The marketing head of $461 billion John Hancock says Google and Amazon may disrupt consumer finance, leading to a 'real wakeup call' for the industry


Barbara Goose higher res John Hancock

  • Google and Amazon are the technology companies most likely to threaten financial services, said Barbara Goose, the chief marketing officer at $461 billion John Hancock. 
  • Because consumers have become accustomed to buying something on Amazon in three clicks, they’re looking for simplicity everywhere, Goose said. If finance companies don’t make their customer experiences easier, they’re going to lose to startups and big tech companies. 
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Amazon and Google are the most likely technology companies to disrupt consumer finance, said the chief marketing officer of $461 billion financial services company John Hancock. 

Barbara Goose told Business Insider in a recent interview that consumers are coming to expect Amazon’s ease of use in all industries. Trading a fund on Vanguard’s website takes 10 clicks, while calling a financial adviser to do so could involve multiple calls and emails. Buying a product on Amazon, meanwhile, is just three clicks.

See more: TECH COMPANIES IN FINANCIAL SERVICES: How Apple, Amazon, and Google are taking financial services by storm

“Insurance and financial services overall have been super late on the curve to adapt” to technology and changing consumer preferences, Goose said. “They’ve been able to hold onto the constructs that these are complicated products and you can’t do it by yourself. Over time … the consumer won’t accept that any more.”

She said she could see individuals buying mutual funds on Amazon, for example. 

“It’s easier for them to expand into new categories when you have someone’s credit card and trust and buying history,” Goose said.

Investment managers eyeing the expansion of tech giants have had “a real wakeup call,” she said. “The industry needs to simplify and be led by the experiences that consumers have elsewhere.”

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Some firms have responded by adding values-based investing options or reworking their websites, while other companies are testing out new ways to interact with customers, like voice assistants. 

Financial services firms are also just starting to test out how artificial intelligence could change their product offerings and customer interactions. That could lead to “hyper-personalized” products, Goose said, like insurance based on DNA or new retirement funds to account for longer life expectancy. 

“The consumer expectations are only going up for financial services,” she said.

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