Project Description

(Title slide)

Michelle Ziolkowski: Thank you, Terry, and hello, everyone. Welcome to the Wells Fargo Treasury Management webinar, “The return on simplicity: Getting an ‘A’ for effortless.”

(Michelle Ziolkowski slide)

Michelle Ziolkowski: My name is Michelle Ziolkowski, and I’m senior vice president of the ACH Global Product Manager Group within Wells Fargo, and I’m so glad you could join us today. Before we get started, a few quick notes for attendees. Our credits are always important, so in order to qualify for the 1.2 CTP credits from the Association of Financial Professionals and 1 CPE credit from the National Association of States Boards of Accountancy, you must remain in attendance during the live presentation for at least 50 minutes. Qualifying attendees will receive the confirmation of attendance certification as well as a link to the replay of the event by email within two business days.

Also, you may download a copy of today’s slides by clicking on the green Download slide icon in the lower center of your screen. If you experience audio or visual difficulties during the presentation, you can press the F5 key, or press Command+R if you’re on a Mac, to refresh your console. If you continue to experience issues, there is a technical help button at the bottom of the screen where you can chat with a technician.

(Lynn Cirrincione and Mark McCormick slide)

Michelle Ziolkowski: And now that we’ve gotten the public service announcement out of the way, I’d like to introduce you to today’s speakers. Lynn Cirrincione is the director of Treasury and Planning with Allstate Insurance. She’ll share her knowledge and perspective on improving the customer experience in the pursuit of faster payments. Mark McCormick is the head of User Experience with Wells Fargo’s Digital Solutions for Business group and the lead visionary for Wells Fargo’s Simplicity Project. Thank you both very much for joining us today, and I’m excited to hear what you have to share with us.

(Agenda slide)

Michelle Ziolkowski: And now we’ll get started and talk about the agenda of what we’re going to review today. We’ll jump right in to look at the principle of simplicity, why does simplicity matter, what’s the research behind it. Mark will discuss the role simplicity plays with successful businesses today, how an effortless experience relates to other business trends, like innovation and customer choice, how can simplification support business objectives like efficiency. Then Lynn will tell us about Allstate’s initiative to enhance the customer experience by making the claims payment process as fast and as simple as possible.

We’ll consider how to develop a simplicity framework within your organization — what are essential strategies, practical guidance, and best practices for achieving this, and how can you apply those best practices to your business environment? Finally, we’ll open the line for your questions.

(Audience poll slide)

Michelle Ziolkowski: I do want to start with a polling question of the audience, and let’s see how important simplicity is to you. Have you ever personally abandoned a brand or a customer service experience because it was too complicated? Please respond with yes or no.

(Poll results slide)

Michelle Ziolkowski: Well, an overwhelming majority of you say yes to this question. I know I would answer it that way as well, and it looks like many of you know firsthand the frustration when things take too much effort.

(96%/64% slide)

Michelle Ziolkowski: Research shows that simplicity pays off. An effortless experience for customers has a financial return for businesses, or it can have a negative impact, as we all just answered to. Research related to loyalty shows that 96% of customers reported having an experience that required too much effort on their behalf and left the company based on that. The Global Brand Simplicity Index studies how consumers rank leading brands by simplicity. The 2017 study found that 64% of consumers are willing to pay more for a simpler experience. Now, I’ll bring up Mark to tell us about the simplicity framework in Wells Fargo’s Simplicity Project.

(Getting an “A” for effortless slide)

Mark McCormick: Hey, thanks a lot, Michelle. It’s a pleasure to be here. And thank you, Lynn, for joining us as well. This is really my favorite topic, so I’m excited. You know, when I was in school, the teachers liked to give an A for effort. This meant that if — you scored high for, sometimes, just working hard. But today, we’re going to talk about how to achieve an A for effortless. So as a way to start thinking about that, I would ask the question, do you have initiatives in your company for things like automation or efficiency on your list of strategic priorities? So maybe you’d like to perform cash forecasting more accurately and effectively, or maybe you’re looking at days payable outstanding or days receivable outstanding. You could be evaluating emerging forms of payments. I believe that simplicity is a useful lens for evaluating these priorities and their effectiveness and other initiatives. Research shows that trends like choice, innovation, and customer delight are major business thrusts that work best when they serve simplicity.

(Does “delight” result in loyal customers? slide)

Mark McCormick: So at Wells Fargo, we started digging into the research around this, and we looked closely at a book titled The Effortless Experience, by CEB. You might know them formally as the Corporate Executive Board. The members, which include Wells Fargo, asked CEB to determine whether the money we’re spending on customer delight really results in an ROI, and you see the customers are — are — the members’ expectations of what that would look like in the gray here. So we asked, “Does it bring back the value we invest?” All the members expected the answer to be yes, but if we look at — take a deeper look and if we build this, we’ll see that there was actually very little difference in loyalty between meeting customers’ expectations and exceeding them. That was a big surprise. Next slide.

(Low effort is more important than choice slide)

Mark McCormick: It turns out that low effort is substantially more important than choice. The research findings show that 84% of people don’t really care how a job gets done or a task happens. They just want to get it done. We learned that most people are ends-focused, not means-focused. An example I like to use is this: If your computer breaks, you might go to the manufacturer’s website to research the problem, and it might say, “Hey, you could check our FAQs, you could check our community boards to see how other people have solved this, you could call us, we could chat with you online right now, or you could go through the genius bar.” So your response might be something like, “Hey, I just want to know the quickest way to solve my particular problem.”

