Innovation in Financial services

Subtle trends in the market

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Some of the trends that I’ve seen in the market in the last few years, especially a few that have picked up scale during this global #covid19 crisis —

#1 Contact-less & touch-less payments

We’re already seeing a hockey-stick surge in e-commerce as big and small stores, shops and even medical services pivot to digital-led capabilities including tele-health consultations, curbside pickup and touch-less payments.

All forms of digital commerce and payments will be incorporated within the ecosystem of small, medium and large businesses and there will be an active use of digital for services that were traditionally delivered via face to face interactions (eg. financial advice, healthcare, workouts, events and more).

# 2 DIY banking + Do It Together banking

Wealth, Mortgage, Credit cards, loans, personal banking, investing, moving money — all these functions and more will be more of a collaboration exercise between financial advisors and clients.

This would mean customers and advisors sharing a common portal whereby either of them can upload documents, share common workflows, communicate with each other, provide and receive financial advice and recommendations for a full-service experience.

#3 Financial products & services personalized to your needs

You will see financial products & services personalized to your needs, whereby a silicon valley 50 year old investor is provided with wealth management and trading as a packaged service by default, whereas a 20-year old millennial might be given a package around credit and other savings accounts.

By combining the power of transactional and social media data, customized highly personalized products can be offered to different segments of the population as per their needs, motivations, stage of life and behaviour.

This also means building products in a modularized way, where every single product is broken down into capabilities that can be re-used and leveraged to build customized experiences for other user groups eg. Onboarding and activation in US would be different than onboarding in Asia or Australia, hence ‘onboarding’ as a capability can be built as a re-usable module which can be tweaked to fit different usecases.

#4 Tech companies turning to banking & financial services

Google, Facebook, Amazon, Apple – everyone is trying to get a bite of the finech pie.

However in order to do financial services properly, companies need to be very adept at regulation/ licensing and compliance requirements. A few questions arise —

Partnerships and collaborations between social & ecommerce tech platforms, fintech and banks — therein lies the direction of new business models in the foreseable future.

#5 Banks turning to tech

Banks have been going after the digital revolution for quite sometime now. However banks are not nimble enough to cater to the dynamic consumer needs. Well designed products offer a better customer experience, however fintech solutions need to be well-designed from a business and operational aspect as well to serve customers in their best interest.

Currently, banking products are adversarial for large mass retail and mass affluent clients. Banks do a good job of serving top clients (private banking), however products haven’t been well designed (eg. overdraft fees, poor customer service) for the average American.

Large banks would still need to exist in order to bank large companies. However, with social media and ecommerce platforms crunching away at the financial services pie, banks might want to tighten their pants to serve the average consumer better.

Impact of COVID and moving forward

Written by

Product Lead @RBC | #Fintech #Innovation #Payments #AI | Previously Head of Product @ Klood, @Scholastic, @Accenture |

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