However, a user-friendly app and website are now merely standard-issue when it comes to what a bank can – and should –be offering its customers on a digital level. It’s time to consider what’s next and look at how fintech is set to evolve over the coming year in order to not just stay at the forefront of the industry, but to get ahead of it.
The American market has forged the way for European finance brands in the digital world, with multi-billion dollar fintech start-ups such as Robinhood – an investment app that's soon set to launch an online savings programme too – and Avant, a company providing instant online loans, proving how lucrative a forward-thinking attitude to fintech can be.
The big European hitters today are Monzo, Tide and Starling. These relatively new banks all compete to engage that crucial young, tech-forward demographic, and as a result require smart, creative and user-friendly digital outputs that are at the very forefront of fintech. Keeping an eye on the ever-evolving digital landscape has therefore never been more important.
The following emerging digital banking trends that aren’t just set to soar in 2020 – they’re likely to shape the future of the entire industry.
Online chat and hands-free browsing
Artificial Intelligence is already transforming the way in which the user/tech interface operates, and 2020 could well be the year that users of digital banking really begin to feel the benefits of AI-led customer care.
As the technology behind AI becomes ever more sophisticated, there are growing opportunities for it to be incorporated into digital banking, providing not just a better service for users but also playing a useful role for institutions through marketing, data collection and contributing to the sales funnel process.
Customers often find the inability to speak with a member of staff in order to get queries resolved frustrating. AI can change this, offering an automated online chat response that is often sufficient to solve queries.
Further potentially game-changing usage of AI comes in the form of voice-activated hands-free browsing, which could start to pave the way for customers to obtain information such as their bank balance without needing to make physical contact with a device.
Voice technology may be growing rapidly – the consumer adoption curve is faster than both mobile and internet – but it’s still relatively new. Banks employing it now will get an early opportunity to harness its immense power and potential, so it’s a trend to keep a close eye on.
In short, employing AI and exploring the ways it can benefit customers will become a crucial way for banks to not just remain relevant, but create a powerful new voice for themselves too.
Personalised data, offers and assistance
In a time-poor, information-hungry market, efficiency is everything. Consumers don’t have time to trawl through irrelevant data – they know what they want, and they want it now. The logical step is for banks to provide personalised information that’s specifically tailored to meet their needs, which is why 2020 is likely to see a digital banking shift towards a more ‘bespoke’ approach.
For example, customers who are looking for a loan may well find that they receive information not just on various products which may be of interest, but also details about account management options, tailored loans (for example a loan for a car or house) and similar close-fit data.
It’s a way for a bank to place themselves ahead of the competition by offering customers the information they didn’t know they needed, and options they didn’t know existed, before they even have to ask.
Moving banking away from the banks
Thanks to the already-impressive advances in fintech, online banking is now commonplace for many, but customers can still find applying for new products, switching products or resolving problems difficult or impossible without a phone call or branch visit.
The gap between what the consumer wants and what’s available is clear. Banks with a pro-active fintech attitude will look to close this gap by broadening the range of services they offer in 2020, perhaps enabling customers to buy foreign currency, take out a loan or apply for a mortgage without the need for a branch visit.
Tackling the ‘abandoned cart’ phenomena
Consumer attention spans can be short. In fact, some studies suggest that the number of customers abandoning an application for a banking product or service when applying online may be as high as 40%. Why do customers abandon online applications, and how can they be encouraged to stay? These are the big questions that banks will be striving to answer in 2020 and beyond.
Potential solutions are already being trialled, including the use of advanced ‘co-browsing’ software, which enables a member of banking staff to work collaboratively with a customer on an online application form, without compromising security. Combine this with the possibilities offered by AI to make applications simpler and more manageable, and you’re looking at a profound change in the way the digital sector provides online application opportunities.
A focus on ethical and environmental concerns
Ethical and environmental concerns are under the spotlight now more than ever. Forward-thinking banks will examine how they operate at a fundamental level over the coming year, ensuring that their values, ethics and investment align more closely with an environmentally responsible agenda.
When you consider that the millennial generation is a key customer demographic for the digital banking sector to attract –and that as a generation they are more engaged with environmental and ethical concerns than many of those before them –a bigger focus on ecological responsibility becomes not just a trend, but a must for banks going forward.
There’s no doubt that the future of banking is digital across the board, but savvy banks will be the first to consider the new and emerging trends, and embrace the latest innovations to future-proof their success. Those who take into serious account the fact that half of millennials state that they would move banks in order to enjoy a better digital experience shouldn’t struggle to pinpoint what should be prioritised in 2020.
Using AI to enhance customer experience and advances in hands-free banking possibilities, increased attention to product application abandonment, and tightly targeted, highly relevant marketing, data and support, are likely to characterise the digital banking sector in 2020. Embracing them now to stay ahead of the competition isn’t just something to think about - it’s a banking no-brainer.
Rhapsody is continuously striving to stay ahead of the fintech curve. We use omnichannel routes to deliver a range of clever creative solutions to the digital banking brands of tomorrow, and have recently worked with the likes of Russian Standard Bank. To find out how we do it, contact us.
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