(… and effort drives disloyalty slide)

Mark McCormick: And the findings show that when people — show when people are less likely to buy again or spend more, 96% of them cite effort as a key driver for being disloyal, so effort drives disloyalty. CEB proved that difficulty makes people less loyal. That’s really important. That’s why it’s imperative that choice serves simplicity.

($86 billion slide)

Mark McCormick: Here’s another way to look at it. The Simplicity Index is a yearly study by Siegel+Gale, a leading consulting firm in this space. Every year, they examine the world’s leading companies according to a set of simplicity criteria, like transparency, plain language, and clean design. They track how well companies that are ranked simple do against other companies that are ranked or considered more complex, by industry and by country. It’s a fascinating study with many findings, including these. Brands are leaving $86 billion on the table across all industries, because customers are willing to pay more for simpler experiences. As you can see in these bars, the percentage of consumers willing to pay — willing to pay more varies by industry, but in some industries, it’s nearly 40%.

(The simplicity framework slide)

Mark McCormick: So that brings us to the Simplicity Project.

(Simplicity framework slide)

Mark McCormick: At Wells Fargo, we developed the simplicity framework around three main strategies — commit to the essentials; create a human story; and iterate, test, and repeat. I’m going to walk you through these strategies and a few sub-strategies or tactics beneath them, sharing Wells Fargo’s experience and the research out there on simplicity. But first, let me point out that the heart with the word empathy appears above the three strategies as a unifier of the framework. Empathy — empathy is integral to delivering a satisfying end-to-end customer experience to customers, and it touches every — everyone along the way who participates in the process, internally and externally.

(“The top 10 companies in the Global Empathy Index 2015” slide)

Mark McCormick: Empathy also drives real value to businesses. So there was an interesting article in the Harvard Business Review just this past December, and it highlighted their latest Empathy Index of the top 20 empathetic companies. To quote from this article, “The top 10 companies in the Global Empathy Index 2015 increased in value more than twice as much as the bottom 10, and generated 50% more earnings (defined by market capitalization).” Further, HBR says that in its work with clients, it has found the correlation as high as 80% between departments with higher empathy and those with high performers. So I believe that empathy must become operationalized in our organizations.

(Commit to the essentials slide)

Mark McCormick: OK, let’s look quickly at the first step in the simplicity framework: Commit to the essentials. This is about really getting to the bottom of things. When you commit to the essentials, you determine the most strategically important elements and what’s most important to your customers, and you take out or reduce everything else. This is not easy.

(Highlight what‘s meaningful — parking guide slide)

Mark McCormick: Let’s look at a — a practical approach to committing to the essentials. One tactic is to highlight what’s meaningful, and we’re going to take a — an example outside of this business to — to visualize this. This is a — an interesting example that focuses on parking. Parking is a big problem in cities, so here’s an example. This is an extreme example. It’s a bus stop. But you pull up to a place like this sometimes, and — and you really just want to know if you can park there or not. We all struggle with this. These signs are dizzying. So there’s a woman who created a visual vocabulary to simplify the parking experience, and she’s now getting signs like this placed in municipalities all over the country, because it’s really so simple.

(Highlight what‘s meaningful — parking schedule slide)

Mark McCormick: It really answers that question: Can I park here or not? So — and here’s an example from, actually, my street in San Francisco, and it’s — it sure simplifies that question can I park here or not, especially with, you know, street cleaning and all of the other variables that go into parking in San Francisco. So that’s an example of highlighting what’s meaningful by bringing focus visually to a few key ideas, facts, or steps.

(Map the journey — shortcut slide)

Mark McCormick: Here’s another tactic: mapping the journey. It’s important to map key journeys to find ways the journey is or isn’t working, the emotional highs and lows from both the perspective of the customer as well as the employee. We can discover, for example, a lot about customer journeys by comparing what they — what we hope they will do with what they actually do. And a customer journey might be something like account opening or onboarding with your — with your company. So let’s take another metaphor. Here’s an example from landscape architecture, and it — and this is kind of a metaphor for business and journeys. Look at the actual sidewalks here. Now look at where people really walk, that shortcut you see there. So next slide, please.

(Map the journey — Irvine campus slide)

Mark McCormick: When you see Irvine laid out their new campus, they put in new sidewalks last. First, they’d look to see where people were going. They studied the footpaths, and then they put in the side — sidewalks. How does this translate to business? Well, you may have heard of journey maps. It’s worth researching. It’s a process of mapping key customer journeys, and it’s a — it would be a great topic for another webinar. Having a deep understanding of what customers actually do and how they feel about it is a great starting point towards making their journey simpler.

(Allstate leading with the customer experience slide)

Michelle Ziolkowski: Great. Thanks, Mark, for sharing. Now Lynn is going to give us another example of committing to the essentials. Allstate identified the most essential thing customers need when they have a catastrophic claim: getting paid fast. And I have personal, real-world experience about what a difference their new practice can make from a consumer perspective. They have committed to delivering on that essential, and I’d say they succeeded. And so, Lynn, would you please tell us a little bit more about that story?

