Innovation via technology in personal finance has impacted experiences, from how consumers deposit checks to how they manage their investments in real time.
At Intuit, one of the trends we closely monitor is how technology empowers consumers to increasingly embrace do-it-yourself (DIY) solutions. In fact, the latest IRS data shows that the DIY tax prep category for the 2014 tax year is up more than 5 percent year over year.
So what exactly is making it more attractive for consumers to serve themselves? Two of the greatest forces in play are mobile devices and personalization.
In 2015, 75 percent of U.S. mobile subscribers own a smartphone, and it’s expected that more Americans will access the Internet on mobile phones than on computers. Mobile devices allow users to have anywhere, anytime control over their personal finances. Furthermore, mobile devices have native functions that enable better experiences, such as being able to take a photo of a check to facilitate a deposit.
One of the ways Intuit has responded to the ongoing trend toward mobile usage is with the TurboTax experience. Both the TurboTax mobile app and the completely responsive website turbotax.com allow users to do their taxes on a mobile device, whether a user has just one W-2 or has a home business.
The best part is that users have the freedom to get their taxes done when and where they want, on any device. They can move across devices, so they can start on a mobile phone and finish on a computer. Doing taxes on the TurboTax mobile app is easy because a user can snap a picture of his or her W-2, answer simple questions and e-file securely. The TurboTax mobile experience is optimized for each device and takes advantage of native device capabilities, like optical character recognition (OCR).
Personalizing the customer experience creates trust and makes any financial transaction more efficient, accurate and satisfying. Because of this, customers feel more confident engaging in DIY solutions when the experience has been personalized for them.
With TurboTax, we’ve deployed a responsive experience that’s personalized to individual situations, so users are only asked simple questions that are relevant. Customers won’t see multiple questions and screens that don’t pertain to them. TurboTax asks simple questions that ease new users into the tax preparation experience and instill confidence that TurboTax can cover their unique situations.
If a user is a returning customer, TurboTax already has his or her information from the previous year. So TurboTax can use the data it already has, and the user won’t have to enter the same information again. This makes tax prep faster and easier than ever.
TurboTax automatically transfers the previous year’s information and adapts itself based on that information, so it can eliminate screens that the user doesn’t need to see. Because of this, returning customers are often about a third of the way done with their taxes before they even start entering the current year’s information.
How are you using mobile solutions to provide the convenience that DIY customers expect? How are you delivering a personalized experience that engages and builds customer confidence?