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  • Writer's pictureMohamed Abaza

The Future of Finance is Customer Obsession

Editor’s Note: This article is co-written by Subsbase and Synapse Analytics as part of a collaboration to explore the modern day consumer.


If you're not obsessed with your customers, someone else will be.


The modern-day consumer prioritizes convenience above all else – a fact well-understood across most industries. This is why countless conferences and webinars focus on one-click checkouts, strategic button placement for maximum conversions, and even the increased likelihood of consumers trusting companies with a "blue" color palette. Today, companies devote significant time and effort to understanding their customers' psyche, all to win over new customers from their competitors. What unites these companies? The recognition that customer experience is paramount.


Imagine a customer, who is used to having thousands of people ensure a seamless app experience, decides to open a new bank account or, better yet, apply for a loan. What will they encounter? Essentially, a time capsule—a glimpse into an era marked by the notorious "we'll get back to you once we've processed your application," devoid of any specifics on timing or process.


You might wonder, given that banks and legacy financial institutions have operated successfully for decades, why this poses a problem. The reason is straightforward: these entities no longer monopolize the sector. The rise of Fintech companies using technology to offer financial services—has mirrored what Tesla accomplished in the automotive industry, propelling a shift from product orientation to customer centricity.


This intense rivalry has cornered incumbent financial services into a critical decision: either preserve their status quo, banking on their brand and ethos for relevance, or pivot towards modernity by integrating technologies that resonate with current consumer expectations.


The question then is, how should these traditional financial services adapt to meet modern consumer expectations?


We'll examine three core elements: Convenience, Personalization, and Transparency


Convenience: Perhaps the biggest expectation today is the ease and speed of handling financial tasks. Customers seek access to their accounts, the ability to transfer money, pay bills, and obtain support effortlessly and on-demand. They crave simplicity, necessitating that financial institutions ensure their digital and physical services are seamlessly integrated. Customers should seamlessly transition between online and offline banking without reverting to customer support.


Personalization: The era of generic offerings is over. Consumers expect financial institutions to grasp their individual needs and offer tailored financial solutions, recommendations, and proactive guidance, reflecting their spending habits and financial goals. For instance, when someone aims to borrow money for a car purchase, banks can present personalized loan options suited to their financial situation and objectives. Banks, through their digital platforms, can provide loan terms and interest rates informed by the customer's credit history, income, and the desired car type.


Transparency: In finance, transparency is fundamental to trust. Pricing fairness, clear terms and conditions, and strong fraud protection measures are more than mere buzzwords; they form the foundation of enduring loyalty. Customers justifiably expect complete information to make informed decisions about their finances, whether it's comprehending the risks and benefits of investments or understanding account terms. Institutions prioritizing transparency cultivate a trust that withstands time.



Where Financial Institutions Stand Today


Financial institutions are currently undergoing significant transformations to meet customer demands, notably through the enhancement of digital experiences. This involves upgrading digital platforms to provide a level of seamlessness and intuitiveness that rivals leading technology companies. Despite notable progress in the financial industry, there is ample room for improvement, such as:


Bridging the Gaps: While many financial institutions have established a decent omnichannel presence, the seamless integration of these channels often proves to be a challenge. Consider being in a hurry to deposit a check via your bank's mobile app, only to find the mobile deposit feature might not be readily available.


Full Potential of Personalization: Banks gather vast amounts of data, from spending habits to financial goals, yet often fail to utilize this information to offer hyper-personalized advice and solutions. The vision is for banks to employ advanced analytics and artificial intelligence to provide personalized financial advice and products, anticipating needs before the customer is even aware of them.


Legacy Systems: The burden of outdated technologies still plagues some institutions. Integrating these antiquated systems with modern applications is often complex and time-consuming, hindered by a lack of necessary interfaces and compatibility with new technologies. It’s akin to attempting a marathon in outdated footwear – far from optimal.



The Path Forward 


To consistently meet and exceed modern customer expectations, financial institutions must prioritize the following: 


Customer-Centric Design: Putting the customer first is crucial. By involving customers in the development process of new products and services, financial institutions can ensure that their solutions directly address the real needs and pain points of their clientele. 


Investment in Emerging Tech: The future of the financial industry lies in embracing cutting-edge technologies like AI and machine learning. These tools not only offer invaluable insights into customer behavior but also enable personalized services and streamline customer service operations. Partnerships with tech giants or strategic acquisitions can accelerate the adoption of these technologies. 


Seamless Integration: Ensuring a cohesive experience across all channels and services is essential. Financial institutions must strive to integrate their digital and physical services seamlessly, allowing customers to switch between online and offline banking effortlessly, without confusion or the need for repeated customer support. 


Now What?


Understanding the modern consumer is crucial for financial institutions aiming for a competitive edge. Institutions that align with expectations of convenience, personalization, and trust are poised for success. The future belongs to customer-centric financial institutions that balance technological advancements with a deep focus on the human element. 


As they navigate this new reality, they face challenges and opportunities that demand agility, a customer-first approach, and innovation. Financial institutions attuned to evolving customer needs and dedicated to embracing these changes will thrive in the emerging landscape. This marks a new chapter in the relationship between consumers and their financial service providers.


This blog is merely the start of a series diving into the nuances of convenience, personalization, and trust in the contemporary financial scene. Stay tuned as we delve deeper into these subjects, offering actionable insights for financial institutions eager to flourish in today's dynamic market.


 

Welcome to the Future of Finance: A Collaboration Between Subsbase and Synapse!

A digitally stylized image divided into two sections, representing the partnership between Subbase and Synapse Analytics. The left side features a blue-toned futuristic cityscape with abstract technological elements, while the right side showcases a warm-toned cityscape with a prominent skyscraper, overlaid with data and code symbols. The Subbase logo is displayed in the bottom left corner, and the Synapse Analytics logo is in the bottom right corner, symbolizing the collaboration between the two companies.

At Subsbase and Synapse, we believe in the power of collaboration to drive innovation in the financial landscape. That's why we're excited to present this co-written blog series, where we delve into the nuances of modern consumer expectations and the evolving financial industry.


🔗 Learn more about Subsbase and Synapse Analytics and discover how we plan the way you interact with financial services.


Join us on this journey as we explore the key pillars of convenience, personalization, and transparency, and how they shape the future of customer experience in finance. Whether you're a traditional financial institution seeking to adapt or a fintech pioneer pushing the boundaries of possibility, this series offers actionable insights to help you thrive in today's dynamic market.


Stay tuned for thought-provoking discussions, innovative strategies, and practical tips to unlock the full potential of your financial services.


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