Lynn Cirrincione: Thank you, Michelle, and I’m glad you had a good experience with it. You know, Allstate cares about the end-to-end customer, from the initial point of contact to if and when there is a claim. Customer satisfaction ratings are of the utmost importance to us. It’s what we do. When we were thinking about how to transform our customer experience, we walked through the whole process and considered all of the different pieces that contribute to the experience. We honed in on claims payments as a key for — area for improvement. The claims experience is vitally important. This is the point in the end-to-end experience that makes customers question the amount of money they’ve paid for premiums and the benefits that they have from their insurance company when they need them the most.

(“I just want to get my life back to normal” slide)

Lynn Cirrincione: When our customers need us the most is when something terrible has happened to their property, whether their home or auto was damaged or destroyed by fire or storm or flood. We’ve always put our customer first in these situations. When we have a notice of a potential catastrophe, we move our mobile claim units and adjusters towards the area. Once it’s safe to enter the area, our trucks and our staff are often the first ones on the scene. And we’ve seen all types of storms and damage, but most of our customers will experience only one catastrophic event in their lifetimes, and it can be life-changing for them.

In severe storms, people may lose everything, and we understand that. Often, our own employees and agents are impacted too. Our first concern is getting our customers into safe housing immediately and getting them other essentials, such as clothes and food. We want our customers to know that they are in good hands. But in the past, we’ve been hampered in helping them by our payment types that are available.

(Check/ACH slide)

Lynn Cirrincione: Prior to 2015, we essentially had two ways we could pay a customer: check or ACH. Our adjustors had checks and printers in their cars and could print a check, or we could send a check by mail. We could send an ACH, but that took three to four days to receive due to our own system configurations. And most people don’t choose ACH, because it’s too complex. They don’t know their account numbers, and no one knows the routing numbers. Additionally, banks don’t process ACHs on the weekends.

And we learned a lot about our payment limitations during Hurricane Katrina. We were issuing checks to people so they could get into hotels, but all the banks were closed due to the damage in the area, so they couldn’t cash those checks to get the cash they needed to get into that hotel safely for the evening. Also, a lot of people had evacuated the area, and the only addresses we had on file were for their houses that were now underwater. These were big issues, because we don’t want our customers to have to worry about money when they need somewhere to sleep at night.

(2015 slide)

Lynn Cirrincione: In 2015, we only offered the two payment — claim payment options. At the same time, we offered a broad array of choices for how our customers can pay their premiums. We accepted checks, cash in an agent’s office, ACH, credit and debit cards. They could set up direct payments, they could make recurring or one-time payments. They could pretty pay — pretty much pay us any way they wanted to. In contrast, claims payments didn’t seem very customer-focused.

We have a centralized treasury, so anyone within the organization that needs anything banking related comes through the treasury group, and my role is to work with those business units to find solutions, either current things that they want to change — they want to look at different banks, different products — or completely new — new products. So one of my business partners in the claims area reached out to me and said, “We need to do something. What can we do?” We decided we wanted a suite of claim payment options, just like we have a suite of receipt options. We wanted to simplify this really complex and stressful time for our customers. We wanted to provide payment options that allowed them to choose what works best for their personal process flows. We wanted easy.

(Payments search slide)

Lynn Cirrincione: But soon we learned that finding payment options that would work for both Allstate and our customers wasn’t easy. My claims partner and I were both new at our — in our roles at the time, so it was kind of an adventure to figure out what was out there. We started this about three years ago, and, quite honestly, it’s really confusing because there are so many options out there. You’ve got Apple Pay, you’ve got all kinds of wallets, you’ve got all types of third-party companies that are coming in and — and telling us how they can streamline everything for us. We’ve got PayPal. It was really difficult and kind of overwhelming.

We had many companies coming to us to pitch ideas, but when we told them our volume, they got very glassy-eyed, so we knew that it was something that we probably needed to do ourselves as opposed to trying to go through a third party, because many of those third parties are very small start-ups and they just couldn’t handle the volume of transactions that we would need.

(Allstate: The road to “easy slide)

Lynn Cirrincione: So after a lot of research, we identified two payment solutions that made sense for us. One was a credit to a bank account through Zelle.

Michelle Ziolkowski: Now, Lynn, some of our audience may have heard these things called clearXchange transactions, and just to level set, clearXchange has now been rebranded and is known as Zelle.

Lynn Cirrincione: That’s right, Michelle, and we named our version of that Zelle clearXchange product Fast Mobile e-Payment. We call our other new product QuickCard Pay, because it’s a payment to a debit card. These two new payment types simplify the customer experience and the claims payment process for our adjustors.

Michelle Ziolkowski: Now, Lynn, can you tell us a little about how these payment types work and how they’ve changed the claims process for your adjustors and customers?

Lynn Cirrincione: Absolutely. Working with the customer, the adjustor opens a claim. When it’s time to make the payment, our adjustor has a drop-down menu that lists the four ways in which the customer can receive funds. And some of our customers set a preferred method when they purchase their policy. If that’s the case and their choice is ACH or — or check, the adjustor will introduce our two new payment options and ask if the customer would like to be paid by their preferred way or one of the new ways.

Our Fast Mobile e-Payment uses a token the customer has set up with their online banking platform — often their cell phone or an email address. We pass the token to our banking partner, who processes the funds through Zelle. If a customer is registered with their bank and Zelle, the funds are moved, depending on the bank, within a few hours. If the customer is not registered, they receive a text or an email from our banking partner with a link for them to register. Upon completion of that registration, the funds are transferred. Our QuickCard Pay is an original credit transaction to a debit card. The adjustor asks the customer if they have a debit card and if they would like the funds transferred to the — to the account related to the card. The adjustor then enters a secure portal, inputs the debit card number, and the funds are transferred in real time.

