The Consumer Trends Driving Financial Services in 2020

October 28, 2020

While 2020 has been a disruptive year for nearly all of us, the worlds of finance and digital marketing are two areas in which the landscape is changing even more rapidly than most other industries due to the accelerating pace of the demands for information and services that are attractive, accessible, and fulfill users’ needs over the internet.

One of the most interesting trends in how consumers reacted to the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 during the first half of 2020 was how many individuals took a greater interest in understanding and reassessing their finances, for example the large spike in users utilizing Robin Hood’s digital trading platform. In a bid to avoid cash and the close contact with others that comes with it, consumers are surging to online banking and mobile finance apps to manage their money more than ever before.

Capitalize on the increase in knowledge about finance, as well as the reinvigorated interest in online banking, and market your services in these areas. Look for the keywords that demonstrate users’ interests and concerns in regards to their finances, and prove that you are offering the perfect solution - from a business who already understands their expectations - through your targeted campaigns!

Another very interesting shift that is happening in the financial world is that the user demographic is becoming younger as financial information becomes more accessible and young people move to take control of their finances at an earlier age. In addition, gig economy workers, who have traditionally been viewed as risky to work with, have become a huge and vibrant part of the economy – a trend that is expected to increase rapidly throughout the rest of the decade. Financial service providers who aren’t capitalizing on these trends and catering to this demographic are leaving money on the table.But a key factor in success is reaching these users where they are, in an environment that suits their needs.

For digital marketers, one of the most exciting trends to be witnessing is the expansion of financial services into our native environment - the internet. Now that technology is making face to face interactions more of a tradition than a necessity, our customers want to be able to handle banking matters on their computer or mobile device, from the comfort of wherever they happen to be.

Users expect to be able to access and control their finances instantly. In fact, in April of 2020 The Harris Poll conducted a survey and found that during the COVID-19 pandemic, a massive 73% of users reported that they were more likely to incorporate digital banking into their lives as a part of their strategy to live in what has been called “the new normal.”

This shift in the market presents unique opportunities for financial service providers, because they have the opportunity to leverage their existing relationship with clients as a base to build, test, and improve the user experience - or UX - of their customers.

How can a traditional finance company break into the digital world in their customer interactions?

  • Focus on functionality - do you have an application that performs the most basic and necessary tasks for your users, such as checking their balance, transferring money between accounts, paying bills, and accessing their account information securely?
  • Make it look good - many banks offer similar applications, but you can set yours apart by focusing on the aesthetics to make the UX appealing and pleasant.
  • Personalize UX - Today’s users want to feel like the companies they work with see them as a person, not just a number. Provide little touches to personalize their experience with you, such as welcoming them by name when they log into the app.

Some banks have been utilizing digital marketing and experiences for years and are looking for ways to continuously improve on what they have built. Other institutions have maintained a traditional structure up to this point, but they are looking to expand into new markets. Regardless of your current stance, leveraging these trends to help reach your target audience with the right message, and providing your customers with a great digital experience to manage their finances, will give you the advantage going forward.

References:

https://www.salesforce.com/research/customer-expectations
https://thefinancialbrand.com/102103/digital-first-design-strategies-banks-ux-disruptors-challenger-ecosystem
https://www.businessinsider.com/financial-services-industry
https://www.emarketer.com/content/pandemic-causes-financial-services-advertisers-emphasize-online-banking