Verizon, at the 2010 Consumer Electronics Show, reported that over half of the traffic on the internet then, was video. This week we learned that over half of the traffic on the internet today is the product of two companies, Netflix and YouTube. Furthermore, the U.S. Court of Appeals just struck down the Net Neutrality Policy of the FCC, opening a whole new revenue stream for companies like Comcast that are now going to charge Netflix when Comcast customers stream Netflix video over the Comcast network. The reality is that electronic fulfillment is becoming big business.
Most retailers are developing electronic delivery channels for their products by applying the basic rule; anything that can be watched, printed, uploaded or downloaded can be delivered electronically. Activision, the maker of massively popular Call of Duty, has an electronic distribution channel. Microsoft has been delivering programs electronically for quite some time. Netflix, back from the brink, is exclusively an electronic delivery company and the marketplace will continue to see more companies emerging to exploit this channel. Soon, I expect to see college bookstores becoming all electronic and to save time, when you register for a course on-line, a link will pop-up asking permission to download the required textbook thus eliminating the trip to the book store altogether.
Of course, we need to differentiate instant gratification from get-it-fication! Get-it-fication is being able to obtain a durable and reusable thing electronically. It is not just a moment! Netflix and others have figured this out and now it is time for the financial industry to do the same. Merely creating an electronic version of a paper process is not what I am talking about.
By applying vision and possibility, we arrive at an opportunity. Imagine all printers in the future (which could be 2017 for that matter) coming equipped with a 3-D printing feature. (Already widely used in manufacturing, 3-D printers, like the one pictured, can make a solid object of virtually any shape from a digital input.) Next, you purchase a new bookcase from Ikea and it comes with a 3-D cartridge. As you assemble the bookcase, you realize that you are missing two plastic tabs for the shelves. No worries, you go the Ikea website and instead of downloading a device driver as most of us have done; you log in, input your purchase transaction code and download the needed part to your printer. Booyah, the 3-D printer makes the missing parts. Now imagine Home Depot and Lowes doing the same thing for just about anything! Of course, there will be limits, but it does mean that they can obtain what they need when they need it without having to go to the store or waiting for it to be shipped.
In a Banking world….Get-it-fication means that a customer can walk up to your ATM and get an ATM Card! Yeah, that’s what I’m talking about. Let’s not forget that it is EMV enabled too! Get-it-fication means being able to establish a banking relationship with only having a mobile phone. That is to say that a customer does not need an internet bank account before they can open a mobile banking relationship.
Get-it-fication is just that—fulfilling the customers’ needs when they have them… Get it?