(Benefits of Fast Mobile e-Payment and QuickCard Pay slide)

Lynn Cirrincione: Both of these payment options offer immediate payment, and they’re processed 24/7. Most importantly, our customers can begin getting their lives back to normal as quickly as possible. They can take care of their families without worrying about how to pay for it. The customers don’t have to wait, and our adjustors don’t have to follow up to find out where those checks are. Our adjustors used to spend a lot of time on the phone with customers who wanted to know, “Where’s my check?” Sometimes they’d have to reissue checks that had been lost. And then, of course, sometimes those checks were found and both were deposited. When these things happened, neither the customer nor our adjustors were happy.

Looking at the end-to-end experience, another benefit is our back-end processing and reconciliation. Immediate payments eliminate the reissuing and voiding of payments as well as the cost of mailing new checks. Escheatment becomes much easier, which is huge for insurance companies. You have immediate confirmation that the payment went through, so the quantities of transactions that we have to monitor from an escheatment perspective go way down.

Michelle Ziolkowski: Now, you worked on putting these payment options in place largely throughout 2015 and ’16. How is that work going to affect your customers and adjustors this year?

(2017 slide)

Lynn Cirrincione: So now we’re at the end of first quarter of 2017, and as you’ve heard on the nightly news, cat season has already begun with tornados and flooding all over the country. When our customers suffer catastrophic damage, we now have four ways to get their money to them. Sometimes having more options makes things more complex and noisy. But for us, adding those additional choices makes things simpler for our customers, because they can choose what’s easiest for them. We think this is going to make a huge difference in the customer experience.

Michelle Ziolkowski: Great. Thank you for sharing that.

(Create a human story slide)

Michelle Ziolkowski: Now, Mark, I think Lynn gave you a great segue into the second simplicity strategy.

Mark McCormick: Yeah, absolutely. And Lynn, I would also say that you did a great review of the fundamentals of simplicity by showing how empathy for your customers really drove your business strategy, and you really committed to the essentials by making sure that payments — you know, the most important thing — were optimized. So I’m — I’m very impressed with that story. Moreover, you showed the ROI of simplicity on the back end, so that was great. So there’s no question that Allstate cares deeply about their customers and has worked hard to provide the solutions that support their customer needs.

So the second strategy of the simplicity framework requires creating an engaging story that connects hearts and minds, and you did this as well, Lynn, when you connected everything to the Katrina story. We can all relate to that and remember that. So the tactic here is to blend logic and emotions to persuade and convince. Turns out some people are convinced only by things like case studies, analytics, research, and data; and other people are really only influenced by the inspirational stories. But most people — it’s a bell curve, most people fall in between, and people tend to perceive a story that contains all of these elements as simpler and more persuasive.

(Speak human slide)

Mark McCormick: So a tactic here is to speak human. Speak human is a part of creating a human story. So here’s an illustration of the concept about the experience of buying a bicycle, something I did recently. So if you’ve ever gone into a bike shop, it’s really not very fun, because these guys — and they usually are guys — are young, what I call affectionately gear-heads. They talk about gear ratios and metal alloys and lots of technical specs and stuff you don’t understand.

(Brilliant — … where do you plan to ride? slide)

Mark McCormick: But here’s a company, called Brilliant, that speaks human, and it asks just a few questions to get you into a bike. The first one: Where do you plan to ride? What kind of city are you in? Do you — you know, what — is it a hilly city, a flat city, or is it, you know, variable?

(Brilliant — … and you are 6 feet 2 inches slide)

Mark McCormick: So I chose San Francisco. San Francisco is very hilly. And then the company asks, how tall are you? Six feet, two inches. That’s it. Those are the essentials that you need to know to pick a bike. So then you get to move right into the fun stuff — pick the color.

(Your New Bike! slide)

Mark McCormick: And then it says, “And here’s your new bike.” It’s so simple, and they’re speaking human. And if you want to get more detailed and more technical, they do have all of that stuff. But they don’t lead with that stuff like they do in most bike shops.

(Best practices for introducing simplicity framework slide)

Michelle Ziolkowski: Thanks, Mark. I’m in the market for a bike as well, and I’m definitely going to have to check out that site, because I don’t know the first thing about bikes, other than I have to chase my kids. But as we learn about [what] some of those best practices are for introducing this simplicity framework, let’s bring our listeners kind of back in and ask another polling question.

(Audience poll slide)

Michelle Ziolkowski: And so respond on your screen. What do you think is the biggest obstacle to simplification at your company? Some choices are: making a business case, senior management sponsorship, getting all levels to participate, time and resources, or other.

(Poll results slide)

Michelle Ziolkowski: It looks like it is time and resources being the main obstacle for their company, and I think, in particular, in today’s environment. Time is the one scarce commodity, you know, we all face from a business environment. And so I think some of the other aspects, you know, could help prioritize this among your organization, but time is absolutely one of the key essential elements to getting, really, anything done these days.

(How did Allstate move toward the effortless experience? slide)

You know, so, Lynn, can you talk a little bit about how Allstate went about making the change in moving toward providing an effortless experience?

Lynn Cirrincione: Absolutely, Michelle. What we did is we went to our senior management, and they told us that they wanted to improve the customer experience. Cost savings was a secondary concern. And we initially thought this was going to be a game-changer because it’s going to save us money, but that’s not what senior leadership wanted to hear. They told us, “Our number-one concern is how is this going to change the customer experience. Will this help our customer satisfaction? Will it get money to people faster?” If it saves money, that’s great, but that wasn’t their driving force.

