Suggestions for Goldmoney
Please note that some of the below suggestions have already been implemented or are in the process of being implemented.
1) Customer Service
Since GM's vision is to build a gold backed banking service, they should consider what services and/or business model additions they can implement from the traditional banking space:
• Extreme customer centric culture and improved customer service. In my view GM incorrectly focus too much on being a “fintech” or “tech” company and not enough on being a “customer centric” business. Customer service should be a core tenant of the business.
• Solving customer queries has historically taken way too long. Customer support is really terrible.
• Customer call centre. Often too painful to try and solve issues via email.
• Each user over a certain metal threshold are allocated a private banker.
The best companies have an extreme customer centric business model. Amazon is a prime example.
The name of the game in financial services is "distribution". In banking, traditionally the bank with the widest branch network attracted the most and lowest cost deposits (e.g. Wells Fargo in US). However, with mobile money this is changing and there are other innovative solutions to supplement branches.
Equity Bank in Kenya has been voted the most innovative bank in Africa for years. They pioneered an agency strategy and have more than 30 000 agents nationwide who can open accounts, accept deposits, pay withdrawals (basic financial services). Each agent has an account with the Bank. Upside for the bank is wide distribution and agents being a variable cost (paid per transaction) for the bank instead of a fixed cost like a branch.
Consider adopting an agency network in various countries to be supported by online marketing. Jewelery stores or gold coin stores can be signed up as agents who can assist clients to open GM accounts and they earn commission in return.
Also with regards to distribution, China and India are the largest users of gold in the world. Goldmoney is more well known in the western world. Consider JVs to allow for increased distribution in China and India.
The branches could also be a step in the right direction.
3) Customer Acquisition
No storage fees on client account below 100 grams. This will allow for easier customer acquisition. Once they are in the eco system, there should be incentives for client go over that threshold. E.g. private banker, gold/silver card, concierge, etc
4) Other Services
• Online payments via Goldmoney at e.g. Amazon, Ebay, Takealot (Africa), etc
• Mobile phone payments via something like QR codes et al. This should reduce the 3% odd fee on card transactions and is the direction payments are moving towards.
• Ability to borrow fiat against PM held at Goldmoney. This is already being pioneered by LendandborrowTrust, however their minimums are too high.
• Ability to lend out PM held at Goldmoney in order to earn an interest on PM owned by client.
• GM to declare dividends in gold (as opposed to CAD) and pay into shareholders’ GM accounts
• It seems like the new Holding project was launched to early with piecemeal subsequent development and could have created a better perception if it was announced and launched after more behind the scenes development. The could serve as a valuable lesson for future developments.
6) Other matters
• Allow the mobile app to remember username and use fingerprint as password.