Interfacing with the future
Technological capability is blossoming behind the scenes and while the financial services industry has been accused of being slow to adopt some of the more leading-edge technologies, all that is changing thanks to the transformative success of enhanced user experience. Michael Gordon, FNZ’s Head of User Experience, explores the interface.
The power of the smart device
Understanding the way technology interfaces with consumers obviously means understanding apps, smartphones and tablets. It’s clear that hand-held is king; paper doesn’t even exist as a concept for post-millennial savers who want to interact with service providers.
Financial services have perhaps lagged behind other service providers and industries when it comes to adopting the newest interfaces – where’s our Uber or our Airbnb? But any lag is no huge surprise when you consider the high levels of regulation in our markets. There are few opportunities to start again with a blank sheet, while the risks involved in taking care of other people’s savings are significantly higher than not being able to grab a ride to the airport on time.
But as millennials grow up, earn and start to think about saving, it’s time to look outside industry norms. Some of the smaller start-ups that started to emerge around five years ago – some bank-funded, some the inspiration of bedroom entrepreneurs – successfully grasped this, helped of course by their agility as a start-up, and the chance to build a completely fresh interface. But can their slick servicing ever stack up against years’ of experience from investment platform providers with in-depth knowledge of clients, consumers, risk and regulation?
Understanding the UX
Financial services providers now have an opportunity to redesign the user experience from top to bottom, using wealth management technology to focus on three main areas.
The moment a client commits to putting their money in your hands can never be understated. That’s why the onboarding process is one of the most important steps in establishing trust. The journey has to be simple, slick and faultless – nothing should ever sow seeds of doubt. The goal here is simple UX, integrated with the provider’s marketing site. Customers should be able to sign-up, make decisions, prove their identity and fill out their payment details within minutes. Using third-party providers like Experian or MyInfo for ID checks means a full, rounded digital experience is within your grasp. New biometric technologies and things like human recognition systems can also build that all-important trust.
Customers who do more with you engage more deeply – that’s why all providers want their customers to do more than load funds and check their balance a couple of times a year. This is where advice kicks in: using artificial intelligence to answer questions like ‘am I doing the right things with my cash?’ and ‘are my investments right for where I am in my life?’ builds relationships and trust. Remember customers want reassurance about their money – they’re actively looking to be engaged.
Gamification is an important part of the engagement toolbox. The concept is simple – make users feel they’re on an engaging, reward-rich journey. This is about using future technology and gamification technique to capture, support and stick with investors, giving them the great advice they need to plan their financial lives through good times and bad.
Financial services providers now have an opportunity to redesign the user experience from top to bottom, using wealth management technology as the catalyst...
Use the innovation
Biometrics are now much easier to add to fintech investment platforms. Human recognition systems like facial and voice recognition can all be delivered through neat plug-ins, creating secure and seamless interactions. Blockchain technology can also be used to support secure user interfaces, but the hottest topics are AI and predictive analytics. Identifying investing traits and spending habits, then making suggestions for micro-enhancements is the next frontier.
Imagine this possible future scenario: you wake up and reach for your phone. Two messages pop up – one suggesting you may need to rebalance your portfolio, another reminding you that tomorrow is your sister’s birthday. Voice recognition takes you to your fund, where you see a simple, clear dashboard of results and recommendations. You change funds with a verbal prompt, redeem some membership points while you’re at it, then move to the next site to buy your sister a birthday present with your points. Simple, seamless, slick and very much part of your daily life.
Quality is king
One final thought: if we want users to trust our services they have to be immaculate – we have to obsess about quality, be rigorous about how we use information and passionate about the experience we deliver. You wouldn’t build a bike you wouldn’t ride or a car you wouldn’t drive, so why create an investment platform you wouldn’t trust with your own money? We can help you transform your user journey.