I was recently on the Discover Card Web site when I stumbled upon their Card Builder tool. The tool goes beyond a standard product selector, which merely helps shoppers choose amongst products that already exist, as it actually allows a Web shopper to create a customized credit card on the fly. That got me thinking. The whole area of customized products is a huge opportunity for the Web, and one of which only a few firms have ventured into. A few I have found along the way include:

  • BBVA/Compass bank’s Build-to-Order Free Checking account tool (see it here) – the tool allows a shopper to choose the features of their checking account and decide how much they want to pay on a monthly basis. Accounts fees can range from free to $10 a month depending on the features chosen, and the first two features are free. Features include: rebates at foreign-ATMs, one free overdraft a year, etc.
  • Progressive Insurance Auto insurance is by default a customizable product, but Progressive takes that to the next level online. Upon completion of a quote, the shopper is sent a confirmation email with a link back to a Web site where they can change aspects of their policy coverage. Everything from deductibles to rental car usage can be added or changed, and with each change, the monthly coverage cost is updated.Progressive
  • Discover Card Builder tool (see it here)Shopper select their rewards, card design, and terms. Of particular note is the terms selection. The shopper can choose between different intro APRs, purchase APRs and balance transfer APRs to match to how they use/plan to use the card.  For example, a shopper can choose a 0% intro APR for twelve months with a resulting purchase APR of 15.99%.
  • One thing we have heard about the Web time and time again is that it has the power to change how we have created, bought, sold and serviced financial products in the past. Using the Web to customize financial products is a great example of this idea at work. The financial service industry more than any other has the clearest opportunity to take advantage of this unique Web capability.