Mark McCormick: Yeah, that’s great. It sounds like Allstate’s senior leaders grasped the importance of the customer experience being front and center. And even though Allstate didn’t seek any guaranteed financial return, you know, Siegel+Gale has proved in their Global Brand Simplicity Index that people are actually willing to pay more for simplicity, and they estimate the brands are leaving $86 billion on the table when they don’t simplify. Second point is, as a best practice, cultural change must be bottom-up and top-down. Those who shape customer experiences must view simplicity as a worthwhile pursuit, and senior management must set the vision and champion the cause, because simplicity is not easy. People at all levels must be engaged. Senior management, it sounds like, really set the tone at Allstate.

(Simplicity requires conscious collaboration slide)

Mark McCormick: So Lynn, you — it sounds like you’ve had senior management on your side. How did you get the rest of the Allstate team to rally around the concept of simplifying the customer claims experience?

Lynn Cirrincione: Mark, initially the discussions were with our innovations team within Claims, and then, together, we reached out to our banking partners to see what new payment types were available. We got mixed reactions. Some banks were working on an original credit transaction product. Some had not started. Some were not sure they wanted to offer it. And then once we settled on a banking partner, we really made a point of bringing everyone from Allstate in, and this was our — a key to our success, especially knowing that senior management was on our side. It suddenly freed up the time that so many people in the polling question said they didn’t have.

We wanted all areas of the company that would be impacted involved from the beginning. We included people from various areas of our Claims department, back-office accounting and reconciliation, IT resource from all the business units impacted, Compliance, Legal, Marketing, and Corporate Relations, in addition to the Treasury. We mapped out our vision, and some of the areas then stepped out until such time [as] their group was impacted. But by including them in the beginning, we addressed any roadblocks early on instead of at the end, when it came time to implement.

Mark McCormick: That’s great, and it absolutely illustrates the bottom part of cultural change. You know, change must reach all the way into an organization, and it sounds like it really did there. This requires the people at all levels [to] be engaged. There must be what we call conscious collaboration.

(Best practices slide)

Mark McCormick: So the approach that you describe, Lynn, at Allstate, is absolutely a best practice, and particularly how you were able to bring people in at the beginning.

Lynn Cirrincione: Yes. Once we had a working plan, we then ran it past some of our experienced adjustors to make sure it would actually work for them when dealing with customers. They liked it on paper, but it was different in practice, and we were able to adjust based on their thoughts. We rolled out two different products: one in 2015 and one in 2016. We learned a lot when we rolled out the second one. Our adjustors are in the field helping customers return to normal after something happens to their home or auto. The adjustors need to be able to understand the product and to be able to talk about the options and allow that customer to pick the option that they want.

With our mobile option, Fast Mobile e-Payment, we found that some of our adjustors who understood it could explain it very well to the customers. These were generally adjustors that used mobile payments in their personal lives. Some adjustors that didn’t use mobile payments didn’t really understand it. They had a hard time explaining it to customers, and so they just stopped offering it. Our adjustors have a full schedule, so you can’t give them something that’s going to take them an extra 15 or 20 minutes, because that slows them down. And I know that if I have 20 customers I need to see today and I take an extra 20 minutes at each one of them, I’m not going to get through to all my customers, or I’m working really late and I’m throwing everyone off their schedule.

Our adjustors need to understand the product, and it needs to be easy to explain, so we revamped a lot of our training. We revamped some of the marketing materials. Our banking partners created some marketing materials and training items that we could use that spoke in a consumer-friendly voice, and they were easier for adjustors and consumers to understand. Again, it was a collaborative effort.

The rollout of our QuickCard Pay went much more — much smoother. Explaining an original credit transaction is easy. You say, “Do you have a debit card? I can put the money on your card.” And everybody understands that. So it was really more of a consumer education and then an adjustor education to be able to explain the Zelle product versus the original credit transaction product, and the ones that get it and understand it love them both. Now we’re getting feedback from adjustors who say they use both Fast Mobile e-Pay and QuickCard Pay and they very rarely use ACH and checks anymore, and that’s exactly what we wanted to hear.

(Lessons learned slide)

Michelle Ziolkowski: Now, Lynn, are there any other lessons you learned in implementing Fast Mobile e-Payment and QuickCard Pay?

Lynn Cirrincione: We did. We rolled out Fast Mobile e-Pay countrywide, day one. Our biggest learning was that we were so excited to go with the first product right away that we did ourselves a disservice with a big-bang approach. By rolling it out slowly and making sure all those stakeholders we brought in at the beginning of the project were still good at the end of the project, that would have made a huge difference. So when we rolled out QuickCard Pay, the original credit transaction product, we did it methodically in small steps, and that was partly to assist our reconcilers and accounting folks and other back-end people. We picked one state and one office where we knew people had some knowledge of the process. We only did 10 payments a day for the first week, so we could follow the actual payment all the way through reconciliation and ultimate settlement into our bank account.

After that, we increased the transactions to 30 or 40 to make sure nothing changed when we increased the numbers, and the reconcilers’ reports all still worked the way they should. Then the next week, we opened the product up to more offices in that same state. Next, we sliced up our — the country by our various regions and rolled it out that way. In that stage, we found some things to address in our own technology. We found some communication between our claims partners and our accounting partners, and we tweaked a few reports along the way. We did all that without impacting our entire adjustor and customer base. We started on the West Coast and worked our way east. By the time we got to the East Coast, everybody had heard about QuickCard Pay within our organization, and they were excited about it and ready to go. And we were finding that our customers were excited about it also.

