How Will the Industry Respond to Trends In FinTech?

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In this series of articles, We’ll be taking an in depth look at the report “Blurred Lines: how Fintech is Shaping Financial Services”. Due to the size of this report, each article will be broken down into sections based on 3 industries – banking, wealth management, and insurance. This article will focus on what exact risks and opportunities arise due to the disruption and how to counteract the disruption that FinTech is causing. .

What is the FinServ industry doing for the disruption?

From the inside of the industry, FinTech appears to be affecting a broad range of financial services. Although, the companies specializing in certain aspects of financial services believe that consumer banking and fund transfer and payments will be disrupted in the next 5 years. The graph below shows the results of the survey.

How is the current Financial Services Industry Responding to a Growing Trend In FinTech? Part 1The recent development of online banking platforms has greatly impacted consumer banking and fund transfers. Purely online banks, or banks with fewer physical branches, have begun to gain popularity due to the added value that is convenience. As an organic development from online banking, the technology to safely transfer funds and pay bills online has been developed.

There is also a high level of disruption in the insurance and asset management sector. 74% of insurers and 51% of asset managers believe that FinTech is going to cause disruption in their sector over the next 5 years. At the same time, outsiders believe that FinTech will disrupt those industries significantly less, signalling that there is industry knowledge of upcoming developments that hasn’t been diffused yet. The graph below shows the divide between industry insiders and outsiders.

How is the current Financial Services Industry Responding to a Growing Trend In FinTech? Part 1

What is the main cause? Digital experience. Clients are used to the experience other digital giants give, such as Google, Amazon, or Facebook, and they expect the same level of customer and digital experience from their financial service provider.

75% of respondents said that FinTech has made an impact on meeting changing customer needs and 51% said it has also made an impact on leveraging existing data and analytics. If these items were not on the to-do list for a company in the financial service industry, they sure are now – thanks to FinTech.

What are the members of the financial service industry going to do to counter the disruption?

  1. Banks are going for a renewed digital customer experience

The most important response from this sector is to implement solutions that banks can easily integrate or incorporate to improve and simplify solutions. Meaning, processes that increase customer experience just by reducing the amount of steps to perform an action or making it easier to do that action. The next biggest response is to move toward non-physical or virtual channels. While a portion of the consumers prefer a physical approach, banks must have virtual channels to compete with the changing industry.

  1. Fund transfer and payment priorities are security and increased ease of payment

The fund transfer and payments industry’s response to emerging FinTech trends included: creating advanced tools and technology to protect consumers from identity theft, fraud, and account falsification. This response isn’t necessarily one that could combat the emerging FinTech options, but it adds to the current value proposition. Since the existing companies specializing in fund transfer and payments have created a brand and acquired trust with their consumers, they only need to offer better value in comparison to the new FinTech companies. In addition to developing a more secure method of online payment and transfer, increasing speed of transfers in another common step to take in this industry.

  1. Asset and wealth management shifts from technology-enabled human advice to human-supported technology-driven advice

This industry will respond by improving data analytics to better identify and quantify risk and increased automation of asset allocation. The responses, however, will be leveraged with a human touch that can interpret the data and offer personalized solutions that fully automated solutions can’t.

  1. Insurers leverage data and analytics to bring personalised value propositions while proactively managing risk

Much like banks, the most important response the insurance industry will have is an emphasis on self-directed services. The increase in convenience increases customer experience as they are able to access all the information through an online portal. It can allow them to make claims, see their coverage, or access important documents. The next biggest thing is to differentiate their services by offering a usage-based insurance. As underwriting changes and technology becomes more advanced, the math behind underwriting can allow for more complex plans that allow for this. Usage-based coverage is another example of established brand to create and underwrite a complex solution.

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Developments in FinTech are causing financial service providers to move forward and innovate towards a better consumer experience. Part 2 will examine the future of FinTech and what strategies financial service providers should use to counter FinTech.

How Technology Can Help the Customer Journey for High Net Worth Individuals

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The customer journey, like much of the 21st century, has changed to include more technological aspects. Digital advertising and “Googling” are a couple examples of technology that have changed the customer journey for the masses.  They have made it easier to entice a potential customer to you through the awareness and decision phase through advertising and easily accessible information. Narrowing the customer journey down to High Net Worth Individuals (HNWI), you start to get a sense of how technology has impacted their consumer journey – which may or may not differ from the mass consumer market.

