Snigdha Kumar is head of product operations at Oportun.
In any social setting, it’s not difficult to identify an extrovert from an introvert. Extroverts are the life of the party, while introverts tend to prefer solitude and don’t derive any energy from being in big crowds. But did you know that this concept also applies to managing finances? Just like any social interaction, managing money can either energize or exhaust us.
Understanding our money personality type can be a crucial step toward achieving financial wellness. Whether we are financial extroverts or introverts, we all have our unique strengths and challenges when it comes to managing our money. When financial institutions recognize this and tailor how they cater to customers accordingly, they can help them choose the right tools and approach to manage their finances effectively and achieve their financial goals.
Defining Financial Extroverts And Introverts
Financial extroverts are individuals who love engaging with money and are actively optimizing their money for the best deals. They find joy in managing their finances and will look at their goals regularly, update them and keep themselves motivated. They tend to be confident in their financial decision-making skills and are not afraid to take calculated risks to achieve their financial goals.
On the other hand, financial introverts are individuals who do not derive energy from interacting with their money or making any money decisions. They may feel overwhelmed by the complexity of managing money and may lack the time, interest or motivation to make informed financial decisions. As a result, they tend to avoid thinking about their finances and may prefer to let others handle them.
These personality types are not fixed, and a financial extrovert can change into a financial introvert, or vice versa, depending on their life situation. For example, someone can be a financial extrovert in their 20s, but as a result of multiple new life responsibilities and work pressures in their 30s, shift to become a financial introvert. Conversely, if someone was a financial introvert in their younger days because they did not prioritize personal finance education, but then with time and experience, they feel more confident and excited by managing their money, they may become a financial extrovert.
How FinTech Companies And Financial Institutions Can Cater To These Two Personalities
It is essential to recognize that there is no right or wrong money personality type. Both are different and require products and approaches to money management that are tailored to them to be successful. Fortunately, there are many ways to help each personality type achieve financial wellness. Here are the tools and strategies I recommend.
For Financial Introverts
You can consider offering tools that take the pressure off customers to actively manage their money and that can help them achieve financial goals without the added stress of constant interaction and management. For example, If you are servicing financial introverts, you could introduce more automation in your products. You could make it effortless for someone to manage their savings and investing by leveraging AI and analyzing a customer’s income and expense patterns to help them set aside the perfect dollar amount toward their goals.
This way, your customer doesn’t have to do mental calculations or interact frequently with your product in order to reach their financial goals. You could also consider making a personal financial advisor available to “financial introverts.” In the age of generative AI, it isn’t difficult to also create a digital financial sidekick that guides customers through their financial queries and decisions by analyzing their financial data. Your overall product principles for introverts should be more automatic and less interactive.
For Financial Extroverts
You can consider offering financial tools that offer more control over financial decision making. For example, when building an investing product for financial extroverts, don’t automate investment strategies; instead, show them data-backed recommendations and have them choose the investment strategy instead of choosing it for them. Similarly, if you are building a budgeting product, allow extroverts to rename categories and set their own benchmarks as opposed to automating the budgeting experience for them. Overall, your product should focus on providing extroverts with customizable building blocks so that they can build their own experience.
It’s important to help customers find a balance, regardless of their money personality type. By doing so, you can help them take control of their finances and maximize their money potential to live a financially secure and fulfilling life.
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