast
Confusion abounds. What the heck is a payment anyways? Convenience is important though.
“Is Apple Pay”: available on iphone 5s, available, safe, secure
“Is Softcard”: safe, secure, free, free to use
“Is digital banking”: the same as online banking
I particularly love this one. Will make some thought leaders in the space mad.
“Is fintech”, “What is fintech”:
No result whatsoever, which should sober us up a little, even though I was not expecting any interest for a inside term from consumers.
“Is Bain Capital Ventures”: salary, careers, startup academy, companies
“Is RRE Ventures”: salary
“Is Route 66 Ventures”: executives
Good for Bain Capital Ventures and RRE, they have brand name. We at Route 66 are still building our brand.
“Is Moven”: a bank, legit, safe
“Is PFM”: dead
“Is financial wellness”: why is financial wellness important
Could not resist searching these as Moven is a portfolio company.
“Is Credit Karma”: free, accurate
“Is Equifax”: better than TransUnion, free
“Is fico”: free, your credit score,
Slightly underwhelmed by these. Was expecting more insight. People like free stuff. I get it.
“Is credit score”: of 700 good, of 750 good, of 760 good, of 680 good.
I guess only low prime and near prime search for the meaning of their credit scores…
“Is Bank of America”: insured, a good bank, open today
“Is Citibank”: insured, a good bank, closing
“Is HSBC”: a good bank, a swiss bank, insured
“Is Barclays”: insured, safe, a good bank
The HSBC output made me laugh out loud.
“Is GEICO”: cheaper than USAA, good
“Is GEICO insurance”: good insurance, good car insurance
“Is USAA insurance”: cheaper, really cheaper, only for military
“Is Progressive insurance”: good, worth it, a communist company
I swear, I did not make up the output for Progressive. Where did this come from?
“Is EMV”: mandatory, required, secure, the same as chip and pin
I guess consumers know about this term?
“Is the Federal Reserve”: constitutional
A bit of libertarian politics never hurts.
“Is the SEC”: real, a tough enough watchdog
Amen to that.
“Is the FDIC”: still around today
I certainly hope so!
“Is Fincen”: part of the IRS, a regulator, a law enforcement agency
I sense fear here. Some people are feeling guilty.
“Is the FCA”: is the FSA still around
“Is the PRA”:
No results for the PRA, confusion around the FCA. These two need to build awareness in the UK.
“Where mortgage loan”: for bad credit, for low credit score, with no down payment
Rich people don’t browse for mortgages.
“Where car finance”: where to get car finance with bad credit
Same as above.
“Which bank approves”: most mortgages, bad credit loan
Same as above.
“Is student loan”: forgiveness real, forgiveness
So sad and only applies to the USA of course.
Some of these searches are sobering. Some are hilarious. All point to fintech disrupters needing to work hard as consumer awareness and trust is far from being won yet.