We selectively call customers. We don’t like to bother them too much after a claim, but some of the comments we were getting are quite amazing. We had a woman tell us that she was in a claim office, she got up when she was done, she started to put her coat on and then realized she had another question. She turned around and asked the adjustor that question. At the end of his response, the adjustor said to her, “Just out of curiosity, would you mind logging into your bank product?” And sure enough, the payment was there already. In just a matter of seconds, the original credit transaction payment was in her account and available for use. The payments are happening quickly, in under 10 seconds, something we never thought could happen a few years ago.

Customers are amazed at how quickly it happens, too. Not only are they happy but they’re very surprised, which just adds to the satisfaction. We randomly pull customer surveys, and the claim experience numbers are tracking higher. We know the new products are satisfying our adjustors’ needs also, because we’ve seen the usage grow, which tells us that they’re offering them and completing payments with them.

(Audience poll slide)

Michelle Ziolkowski: OK. Great, Lynn. Thank you for sharing. And now let’s go to our last polling question, now that you’ve heard Allstate’s compelling story. Which of the following areas could benefit from simplification at your company? I know I can think of a few, but what — the choices we have are bank account management, accounts payable, accounts receivable, cash forecasting, and reconciliation. So choose the response that most fits your organization.

(Poll results slide)

Michelle Ziolkowski: And so it looks like we’re seeing a pretty even spread around all of the areas, with accounts payable having one of the leading areas. And now, I know — because I used to manage payables products for the bank — that making payments to vendors and consumers where appropriate has a lot of effort for many of you today, and it’s a — it’s a process that largely begs some simplification, you know, from the industry perspective. Now, let’s go back to Mark and talk a little bit about the final simplification strategy.

(Iterate, test, repeat, measure slide)

Mark McCormick: Thanks, Michelle. The third step in the simplicity framework is iterate, test, repeat, and measure. So if you’re building a customer experience, you know — whether that’s digital or a combination of digital and real world, like we’ve heard in Lynn’s examples — you tend to do a lot of usability testing and other kinds of testing. And the key focus sometimes is whether or not, you know, customers and employees can actually do the thing, get from point A to point B. But we believe it’s not enough to test only whether people get from end to end. We need to shift the mindset to this: Was it simple to get from point A to point B? And that must include not only the customers but the stakeholders that enable the end-to-end experience, as we heard with Lynn’s example and — and the focus on the adjustors as well.

(Cocreate, test, and refine slide)

Mark McCormick: So remember that top-down, bottom-up and the importance of conscious collaboration topic that we talked about a minute ago, and it must be cocreative? So we learned how to do this with Lynn’s example, and it also applies to testing and refining. Lynn’s story illustrates the importance of that in the big-bang versus the small-step approaches to rolling out the payment methods. Really, what they did was iterated their rollout strategy, and they worked hard to make it easier for customers and adjustors.

(Create a simplicity metric slide)

Mark McCormick: So it’s important to create some sort of simplicity metric so you can track this to define and measure the impact of your simplicity efforts. Again, the Corporate Executive Board, or CEB, has an effortless experience site, and it’s a wealth of information. It has infographics, case studies, videos, dashboard suggestions, and industry-specific success stories, and these are all offered free, so I encourage our — our listeners today to go check that out.

(Simplicity framework slide)

Michelle Ziolkowski: Great. Thanks for sharing that, Mark, and hopefully they can find the time to look at some of those resources. So now that we understand this simplicity framework in a little more detail, how would you sum up your simplicity message for us?

Mark McCormick: So, yeah, I think that simplicity is a goal that other trends could and should support, trends like innovation and choice and delight. It’s likely to be at the forefront of shaping the customer experience, which is an end-to-end experience that reaches across the organization. More broadly, simplicity is an important lens for any group looking to streamline. One way to get a greater return on effort is to reduce the effort. Corporate treasury professionals should consider how the lens of simplicity can aid objectives to become more efficient and effective or serve other initiatives. So adopting a new mindset really requires selling the idea. It’s important to reach as many people as possible with the simplicity message.

And it also helps to connect simplicity with existing enterprise-wide initiatives. For example, could you demonstrate that by reducing the number of products you offer, could you involve fewer back-end office systems in addition to giving clients a more elegant experience? Lynn’s Allstate example made that very clear. When you can demonstrate that these [take] less effort — that less effort drives objectives such as efficiency and effectiveness — then executives will take notice. So to sort of end with this, a focus on simplicity must be broader than the customer. It must encompass the end-to-end experience across your business processes, systems, and coworkers.

(“Simple can be harder than complex” slide)

Mark McCormick: This is a famous Steve Jobs quote, and he’s saying effortless is not necessarily easy to achieve. It says, famously, “Simple can be harder than complex; you have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple.”

(Questions? slide)

Michelle Ziolkowski: Great. Both Mark and Lynn, thank you so much for sharing your information and perspectives and experience in trying to simplify what are often very complex services and assets that we look to deliver from a business perspective. And so we certainly have covered a lot of content, so for those of you that are on the line, I’ll open the line for questions if you have any.