In a recent study conducted by LinkedIn and Greenwich Associates, it broke down the customer journey into 5 phases: awareness, consideration and selection, onboarding and action planning, network development, and keeping the relationship alive. In this article, we’ll take a look at technology’s impact on each step and interpret the data.

AWARENESS

In this phase, the client has to be aware of the wealth manager. Even though technology has added many different channels where you can reach out to potential clients, recommendations from family or friends remains one of the top ways that a HNWI would choose an advisor.

Once HNW clients are made aware, it can be difficult to acquire them since nearly 2/3 have had their wealth manager for over 5 years and have built up trust with them. Although, 2 out of 5 Millennials and over ¼ of Generation X plan to switch their wealth manager in the next 12 months. The change in wealth manager may not necessarily be because of higher returns, but could be due to service, engagement, and readiness to try something new. A chart with the exact percentages of whether or not each demographic plans to change their wealth manager is given below.

 

plantochangewealthmanagers

The awareness phase is still fairly traditional since technology has not beaten word of mouth recommendations from trusted individuals. It has, however, opened up the opportunity to acquire clients that were not fully satisfied with their past manager – mainly within the millennial demographic.

 

CONSIDERATION & SELECTION

The consideration and selection is the phase where the client would engage in research to determine which investor best suits them. A personal touch (mainly word-of-mouth) still exists in this phase as 1/2 of HNWIs look to family and friends for evaluations, and over 2/3 base their evaluations on face-to-face interactions.

Even though personal metrics, such as a face-to-face meetings or recommendations, play a part, the manager has to use all the tools available to stand out in this market. This includes developing their digital presence. This is because 1/3 of HNW Millennials use social media profiles of potential wealth advisors as their evaluation process. Half of HNW Millennials look at an advisor’s posts on social media. The need for social media drops significantly with older generations, but it is offset since clients with a net worth of over $10 million determine it as being important.

importance_useofsocialmedia

 

In terms of robo-investing, only 3% of HNWIs interviewed say robo-investing factor into their decision. The use of robo-investors has been limited to more routine, typical strategies while wealth managers are used for more unique and complex strategies.

In the consideration phase, HNWI’s preference for technology increased slightly. This is mainly to assist the individuals that want to research on their own. Although, the importance of a social media presence increases with the younger generation and with individuals with more investable assets. This importance, with the younger generation, is most likely due to their familiarity and the importance they place on social media in their personal lives. For the individuals with the highest investable assets, it is most likely due to their due diligence as they have much more on the line.

 

ONBOARDING AND ACTION PLANNING

Once a wealth manager is selected, the path and action plan moving forward has to be decided. To determine this action plan, an in-person meeting is still the preference for most demographics. However, a shift occurred in the Millennial demographic as only 40% met with their advisor in person to make an investment plan. One-third took a self-directed approach by using their manager’s website to research options. This change suggests that Millennials are more open to engaging differently or are more prone to use self-service options.

Another part of this phase is the transaction. Based on the respondents, 85% of HNWI believe that wealth managers should use technology. This would mean anything from making the transaction online or easier due to technology.

A key trend we can see, as we move along the phases, is that the importance of technology grows as the journey progresses. There’s a noticeable increase in the want for technology in the onboarding and action-planning phase. More specifically, technologies that make researching, communicating, and the transaction simpler and more convenient were more preferred in this stage. Unsurprisingly, Millennials see technology as an important part of the later parts of the journey.

 

NETWORK DEVELOPMENT

Millennials, Generation X, and individuals with the highest amount of assets find it really important to compare investment strategies with like-minded peers – as seen in the figure below. These conversations are extending to online platforms, such as social media. These are less of a threat and more of a community-fostering tool. This allows a community to come together and offer advice and foster goodwill for the advisor as well. Since personal recommendations are still very important in the beginning of the customer journey, this type of goodwill is very important.

importance_comparing_investments

 

For the network development phase, building a social presence, or an online community, is one of the key creators of goodwill to assist the wealth manager in acquiring more HNWIs. In this phase, technology becomes quite important to promote a conversation that will extend past physical meetings.

