Kinecting Financial Services: Moving the relationship to the living room

I told my wife the Xbox and Kinect console were for the children. Sunday after Christmas I found her organizing a bowling league!

My wife is not a gamer. However, she claims that Galaga was "her game" back in the day. What I found astounding was her experience with the Kinect console and her desire to do more with it. Its ability to engage a user was quite amazing. It was not about the game, it was the way in which the technology engaged the consumer.

I asked if she would ever look at email or an account statement in this media format to which I got a resounding "sure". Market research shows that the average financial services customer will devote a very limited amount of time to the consumption of online textual based information and as an industry we know that the more engaged a customer is the more profitable they become.

Are practical technologies on the cusp leveraging their interactive qualities, and do these qualities have the ability to engage a demographic segment that would otherwise be served by an expensive one to one relationship?

Thanks to Cablevision, Netflix and Tivo advertisers have turned to the small screen to target consumers. The PC, the slate and the smartphone became important marketing channels. The only channels on our big screen are the ones we use to switch from one program to another.

But all that could change with Kinect. The technology of the home has leaped to a new level. An experience is available that commands the full real estate of a larger screen. But Kinect and Xbox 360 go even further, providing not only a complete entertainment experience, but a new and more compelling online marketplace.

Imagine watching your favorite basketball game on ESPN, seeing an advert for a pair of shoes and being able to buy them there and then by hitting the ‘green’ button.

A bank pop up screen appears. By clicking on it you can check your account. You see an item you want to talk to an advisor about. The ‘request-a-chat’ feature allows you to have an immediate video conference. The conversation turns to investments. Another click and you buy a stock. A brokerage statement lights up and shows the impact on your portfolio. Another click and you are back to the game.

Suddenly intermissions take on a whole new meaning.