MoneyLion personalizes financial advice with data-informed structured content

Company Size

500

Year Founded

2013

Headquarters

New York, NY

MoneyLion

50%

increase in engagement

15 mins

to launch new content 

Multiple users

creating content asynchronously
Plan Type
Premium
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Main Challenges

  • Content and design were coupled with code, making every project developer-dependent

  • Limited governance introduced the potential for content errors across the app

  • The mobile app’s layout was rigid and its content was generic

Solutions

  • An editor-friendly content platform returns content operations to marketing 

  • An Enterprise upgrade supports more users, granular roles, and workflows

  • Professional Services advised a content model refresh to support previews, flexible content modules, and personalized content

Project Story

It's nearing the end of the month and money is a little tight. Your mortgage and monthly car payment are due — plus that water bill. You just ordered takeout for the kids (they’re literally eating up your bank account). Financially, you're just trying to make it through the day. You can’t begin to think about the next decade — but MoneyLion is helping customers to do exactly that before the take-out even makes it out of the bag. 

Since 2013, the mobile banking platform has been revolutionizing personal finance, helping the average American find financial stability that's sustainable long term. Users can mix and match MoneyLion products — investment accounts, credit-building plans, cash advances, and a playbook for setting up and moving toward financial goals — to support their unique needs. 

Content has always been core to the way MoneyLion engages with its customers. The company uses the concept of personal financial management (PFM) cards to organize and communicate information to customers in its mobile app. MoneyLion’s engineering team first implemented Contentful in 2018 to streamline and accelerate the process for creating these cards. Before Contentful, marketers and product teams had no problem generating card content, but publishing was code-reliant. “It used to be a very one-by-one, horizontal scroll and each card that had to go into [the next] card, meaning each piece of content was actually in code,” Sarah Gerber, Director of Product, shared. “It was really limiting us in how fast we could get out something new.” 

Accelerating content operations: A decoupled content platform

With the initial implementation of Contentful, the whole business ran more smoothly. The engineering team created a content model based on content types that equated to PFM cards. After a few short onboarding sessions, MoneyLion marketers and product managers felt comfortable in the platform. They could independently create and import content, make edits as needed, and adjust the order of different cards. Content operations were finally free of rigid app release schedules.

“As we moved to Contentful, MoneyLion business users — who largely sit in product and marketing — gained control over what was happening in their world. They were able to create faster, whether that be a complete copy change or a minor adjustment to the CTA location,” Gerber explained.

Learn the basics of structured content and how to approach building your first content model > 

But sometimes getting the basics right — whether managing money or using content — isn’t enough. When you really want to get to the next level, you have to up your game.

Doubling down on the mobile app: Pushing the platform further

By 2021, the company had a major initiative to revamp its mobile app to be even more engaging and effective for customers. The “Today” tab, a social media-like scrolling feed of PFM cards, would form the centerpiece. MoneyLion’s goal was to enhance snapshots of financial figures with supporting content — copy, calls to action, linked blogs, video, or relevant product offerings — that changes dynamically based on user data. 

The team knew that Contentful would be a crucial part of making this vision a reality. But they wanted to be sure they were using the content platform as effectively as possible to ensure it would be a success. The MoneyLion engineering team already had a great deal of expertise and depth of experience. With half of its mobile app built entirely in-house and the other half built with Contentful, AWS, and MUX, a Contentful Marketplace app, MoneyLion wanted insight and assurance. To ensure they had the most effective content model — and to tackle questions around content governance and roles — they called in the experts.

Optimizing and upleveling with Professional Services

First came optimizing the “Today” feed in the mobile app. Solution architects in Contentful’s Professional Services team worked with MoneyLion’s engineering and product teams to incorporate functional rules linking content to financial events, webhooks to bring in data, and APIs to connect a proprietary personalization tool. This built out a more uniform feed harmonizing generic and personalized content. 

Solution architects also helped the company better determine what elements should be reused or referenced. “We can now pull and personalize content based on specific user data for certain elements. The goal is to zero in on the next best financial action for that person — like increasing their credit score, chipping away at debt, or consolidating interest. Our content aims to engage customers to better their finances,” Nick Bartomeli, MoneyLion’s Director of Engineering, explained.  

With access to financial records and confidential information, governance gets a great deal of attention at MoneyLion. While its engineers had a general understanding of how to configure user roles and permissions (thanks to Contentful documentation), they wanted a second opinion.

Contentful solution architects worked through how to set up roles and permissions with the team so that contributors wouldn’t be able to unintentionally change the live app. MoneyLion’s in-house developers drove the implementation. This collaboration resulted in a clear definition of responsibilities between engineering, product, and marketing with the Contentful web app.

Professional Services also encouraged MoneyLion to utilize the Preview API more extensively. In doing so, the company gained clarity on what a project would look like prior to clicking publish. This feature put the newly public company at ease and gave the team more capacity to test out different elements without making a major commitment. 

During their engagement with Professional Services, MoneyLion’s developers and content editors also became familiar with Contentful’s apps. It scheduled content to be published on the “Today” feed with Launch and used Tasks for project management.

The combination of structure and actively listening to MoneyLion’s priorities and challenges proved a highly effective way of engaging with Contentful Professional Services. As Bartomeli explained, “Our experience with Contentful Professional Services was eye-opening. We got to work with a team of friendly experts. They nudged us towards solving current problems and then helped us to gain an understanding of future-facing things we could quantify in the short term.” 

Building for scale: Expanding with Contentful

MoneyLion’s ambitions for its mobile app weren’t the only thing growing. Along with its customer base, the company’s internal teams were growing apace. With more people, more content, and the need to fine-tune operations for speed, MoneyLion took the step of expanding its use of Contentful. This meant adding spaces, increasing the number of users, defining custom roles, and accessing Contentful apps. The result has been an extremely successful rollout of the “Today” feed.

“We really use content to establish trust with our clients. The content we build out provides them value beyond MoneyLion’s purely financial tools and services — Contentful really brought that full circle,” Bartomeli said. According to Bartomeli and Gerber, Contentful is enhancing MoneyLion customer experiences. Users have timely insight into their finances and more ample recommendations for resources to improve them. 

Planning for the future

Even after using Contentful for over three years, MoneyLion is still exploring all the possibilities that the platform offers. Contentful is an essential part of business operations and the company’s offers. And, because MoneyLion views its app, content, and offerings as continuously iterative, Gerber and Bartomeli said their work with Contentful Professional Services will be an open-ended collaboration. What’s the next project on the list? Amping up MoneyLion’s use of references in support of a truly connected content ecosystem. 

See how Contentful Professional Services can support your next build > 

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