Financial decisions are some of the most difficult decisions we face. Be it, finding the right credit card and mortgage or finding the right insurance product for our family. Due to information asymmetries, it becomes increasingly difficult to find the right product or option. While consumers now have instant access to more details than ever before, this has also made it much harder to find exactly what they want.
With this in mind, today, Google has rolled out a fantastic tool for consumers. Google Advisor is a comparison tool which allows users to get information on financial products. It enables you to compare offer options for your credit cards, checking and savings accounts, CDs or mortgage. With Google Advisor, the search company has entered the consumer finance comparison space. Currently, the service is only available in the United States and it is a matter of time before we see an international launch.
There has been an explosion of comparison sites over the past few years. More and more consumers in search of everything from insurance to cheaper car loans now visit sites such as MoneySuperMarket, BankBazaar, MyInsuranceClub, Ecompare, Apnaloan, Policybazaar, etc.
Although, Google has been testing the mortgage comparison tool since 2009, but has included other products only recently. With Google Advisor, when you enter information about a mortgage, credit card, CD or checking and savings account, you are shown a list of the offers that match your criteria, along with rates and contact information. The benefits are obvious: relevant information in an easy accessible format, offers are ranked based on criteria that you choose for your results, and personal information not shared upfront with the third party.
Currently, Google is not paid for referrals, other than mortgages; however, it is to be seen how the economics of this service will work out i.e. referral fee or advertisement revenue. The most familiar way for comparison sites to make money is to receive a commission when they help guide a customer to another website. Some providers also pay more so that the clients can go directly from the comparison site into their application process. Please do check the additional FAQ here.
The financial services ecosystem is undergoing a fundamental change. With the launch of various ‘Internet information tools’, the prevalence of P2P platforms, consumer adoption of Mobile payments and alternate payment mechanisms, It is time for business managers to ‘RE-THINK’ their conventional business strategy.