Operator: At this time, I would like to remind everyone if you would like to ask a question, simply press star, then the number 1 on your telephone keypad. That is star-1 to ask a question. Your first question comes from the line of Mark.

Mark: Yes, I wanted to — to ask a question around how can we get more information on the technical requirements to integrate with the simplified framework?

Mark McCormick: Could — could you say a little bit more about your question, the technical requirements? What — what do you mean by that, exactly?

Mark: Well, I’m — so I — I guess I’m on — my impression of the simplified framework is it’s something that would be integrated with, in order to process payments in all these ways that were discussed.

Mark McCormick: OK.

Mark: Is that not —

Mark McCormick: I think that might be a question for you, Lynn.

Lynn Cirrincione: So, Mark, your — your banking partners should have their — their requirements for what you would need to connect to them, because you’re going to work through them to — to either use a Zelle product or through the original credit transaction.

Michelle Ziolkowski: Yeah, that’s right, Mark. This is Michelle. And what I would add is I would reach out to a Treasury Management Sales Consultant, most likely someone who included you for the webinar today, and they can, you know, one, talk — talk to you about the appropriate payment options for your particular business, and then work through the technical specifications of how you can get that up and running.

Mark: OK. Cool. Thank you very much.

Lynn Cirrincione: Sure. You’re welcome.

Operator: The next question comes from the line of Brian.

Brian: Hi. Thank you. Fantastic presentation, first and foremost. My question is around PCI compliance and the adjustors entering debit card information. Were there any concerns that you had around that?

Lynn Cirrincione: Well, Brian, of course there’s always PCI compliance questions, right? We had a lot of concern around that. And so we actually use a secure portal, so that way, that — that information is not housed anywhere within our Allstate systems. So they are — our adjustors are not allowed to write the information down. They can input it once, with the customer standing in front of them or on the phone. They can input it, but they’re not to write it down, and we don’t store it anywhere. So it — it actually goes through to the portal for us, so we don’t have to house that — that PCI piece.

Brian: OK. So you hit on one — one key point there was that it’s a person-to-person — the adjustor is right there with the claimant, and it — it’s not a transaction that would occur over the phone, right?

Lynn Cirrincione: It — it could happen over the phone. If it does happen over the phone, we have our software on our phones so that when that customer begins to tell us their debit card number, then the phone stops recording and it — and again, not to be written down. They just input it, and that’s it.

Brian: OK. Thank you very much.

Lynn Cirrincione: And — and that’s for the — that’s for the original credit. If the Zelle product — because it’s a token-based product, you don’t have those same PCI concerns.

Brian: Gotcha.

Michelle Ziolkowski: Right, and I —

Brian: That makes sense.

Michelle Ziolkowski: And I — I would just say in my personal example, I was able to provide my email address to the adjustor, and that’s how they executed the payment to me.

Brian: Oh, just through the email address, and then they would go in and —

Michelle Ziolkowski: Correct, because I —

Lynn Cirrincione: So then —

Michelle Ziolkowski: Exactly.

Lynn Cirrincione: You used the — the Zelle product, because it used your —

Michelle Ziolkowski: Exactly.

Lynn Cirrincione: — email address as your token.

Michelle Ziolkowski: Well, of course —

Brian: OK.

Michelle Ziolkowski: Because I ran a — I manage ACH. I want to use ACH, so the — the Zelle creates kind of a directory of individuals that you can register, and I was registered. And so I provide them my bank account information, but I can give my email to receive payment.

Brian: Gotcha. Thank you.

Michelle Ziolkowski: Yeah, of course.

Operator: Your next question comes from the line of Penny.

Penny: Hi. Again, thank you for your presentations — very, very informational based on what we’re getting ready to do at our company. One question that we have is how did you, as you were simplifying things within Allstate, make people still feel like they were value-added, not that you were going to be taking any of their duties away by simplifying the payment process or simplifying a back‑office process? But still make them feel like they were value-added and that they would be able to fill their time with more value-added responsibility?

Lynn Cirrincione: That’s a great question. So, really, we added additional work, because we’re still issuing checks, we’re still issuing ACHs. So it’s just the quantity that went away. So they still have to go through their daily process of reconciling and — and monitoring bank statements and things like that. So this actually added two more processes for them, so that could have made them unhappy also, I guess. Where we saved is really in the issuing of the actual paper checks — which, you know, we’re issuing so many checks, that’s all machine-driven anyways, so we didn’t really have that issue. But, instead, what was kind of neat is because we got everyone involved in the very beginning, they were excited to kind of learn a new product and to be on the cutting edge of that product and design the reconciliation that would work for — for them in their — their business unit around that.

Because it was so different, they were able to really design their own process, which I think they really like to do, and it — it helped keep their engagement level up. And now they’re watching it and knowing that they had — they were in on that first and were able to — to really take it to the next level for their own business unit.

Penny: Thank you.

Operator: Your next question comes from the line of Michelle.

Michelle: Yeah, I actually have two questions. The first question is — Lynn, you mentioned that the payments were happening in about 10 seconds. Was that with the Fast Mobile, or was that with the Quick[Card] Pay?

Lynn Cirrincione: That’s with the Quick[Card] Pay. So it depends on your bank. Within Zelle, the way it works, it’s a symposium of a lot of different banks, so depending on the individual customer’s bank, it moves faster or slower. If the bank of your customer is part of the consortium, it happens within less than an hour. And we batch those transactions, so it also depends on the timing of the — you know, when we send the batch to our processing bank. And other banks, you know, maybe a small credit union that is not part of the consortium or doesn’t process through one of the banks that is a — on the consortium, it might take a little bit longer. But so far, we’ve seen nothing take more than 24 hours.

