“Fintech” and Futures

Last week, we touched on a word that any reader of this blog should probably add to her vocabulary at this point: “Fintech.” As we noted, it’s a contraction of “Financial Technology,” and it’s popping up everywhere — particularly in studies of how fast consumer finance, and the finance industry itself, is changing.

For example, a recent Credit Suisse Report about online internet trends studied those who have grown up with connectivity, the internet, and constant ways to access information, payment technology, etc.

It turns out that  a whopping 71% of this “millennial” group would “rather go to the dentist than listen to what banks are saying.”  If your business is courting this demographic, make sure it appears less daunting than the dentist!

Humor aside, what that actual statistic means, practically speaking, is that fully a third of this don’t think “they’ll need a bank in 5 years.” And they are already taking steps away from that “banking:” 63% don’t have credit cards! That of course gets into our metier here, though of course, that scarcely means they’re paying cash. Instead, they  have debit cards, Apple Pay, iWallet, and numerous other options which they will expect your business to accommodate — sooner rather than later.

In other words, the future is already here, and it’s happening fast.

Last week, we mentioned another study, this from MX.com — a company specializing in getting traditional banks more “interactive” with their customers — which is similarly charting bank trends and consumer expectations.

In their series of slides which “headline” changes in consumer finance, they mention the top three reasons consumers use “Fintech:”

*Easy to set up accounts

*More attractive rates and fees

*Access to different products and services

Now, we like to think those are among the top reasons you, as a business, use AVPS as well! But this also means that your customers are similarly calibrating for non-financial “tech” as well, particularly if they’re trying to shop from you on the internet, make a payment (whether online, or perhaps at a “mobile” location where you do business), or finding out if your physical showroom has what they’re looking for, in stock.

Two-thirds of those surveyed by MX said what they wanted from their banks was a “simple and easy digital banking experience.” Only a third worried about their in-branch experiences were like, since so many have stopped even going into branches!

Make sure you’re offering the best digital — and payment — experience you can, for your customers. Whether that’s making things easier for them, or keeping their data secure. Or both.

They’re moving ahead with Fintech. Shouldn’t you be doing the same?

Meanwhile, the calendar keeps moving ahead, too, whether we will it, or not! Have a great Easter, and see you as April arrives!

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