Saturday, April 16, 2011

Not on the first date

My Ping colleague Travis blogged yesterday on a POC he put together with Axiomatics David Brossard.

Travis used some security terms I was unfamiliar with (e.g. 'fika',  'bullar'?) but I believe the jist of the POC is that:

a) a user can be introduced to a bank (or equivalent) through some existing social identity(e.g. facebook, Twitter, etc) they have
b) they can enjoy a richer experience because of the information made available to the bank (e.g. services customized to their location, etc) from the social provide
c) if they actually want to become a customer of the bank, the normal (and far more rigorous) procedure of proofing, registration, and issuance kicks in - the same process as would happen if the user hadnt first been introduced by the social provider

I think of the value of the introduction step as smoothing out the 'hassle as function of relationship maturity' curve.

The current default is that there are two possible states for a given user's relationship with a provider (bank or otherwise) - a) member of the unwashed horde or b) customer.

The transition from a) to b) can be onerous - and critically, the hassle may not be commensurate with the user's own assessment of where they are in the relationship with the provider. The situation is shown in the graphic below

The user may have been thinking they just wanted to 'hold hands' but the provider is all hot & heavy and saying  'lets do this, lets do this' etc etc

The model the POC enables is shown in the diagram below. The introduction of the user to the bank, while not enabling the same richness of experience and service as a full account (with associated hassle) still provides something richer than the unwashed status. Importantly, its likely a degree of hassle more inline with the user's own feeling for the relationship with the bank. There is a middle ground - a 'lets cuddle' stage if you will (or won't - that's your decision, no pressure from me)

If the relationship matures further, and the creation of a 'real' account is deemed necessary - the user will hopefully be convinced of the value of taking on the hassle - having already established some confidence in the provider.

Lets keep the pressure to be 'socially promiscuous' off the Web, and in high school where it belongs.

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