Trends That Matter June 2017

Mario Coletti
Business Strategist

Financial Trend: Liquid Money

New generations seem to have a different relationship with their finances and ownership. Possession is about now, ownership is temporary and money a virtual reality and as such, less tangible. The boundaries between having and not having are driven by perceptions. And perceptions become reality.

As younger consumers seem particularly at ease handling their money through apps and digital equipment, their customer experience in handling the tools, influences their perceptions, hence the reality of their financial state of mind.

So, what they want is an engaging, digitally-enabled customer experience, that speaks the language of digital sociability. This is indeed what Simple Bank, Affirm, RobinHood, and Nimbl (the “Uber for ATMs”) have been attempting to do. In addition, Airfordable, a startup that lets consumers purchase airline flights and hotel rooms through affordable payment plans, reveals the emergence of a “liquid” relationship with money – more attuned with millennials' values, habits, and priorities.

Key Takeaways

  • Transform your business model to cater for the "sharing economy" and evolve your traditionally-conceived services to digital native services instead
  • Enable virtual money management through apps and other digital equipment
  • Speak the new consumer language, characterised by smart usability and smooth access

Business Idea: Poshmark

Over one million people have sold items on Poshmark, an app that sells items from your closet to complete strangers.

While it might just sound like a way to get rid of that one sweater orpair of boots your never wear, using Poshmark can actually be quite lucrative. Just ask Evelyne Teman, a California woman started re-selling her clothing on the app three years ago and has since made $500,000.

Poshmark has grown quite a bit since launching in 2011. Starting on February 11, Poshmark will have a new section called "Boutiques" devoted entirely to purchasing new merchandise directly from stores and designers around the United States.

Business Idea: Tala

Tala (formerly InVenture), is a certified B Corporation with an inventive solution: software that prospective borrowers willingly download onto their Android phones, which monitors and crunches 10,000 indicators of each person’s level of responsibility.

For example, are the majority of someone’s calls longer than four minutes? Good: They may have stronger relationships and be a better credit risk.

In 2014, the software’s first year, Tala accepted 50% of applicants, for a total of more than 6,000 loans. Most were between $20 and $100, with no fees and just 5% interest. The repayment rate was 85%, and more than 75% of applicants returned for a repeat loan.

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