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Your customers love getting bills and statements. While this sentiment may not ring true today, this reality is closer than you think.
Through a hackathon-style design challenge, we’ve seen a future that turns bills and statements into data-driven, personal experiences for customers and strong customer touchpoints for brands.
In our recent webinar, “The Future of Communications – a UX Design Challenge,” with guest speaker Emily Wengert, Group Vice President for User Experience at Huge, one of the world’s leading experience agencies, we shared the three design challenge finalists. The concepts are capturing attention, including being featured on Fast Company’s list of most important UI designs of 2017.
This design seamlessly blends the best of physical and digital, starting with making payments easier for consumers. When the bill is placed by their mobile phone, the consumer can make a payment with one touch and receive insights on spending habits directly on their phone. They can also rip the bottom portion of the paper bill to automatically initiate a payment. Stacking several bills allows consumers to compare the charges of one month to another, driving down frustration and the popular call center question, “Why did my bill increase this month?”
While the design challenge objective was to create communications for the year 2025, this design incorporates technology available today, NFC or Near Field Communications. NFC is how mobile phones communicate with payment devices in retail stores (for example, NFC enables you to buy your coffee with a scan of your phone). This bill design simply embeds the NFC chip in the paper. The cost of the technology is becoming very reasonable, making this design achievable – likely sooner than you think.
This flexible physical design prototype is supported by limitless digital possibilities. It applies what we’re seeing in market today – the reliance on personal assistants and access to an extraordinary amount of information – but elevates it.
Using artificial intelligence, the device develops smart ways to help consumers save time and money by alerting them to low funds, creating a plan to help pay bills, and sending reminders and rewards when a payment is made on time.
A scan of the home provides augmented data (such as energy usage and thermostat settings), which can result in cost savings for a consumer and a differentiation of services for a brand.
This data-driven design creates collaboration among service providers to benefit consumers, helping in decision making, building the relationship and personalizing the experience.
Devices, channels and content work together, enabling providers to recognize what the consumer is trying to achieve. A personal assistant offers service and product options, calculating the financial impacts and responding in real time.
In addition to the personal assistant, the prototype enables direct interaction between brands and customers, incorporating different color screens and voices, depending on if the consumer is interacting with the personal assistant or service provider. Brand identity and value are strengthened in this futuristic ecosystem.
Each of the designs advances the customer and brand experience. It’s not just about distributing communications to new channels; instead, it’s about giving brands the opportunity to demonstrate value and communicate with customers on their terms, increasing the likeliness of engagement.
All three of these designs are executable – maybe not today but soon – and that’s exciting for both consumers and brands.