Best Practices in the US Financial Services Industry

Corporate Insight, the leading provider of competitive intelligence and user experience research to the financial services industry, announced the release of its 2013 Monitor Awards. Over the past 15 years, Corporate Insight has presented its annual Gold, Silver and Bronze awards to recognize the best digital offerings in the annuity, banking, brokerage, credit card, insurance, retirement and asset management industry segments.

Corporate Insight rated a variety of key online resources offered by more than 100 leading financial services firms before identifying this year’s winners. Categories include client account information, educational resources, transaction capabilities, site navigation, advisor materials and interactive tools and calculators to name a few.

”As technology steadily advances, financial institutions must continue to evolve and improve their online resources in order to stay ahead of the competition,” says Dana Peterson, Vice President of Monitor Services. “Corporate Insight’s Monitor Awards honor companies across the financial services industry that excel in offering a best-in-class user experience to prospects, clients and advisors.”

2013 Gold Monitor Award Winner Standouts

Gold Monitor Awards are presented for online features that exceed our criteria for overall excellence and offer strong usability. Corporate Insight identified 18 companies who received the highest number of Gold Monitor Awards in their respective industry segments in 2013:

Advisor Monitor Awards e-Monitor Awards (Online Brokerage)
BlackRock Fidelity
Franklin Templeton Life Insurance Monitor Awards
Lord Abbett AXA Equitable
Oppenheimer MetLife
Putnam Northwestern Mutual
Annuity Monitor Awards Mutual Fund Monitor Awards
Jackson National Fidelity
Transamerica Vanguard
Bank Monitor Awards Property & Casualty Monitor Awards
Citibank Allstate
Credit Card Monitor Awards Retirement Plan Monitor Awards
CitiCards Fidelity
Discover Vanguard

A Look Back at 2013

2013 saw a variety of changes, upgrades and improvements across the financial services industry. A number of firms revamped their websites, with many implementing significant changes to offer better functionality to customers. Microsites remain a popular way for firms to host educational resources, and promote products and investment strategies outside of their main sites. T. Rowe Price’s new “Money Confident Kids” microsite provides interactive quizzes and tips for how to educate children about basic finances. AllianceBernstein, Blackrock and Federated launched pages to offer clients investment tips for specific products. J.P. Morgan also introduced a microsite to promote the firm’s financial advisor app for the iPad, which included screen shots explaining the tool’s features.

Online and mobile payments also remained an important focus for many financial firms in 2013. Banks unveiled new payment capabilities and options to their customers. Chase enhanced the efficiency of transactions on its Chase QuickPay P2P payment tool. The update allows funds transferred between internal accounts to be available the same day they are accepted. A number of firms including PNC Bank, Schwab, SunTrust, and TD Bank upgraded their client bill pay services. Capital One and Citibank also augmented the Payments & Transfers sections of their client sites to allow customers to easily access transaction details.

Another notable trend across many industries was the increase in the promotion and availability of mobile apps. U.S. Bank and Capital One stood out for their revamped Mobile Banking sections, featuring new, helpful content on their mobile offerings.

“Corporate Insight’s Monitor research provides a unique view of the customer experience,” says Michael Ellison, president of Corporate Insight. “The objective and detailed nature of our research helps our clients to continuously improve their online and mobile offerings, delivering the best possible experience to users.”

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