What is your relationship with your personal finance providers? Is it indifference or perhaps active engagement? Whatever end of the spectrum you fall, what would your ideal customer experience look like? Seeking to answer those, and related questions, comes a survey commissioned by BT Global Banking & Financial Markets and Avaya, 2,000 consumers were queried in Germany, Spain, the UK and USA regarding their banking behavior and expectations.
In many ways, going to the bank is kind of like travel, because there is often a line. If you can safely and comfortably migrate to the cloud and/or the digital, that is switch that can save time and energy. The power of technology and collaboration tools can, and will, have the same disruptive effect on both of the industries. In the current finance vertical, modern personal finance is slated to move towards the macro trend of Youbiquity.
What is Youbiquity finance? Excellent question and one where it is helpful to start with the root words.
- You: a relationship built around each individual’s preferences, goals and tools.
- Ubiquity: everywhere and anywhere.
Combine the two and you get an individual based, always on and available infrastructure. Sounds great, right?
Youbiquity Finance is characterised by the following changes in consumer behavior:
- time pressure, meaning speed and simplicity
- technology adoption, including smartphones, equipping consumers to be ‘always on’ for information and services
- financial engagement, which involves consumers taking more interest in their money.
One area I wanted to zero in for Youbiquity is mobile payments, which have gotten more popular in the last couple of years. Still, only “ten percent of consumers say that they have used their credit cards/smartphone to make payments for low-value items by a contactless device in-store (figure rises to 17 percent for the 16-24 age group)”. Living here in San Francisco, ground zero for many mobile payment start-ups and early market leaders, I was surprised with the low adoption rate. Here, you see mobile payments at all sorts of pop up stores, farmer’s markets and boutiques and it is easy to forget that adoption rate is not indicative of the larger economy.
I remember the first time my wife and I bought something via a Square reader. It was a nearly frictionless experience, ideal for both sides of the transaction. I remember being struck how this experience was a glimpse into the future, that will most assuredly continue to progress in adoption and availability. These transactions epitomize Youbiquity finance, as it right sizes to the needs of the consumer and can make literally anywhere a bank. In fact, we bought coffee at a coffee shop in wine country via a Square reader just last night up in wine country and I doubt my wife even noticed as it is second nature.
I am very curious to hear your experience with mobile payments? How often do you pay via mobile or your smartphone? We love traveling in Europe and I don’t recall this option on my last trip to Europe.
Lastly, it must be noted that the full power of dematerialization, which I have written about extensively, appears to be quite far away in the banking sector. A strong majority of existing patrons see the branch as the keystone for their customer relationship with their bank. I predict that changes over time, but it will take quite awhile to get to the tipping point where Banks could materially reduce their physical footprint.
Wilson Korol is the Sustainability Business Leader at Avaya. He manages the Green Core Team, which drives sustainability throughout Avaya’s products and operations. He has written numerous white papers on topics such as energy efficiency, supply chain/logistics and mobility technology. Wilson’s experience as a teleworker has taken him all over the globe. He holds a Masters in Public Policy and a Masters in Environmental Management from Duke University.