The need for immediate interactions and responsiveness has driven a digital revolution. This has raised the bar in fighting for consumer attention where consumers expect everything to be available quickly and easily on their mobile phones. The fintech sector is thriving in this new landscape of consumer demand. People want ready access to their money and financial information. They want to monitor their funds, track their savings, pay their bills, transfer money to friends, order products online, and pay restaurant tabs with their phones. Consumers are also turning to apps and social platforms like WeChat that are omnichannel experiences: chat with friends, play games, and manage their finances all in a single platform rather than separate chatting, game, and fintech platforms. Functions like these can keep users more involved with that ecosystem for longer periods of time, so it makes sense that financial institutions enable things like financial management and money transfer within these larger social apps. Standing out in the crowd comes from developing more consumer-centric experiences, making your relationship less about transactions and more about interactions.
Consumer-Centric Apps Turn Transactions into Interactions
A customer-centric strategy is less about giving a customer a place to put their money, and more about creating engaging experiences that focus specifically on their individual needs. Creating special loan products that suit their particular need, instead of trying to slot as many customers as possible into one of three loan packages. And embracing new ways to communicate with consumers, as well as letting them find new ways to interact with their banks. Conversational AI (artificial intelligence) has become a hot new trend, letting people communicate with their financial institutions via voice assistants like Alexa and Google Home. Banks can analyze all the transactional data on an individual and aggregated basis, see what their customers need, and then provide financial wellness solutions as a way to keep them coming back to you for information and advice. A consumer-centric focus also means giving them round-the-clock access to much-needed support, letting them interact with your institution in their own way, on their time, wherever they need it. You can use conversational chatbots to allow customers to speak or text with your bank on any of the channels where they're already spending their time — SMS texts, web portals, financial apps, and now even voice assistants. You can further personalize their experience by incorporating analytics into conversational AI so customers can get voice-based information that is specific to them and their own needs. Finally, conversational AI can even help people improve their financial health by encouraging them to take specific and personalized actions that apply only to them.
Banks and FinTech Providers Benefit from a Consumer-Centric Approach
Customers aren't the only ones who benefit from this consumer-centric approach: financial institutions and fintech developers benefit as well. For one thing, conversational AI and chatbots can reduce the amount of time your staff spends on low-level, rudimentary tasks. Transferring money between accounts, processing and approving loans, even answering basic loan questions can all be done via conversational AI and mobile apps. You can use the data and analytics to gain deeper customer insights and develop personalized products that help increase revenues and profitability. Consumers feel more trust and loyalty toward their financial service providers when they feel heard and appreciated, when they feel like a person and not an account number or dollar amount. By gaining the trust and loyalty of your consumers, you can avoid being tossed aside in favor of the next bank to come along. Loyal consumers are more willing to use your different loan products, and to become lifelong customers. Rather than switching banks whenever they have different life changes and milestones, you'll be able to keep up with those changes and even help guide them to the best choices they can make. You can guide new college graduates through budgeting and saving with their first paycheck. Steer them into life savings and retirement planning. Help them take out their first car loan, process their mortgage, and one day help them start saving for their own children's college. Developing a consumer-centric approach at your bank can help you stand out from the crowd; from the banks and financial institutions who are still figuring out the mobile game, still figuring out the importance of data and analytics, and haven't yet embraced conversational AI. If you would like to learn more about how you can use the financial technology APIs and apps available from Envestnet® | Yodlee®, https://developer.yodlee.com/.