Michelle: OK. Thank you. My second question, which ties back to the — the comment that you made that if a customer happens to call in, you have software on the phone that stops recording. Did I hear you say that the rep actually just takes the credit card information and enters it into the portal directly, or did I misunderstand? I’m sorry.

Lynn Cirrincione: Nope, you understood it absolutely correctly. So the —

Michelle: OK.

Lynn Cirrincione: The rep — and it’s — and it’s a debit card, not a credit card, and so it’s only on the debit side, and they take that and the — the — we record all of our calls, all the claim calls, so the — the software then stops recording at that point, when the customer is telling us their debit card number.

Michelle: OK. Thank you.

Operator: Your next question comes from the line of Michael.

Michael: Hi, there. I just had a question on the Quick[Card] Pay in terms of how that works and the benefits compared to an ACH deposit that I can have sent to my bank account. I — I — I mean, I understand it’s quicker, but I’m trying to understand — you briefly touched on it with the last question. I’m just trying to understand the flow of that payment and the involvement of Zelle. I mean, if I’m a — if I’m a policyholder and I elect the Quick[Card] Pay option, kind of just step me through that process from start to finish, from the time the claim is initiated until the time I actually receive that money in my bank account.

Lynn Cirrincione: OK. So the Zelle product is actually our Fast Mobile e-Pay. So what would happen is the adjustor speaks to the customer, they choose to use the Zelle product, our — our Fast Mobile e-Pay. If the customer has already registered their mobile banking — and as banks and customers are signing up for — for mobile banking and online banking, oftentimes that customer is already registered through Zelle. They don’t know it, but they actually are getting registered at the time that they’re setting up their online banking profiles.

So what happens is we send a file to our bank. The bank then contacts the customer and sends them either a text or an email, whatever was their preference, whatever token they gave us, and they get one of two messages. Either they get a message that says, “Allstate is sending you money, click here to accept that money,” and that means that that customer is already registered through Zelle. Or, if they’re not registered, they — their message says, “Allstate is attempting to send you money, click this link to register and accept your payment.” And it’s, you know, two minutes to register, and then they get that payment. And then that —

Michael: OK.

Lynn Cirrincione: Those funds are [put] directly into their bank account, and it’s whatever bank account they’ve registered. So it could be a checking or a savings, whatever it is that they’ve registered through their mobile banking.

Michael: OK. So — so that’s — that’s helpful. I’m wondering if — we’ve got some folks from Wells Fargo on the line, I’m assuming, so is that — would that be similar functionality to the — the transfer option that Wells Fargo offers that’s called SurePay, where a consumer can transfer funds into someone else’s account and it can be basically real-time or it may take a couple of days, depending on who it is or what the account is, what institution it’s going into?

Michelle Ziolkowski: Yes, actually. This is Michelle. That’s a very astute observation that you’ve made, because it is the same product. So we had white-labeled, if you will, the service that Lynn is describing as SurePay within the Wells Fargo applications, but the features and functionality are in fact the same.

Michael: OK. OK, very good. That helps me kind of piece it together.

(Questions emails slide)

Michael: One other question, if — if you have time. I — this is for the Allstate folks. The — the receivables — as far as the payment options that you accept from your policyholders, I notice one of them is credit cards. Is — is there a fee that you folks pass along to the policy owner for the use of a credit card, or how is that set up?

Lynn Cirrincione: Sure. So we have chosen not to pass that on to our customer, so we absorb those interchange fees ourselves.

Michael: OK. OK. Very good. Thank you very much.

Lynn Cirrincione: Thank you.

Operator: Again, if you would like to ask a question, please press star-1. We have a question from the line of Amy.

Amy: Hi. I thought this was a great presentation also, and my question is just will it be offered again?

Michelle Ziolkowski: Well, this is Michelle, and I’ll — I’ll address that. We are going to be offering a webinar on June 29 that will talk about details for the faster payments initiatives and markets, and so I’d encourage you, if this is a topic that you’re interested in, to look out for the invitation for that webinar, because I think it will be informative. And I’ve been thinking that there’s a lot of, you know, the discussion and questions here that could be very beneficial in that session as well. We touch on simplicity in almost everything we do, thanks to the thought leadership that Mark provides across Wells Fargo, so that’s often a theme you’ll hear, and how we look to achieve it from an internal perspective as well as for our customers. And so I would encourage you to, like I said, participate in that. And then if you would like more information on applying the simplicity framework, you can visit the Emerging Commerce section of our Treasury Insights website. You can contact your Treasury Management representative, you know, who has access to both Mark and myself.

And with that, the — the replay is also available, if you wanted to hear it again or share it with any of your colleagues. I certainly thank each and every one of you for your attendance and for the great, thoughtful, and insightful questions that you had. You can also email us any questions at the email addresses you see on the screen, and we’ll do our best to get back to you quickly. Finally, if you attended this webinar online today for 50 minutes or longer, you’re eligible to earn 1.2 CTP credits from the Association of Financial Professionals and 1 CPE credit from the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy. You will receive your confirmation of attendance certifications as well as a link to the replay of this event by email within two business days, so if you want to share it with your colleagues, please be on the lookout for that as well. And again, thank you so much for joining us today.

Related content