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Making Personal Finance Truly Personal: How Marcus Customizes Digital Banking

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We’re always proud of our employees, but we’re especially excited when they get to share some of what makes Marcus so special. Melissa Manne, our Head of Digital Customer Experience, got to do just that recently at the Future Digital Finance Conference by CXFS. She discussed Marcus’ digital-first approach, along with how we’ve been uniquely positioned to help our customers during the Covid-19 pandemic. Melissa also talked about looking forward to trends in the financial space and where we see banking heading in the future. Read on for some of the insights she shared (and you can check out the full interview here). 

Please note: these responses have been edited for clarity and brevity. 

Briefly, on the evolution of Marcus by Goldman Sachs

Melissa: Marcus has been a pretty extraordinary opportunity – we have the authority and legacy of Goldman Sachs, but then we were really able to start off as a blank page. For us, that blank page was all about, “What do customers actually want?” We started out offering just personal loans, and then expanded to high-yield savings accounts after hearing about our customers’ financial goals and needs. From there we launched Marcus Insights, and just this last year we introduced our digital investing platform. And we’ll continue launching new products and services based on what we hear from our customers and what gaps exist in their financial lives that we can help fill.  At every stage of Marcus’ existence, our goal has and always will be to put the customer at the center of everything we do. 

On how we actually put customers first…

Melissa: While many banks and financial institutions might say they put customers first, we back it up by ensuring we’re always doing what we can to truly collaborate and co-create with our customers. We do extensive user-testing, let our customers access prototypes and ask them to provide feedback during the earliest stages of product development, all the way to launch and beyond. Once they’re in our community, we continuously embed opportunities for open-ended feedback in our customer experience. That way, we can ensure we’re always trying to fulfill our customers’ needs and anticipating future ones. 

On responding to the Covid-19 pandemic…

Melissa: Marcus was uniquely situated to adapt to the pandemic, since we were built as a digital-first bank. That allowed us to swiftly focus our attention on providing what our customers needed – things like assistance in loan and credit card payment deferments, and offering relevant information about how the pandemic could impact your finances.  

We started with a blog post about Covid but learned that our customers wanted more information, especially during a time of so much uncertainty. So that effort quickly evolved to a full Covid-19 Resource Center. We published articles dedicated to helping people better understand  the CARES Act, how to use your stimulus check, and more. This allowed us to get relevant and helpful information into our customers’ hands straight from their phones or desktop.  

On the future finance trends we’re seeing…

Melissa: Some of the biggest trends we’ve identified in personal finance at the moment are centered around personalization and customization, which have always been a priority for us.

Take Marcus Invest as an example. We were hearing from our customers that investing is important but can seem complex because there are so many options to choose from. So we wanted to create a product that combined the investing expertise of Goldman Sachs, while offering customization options for our customers. We did that by creating a data-driven product that recommends a personalized portfolio.

We took a similar approach when developing Marcus Insights, to help customers better manage accounts they have across multiple financial institutions. Insights allows anyone (you don’t have to be a Marcus accountholder and it’s completely free) to link all of their financial accounts in one place. This way you can get a more holistic view of your financial picture. 

In addition to personalization and customization, it’s no secret that finance has been trending towards digital and mobile experiences. This is why we’ll continue to invest in mobile banking. The way we see it, if you’re trying to build an excellent customer experience on mobile, it forces you to hone in on what exactly the customer is trying to do. It also makes us focus on what we’re trying to communicate to them, and then figure out how to move forward and deliver on those promises.

This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for individualized professional advice. Articles on this site were commissioned and approved by Marcus by Goldman Sachs®, but may not reflect the institutional opinions of The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., Goldman Sachs Bank USA or any of their affiliates, subsidiaries or divisions.