The financial services industry is at a tipping point. So, at The Financial Gap event, our MD Paul Jarrett spoke to professionals from the sector about the future of the finance app user experience (UX). There, he gave actionable advice on how businesses can better serve their users’ financial needs. Carry on reading for the key points or watch the video below.
Watch: The Financial App Experience at The Financial Gap with Codehouse
- Your customers today expect two things when it comes to digital: immediacy and full control. But not enough companies are giving their customers real-time insight into their personal banking. Or enough control over their financial services on-the-go. This is what drives the financial gap.
- In The Post-App Era, user expectations are skyrocketing. The MVP model is no longer enough, your finance app needs to delight your users from day one. Providing a task-focused, seamless, slippy UX that requires as little effort as possible.
- Don’t think about your finance app as the destination. Instead, think about it as a set of services that helps your customers achieve more straight away.
Mobile Financial Services Today
39 percent of adults with both mobile phones and bank accounts say they use using mobile banking. It’s convenient, accessible and secure. Because of this, 50 percent of transactions now happen on mobile. And as it becomes an increasingly integral part of our day to day, that number will only increase. For today’s connected customer, tailored journeys are no longer a competitive advantage. They’re an expectation.
And the secret to meeting your customers’ financial needs and expectations is mobile. Because finance apps are the perfect platform for connecting with your customers no matter where they are. Mobile apps are smarter than they’ve ever been. By 2022, they’ll know you better than your own family. And with this in-depth insight, you can create unique experiences for all your customers.
But, as it stands, too many businesses in the financial services sector are already falling far behind. Mobile solutions from major players are often slow and error-prone. As well as limited compared to their website counterparts. 38 percent of users today say they want faster mobile banking. This is why new challenger banks have found so much success with younger generations. So, how can you create the perfect user experience for your finance app?
We talked to Catherine Morgan, founder of The Money Panel, which was set up to bridge ‘The Money Confidence Gap’ between financial services and customers. And we asked her what role digital has in the future of financial services.
“Firms have the opportunity to harness the relationship they have with their clients by providing digital services. Embracing technology can enable them to expand their advice proposition and service the next generation of clients. Challenger banks are already strides ahead of high street banks, providing quick, useful insight into a customer’s own financial picture.
The emergence of automated house alarms, lighting and robots that can mow our lawns are just the tip of the iceberg. So why wouldn’t we embrace technology to improve our relationship with money? It helps to create better financial habits, receive greater insight and be more in control. Financial firms will also be able to engage with the clients’ entire financial picture deepening trust and service on a new level.”
– Catherine Morgan (The Money Panel)
Future of Finance App UX
During his talk, Paul explored what makes a good financial services mobile app. As we’ve said, personalisation is important. But another key thing to consider is post-app era interactions. The post-app era isn’t the end of apps but the evolution of them. Today, they can do so much more with less and less input from us. So, what does this mean for finance apps specifically?
Firstly, consistency is key. 73 percent of your customers say they’re likely to switch brands if they experience inconsistency between devices. This means that you need to tailor your service to every platform. Switching between devices should be seamless. But your customers won’t thank you for a consistent mobile user experience. It’s expected!
To delight them, you need to go beyond just the design of your finance app. Make the most of each device or platform and its features. For example, Natwest customers can use their geolocation to find their closest bank branches and cash points. We’re also seeing more and more finance apps integrating facial recognition software.
Paul identifies these features as ‘pro-active experiences’ and they may not seem like life-changing features to you. But by incrementally improving the UX of your finance app, you’ll encourage long-term loyalty among your customers.
Recommended reading: The Future of the Mobile App Experience
Artificial Intelligence for Finance Apps
Many of these smarter mobile interactions rely on artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). Which, when paired with device features, can create so much value for your customers and your business. As an example, let’s take a look at insurance apps. If one of your customers needs to report an insurance incident, then mobile is the perfect platform for this.
Through an in-app camera wizard, you could direct your customers through the evidence they need to record. Using computer vision and ML, your insurance app could automatically pick up essential info like number plates and even register car damage. So, through mobile and AI, you can improve your CX while giving you in-depth data for future reference.
One problem that businesses face is realising the benefit of such technology, which Catherine Morgan points out:
“Robo advice presents an amazing landscape of opportunity for the financial advice market. Some businesses are pretty agnostic on this subject despite using more and more everyday fintech themselves than they probably realise.”
Because while this may seem like a far reach from the current state of many finance and insurance apps, this is what you need to be thinking about. 75 percent of your customers think it’s crucial for companies to innovate. Focusing on delivering an MVP with your finance app is a sure fire way to alienate and drive away your customers. Mobile innovation is essential to the future of your financial services business.
To summarise, if you’re wondering what mobile means for your future, then ask yourself the following questions:
- Which of your customers’ specific tasks could you enhance or automate with a mobile app?
- How will you match your financial service offering across a range of platforms and devices?
- Which mobile-specific features could you take advantage of to improve your customer experience?
- As finance apps begin to do more with less, how will you change the way you measure the success of your mobile offering?
Innovate with Finance Apps
In the financial services sector, there are so many rules, regulations and restrictions in place. At large companies, there’s always a list of people who need to sign off or agree to every single project change. And existing legacy systems make movement slow. All this makes mobile app development slow. Which stifles innovation, leaving you with an outdated service offering that’s way behind your competition.
Most of all, though, this threatens your relationship with your customers and your brand image. 48 percent of your customers say they’re likely to switch provider if your finance app is a bad experience. So, if you don’t invest enough in mobile innovation, then you’re risking half of your customer base.
“A development in the UK financial planning market will leave the more traditional product selling advisers behind, with clients seeking greater transparency and value for money.
Any forward thinking financial planning firm should be assessing how they can add value to their client proposition every single day. But if we embrace this technology and harness the fintech opportunities, financial service companies will build a more profitable, sustainable business with added value and choice to their clients.”
– Catherine Morgan (The Money Panel)
We know innovating internally can be difficult at any large company, especially in financial services. But by working with an app development agency, you can set up a separate innovation lab for demos and interactive mockups. This means you can develop new products and trial solutions without any limitations. If you’re interested in what mobile can do for your financial services business, then give us a call on +44 (0)1737 45 77 88 today or send us a message through our contact form.
Recommended reading: The Digital Experience Gap in Financial Services (CodeHouse)
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