 

KEEPING THE RELATIONSHIP ALIVE

6% of all HNWIs expressed the desire for daily contact, while 60% wanted contact on monthly basis, at most. Although, 15% of Millennials want daily contact with their advisor when the markets get rocky. This could be a result of the vast amount of information that Millennials are exposed to leading to them wanting more filtered information from the advisor. Email remains the preferred method of contact; but Millennials showed their interest for different communication methods, such as apps. In terms of social media, LinkedIn and Facebook were the most used platform for financial planning.

Looking broadly, most HNWI prefer periodic contact through technology. It is best to group different demographics into their contact preferences and send market updates accordingly. In general, the younger demographic prefer more updates (through email or social media) in down times, but few updates otherwise. The older demographic of HNWI, however, is content with few updates through any market condition.

 


 

Overall, the customer journey for HNWI hasn’t changed much in the beginning phases. Word of mouth recommendations and evaluations trump many other aspects in the awareness and selection phase. However, the prevalence and importance of technology is growing in the later stages. Most notably, technology is used in parts of the journey to make things more convenient; such as, improving the transaction portion of the action plan phase, networking, and offering a more convenient platform to communicate periodically.

The best possible way to adjust to this shift in preferences is to deploy a high tech and high touch strategy. This means a blend of personal human interaction and technology to cover the different wants and needs of each demographic. A good base strategy includes offering real time communications during volatile times and limiting contact other times, creating groups or an online community, and using your client’s social media, by seeding content, to gain valuable referrals.

15 Inspirational Customer Experience Quotes that Relate to Business

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In today’s digital landscape, a great customer experience is crucial. Customers have the power to choose between competing companies with a simple Google search. As Doug Warmer, former chairman of the board of J.P. Morgan & Co said, “it’s important to remember that your competitor is only one mouse click away.”

Given that it costs 6 or 7 times more to attract a new customer than to retain a new one, customer experience is more important than ever. On top of that, consumers are 2 times more likely to share their bad customer service experiences than they are to talk about positive experiences. Research also suggests that it takes 12 positive customer experiences to make up for one negative one.

Providing a great customer experience has always been important – and always will be. However, the Internet has made an effective customer experience a major competitive advantage for any business. The connected, happy, and loyal customer has more power in today’s market than ever before.

There are many statistics out there speaking to the effects of poor customer experience on a business. Although statistics are part of the story, sometimes, greater insights come from quotes. There is certainly no shortage of inspirational quotes out there, but I’ve compiled some of my favourite quotes relating to customer experience. Here are 15 inspiring quotes that any business can relate to:

“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” ~Bill Gates

“Trust: The reputation of a thousand years may be undermined by the conduct of one hour.” ~Japenese Proverb

“As you’ve noticed, people don’t want to be sold. What people do want is news and information about the things they care about.” ~Larry Weber

 “It is not your customer’s job to remember you, it is your obligation and responsibility to make sure they don’t have the chance to forget you. ~Patricia Fripp

“If you make customers unhappy in the physical world, they might each tell 6 friends. If you make customers unhappy on the Internet, they can each tell 6000 friends.” ~Jeff Bezos

 “Get closer than ever to your customers. So close that you tell them what they need well before they realize it themselves.” ~Steve Jobs

 “Innovation needs to be part of your culture. Customers are transforming faster than we are, and if we don’t catch up, we’re in trouble.” ~Ian Schafer

“Most people spend more time and energy going around problems than trying to solve them. ” ~Henry Ford

 “Don’t find customers for your products, find products for your customers.” ~Seth Godin

 Customers may forget what you said but they’ll never forget how you made them feel.” ~Unknown

“Loyal customers, they don’t just come back, they don’t simply recommend you, they insist that their friends do business with you.” ~Chip Bell

“Here is a simple but powerful rule: always give people more than what they expect to get.” ~Nelson Boswell

“There are no traffic jams along the extra mile.” ~Roger Staubach

“You’ve got to start with the customer experience and work back toward the technology, not the other way around.” ~Steve Jobs

I thought it was fitting to finish off with the following quote by Jerry Gregoire, “The customer experience is the next competitive battleground.” By 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator. Customers have more power and choice than ever before, and if they don’t like the experience they have with you, they will leave, with little chance of returning.

What are some of your favourite customer experience and engagement quotes? We’d love to hear them.