Money transfers aren’t like most other transactions.

They happen between friends or family. They’re often tied to experiences or emotions.

As such, when it comes to transferring money – and the various ways in which that can happen – people can be both wary and sensitive. Money transfer services have to tread carefully when persuading potential customers to part with their cash.

But as is often the case, sometimes the problem and the solution are one. The uniquely human concerns that surround the money transfer industry are the very same sensitivities that make user-generated content (UGC) such a powerful tool in dispelling them.

In other words, UGC is great when there are feelings involved.

Why money transfers are a sensitive subject

All industries have their complexities, but not all complexities are created equal. The burden of the auto industry is to make a car attractive. The trick to the supermarket industry is competitive prices and quality produce. But when it comes to money transfer services, things can become far more personal for customers.

First, the transfer of money by its very nature can seem like an inherently riskier endeavour for many customers. Whereas other transactions have a clear quid-pro-quo logic to them, with a tangible good or service being exchanged for funds, money transfers are more abstract: there’s less bang for the buck.

As a result, some of the most frequently asked questions about money transfers revolve around what would be basic, entry-level details for any other industry.

  1. “What does it cost?”
  2. “What are the fees?”
  3. “Who has my money?”

The simplicity of these questions, and their centrality to the very nature of money transfers, hints at how UGC can be extremely useful.

In addition to this, sending money is often an exceedingly personal matter. Transferring funds to loved ones in dire straits or to friends and family for an important event will be accompanied by a greater emotional and mental investment by customers.

These reasons are precisely why user-generated content is so important.

UGC is great when there are feelings involved. - Highlight to share -

How UGC can help sensitive money transfer issues

The very thrust of user-generated content is that people trust each other more than they trust companies or their “experts”. Marketing departments can tell customers about the benefits of their products until they’re hoarse, but reviews from customers themselves will always speak louder.

So, give them a chance! By integrating reviews into money transfer services, customers can ask and answer the questions that customers want to know, and be confident in the veracity of the response. This confidence grows as they see a company engaged with its clients, responding to queries, assuaging concerns and redressing any problems.

Reviews and other UGC give customers a forum to ask the sorts of specific questions endemic to money transfer services, and in turn, answer those very same questions for others. Knowledge and confidence spread, and potential customers become new customers while current customers become repeat clients.

Who is doing UGC well?

Some of the best uses of user-generated content in the money transfer space revolve around allowing customers to share their stories – about how, and about why.

Western Union, one of the largest money transfer services in the world, struck a chord with customers when it launched its #WUHomecooked campaign. Channeling the deeply personal reasons people send money to loved ones, Western Union asked customers to create and submit short vignettes detailing how Western Union’s services have allowed them to give friends and family a taste of home.

Enter the name of any popular money transfer company into Google and you’ll generally see that ‘reviews’ is one of the most searched-for suffixes. Apart from a few standouts, money transfer services still have room to grow and improve in this space. It’s clear there’s an appetite for social proof, so this is particularly unfortunate. Reviews are a great way to instil consumer confidence in your business, while providing a forum for customers to interact with your brand. That’s fertiliser for brand loyalty and customer relationships.

However, these reviews have to be all the more trustworthy given the product. It’s important that that the reviews target each stage of the transfer process – from the service at the beginning to the money the recipient is eventually left with at the end – and are by customers who are guaranteed to have experienced the complexity of the money transfer service at every stage. They’re also better off protected by a third party Trustmark – especially in the financial services industry.

The money is the message

We’ve talked about UGC on social media, but how about actually transferring money via social media? Facebook already allows peer-to-peer (P2P) payments via its Messenger app for free if sender and recipient are both based in the same country. Fastacash, based in Singapore, teamed up with the money transfer service Xpress Money last year to allow users to transfer money internationally with the app XOPO, over social channels like Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp. CNBC news reported:

‘According to World Bank estimates, more than 90 percent of fund transfers are sent to family members, who are usually connected on social networking websites. This connection between senders and recipients gives social media with a huge potential to disrupt the remittances market.’

And we bet that those apps will be using the UGC to market their service to even more potential customers. They’ll be pioneers in showing how brands can properly employ the power of user-generated content.

The race is on to turn an intimidating process into a trusted transaction – and the reward is revenue.

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