Page 4: Products, price and place
Intelligent Finance’s proposition combines both service and tangible products, which results in an integrated product – one could not operate as efficiently, or in the same way, without the other. In this case, transactions and accounts are totally integrated.
Flexible technology enabled Intelligent Finance to develop this new product offering. The systems enable the bank to deliver choice and flexibility to customers who can mix and match their products.
Customers can connect products and make their money work for them. For example: Jim and Sarah have a current account, a savings account and a mortgage with Intelligent Finance. In an average month they have £1,200 in their current account and £4,000 in their savings account. They also have a mortgage for £55,000. With Intelligent Finance, customers can choose not to earn interest on their current account and savings, the combined balance of the money that they have in their current and savings account (£5,200) would connect to work with their mortgage helping to reduce the amount of interest that they have to pay. Therefore, they only pay interest on £49,800. If any of the amounts change, this is calculated daily and interest calculated on the new balances.
Customers can make their money work much harder with Intelligent Finance. The bank’s product proposition, means that customers can choose to pay less interest on their borrowing or earn more interest on their savings. Without the overheads of traditional high street branch networks, Intelligent Finance is more cost efficient, therefore, Intelligent Finance is able to pass on these savings to its customers.
Market research revealed that the most successful banks were those that operated multi-delivery channels, including both phone and the internet. If customers were able to speak to someone on the phone, it seemed to be the key difference between success and failure. Intelligent Finance followed this model and customers have a range of ways to connect to the bank: phone, internet, or WAP technology. This means that customers can make banking a part of their busy lives. In modern society, people now have less time to visit high street banks. However, they can still telephone the bank and speak to someone if they wish. Intelligent Finance offers banking for a 21st century lifestyle.
Intelligent Finance uses three distribution channels to sell its products and customers can use a number of communication channels to enquire about these.
- Direct Channels: Customers enquire directly by phone or on the web.
- Professional Advisors: Intelligent Finance has a sales force who promote the Intelligent Finance product to professional advisors throughout the UK. These professional advisors sell products from a variety of financial services institutions in order that their customers can make an informed choice. The advisor may earn a commission on each product sold.
- Affinity Partners: Intelligent Finance has a number of partnerships with external companies. These partnerships are with organisations who can provide added value to each other’s membership base. For example, the Living Well Health Clubs, promote Intelligent Finance to its membership base, achieving cost effectiveness through distribution, while gaining direct access to the club’s membership database. Living Well can obtain advantage by being associated with a strong reliable brand.