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    2017 Trends in FinTech

    When it comes to any area of technology, one thing's for sure: it's ever changing and evolving. Financial technology, or fintech, is no exception. And while it can be tiring to keep up—let alone stay ahead—in the industry, we must do so, since falling behind quickly allows our competitors to gain ground. 

    Currently, we're seeing three major trends in fintech that your financial institution, no doubt, will want to take advantage of: 

    • Customer personalization

    • Mobile-first thinking

    • Growth of customer relationships

    Customer personalization

    We're all customers of somebody, and we all wish for our vendors to understand what we want/need and provide the right products at the best price possible. Customers of our financial institutions are no different. While in years past we focused on creating and providing financial products that we thought made the most sense for our members, our customers are now able to voice their preferences clearly, quickly, and directly online and via social media. This provides valuable customer feedback, and it also demands we listen and take action. If we don't keep customers' desires at the center of all our product development and decisions, there are a host of other financial institutions and new technology industry competitors who are happy to steal our customers' financial business away.

    One demand consumers are making across almost every industry is personalization. There's no reason to allow competitors to steal business by offering more specialization and customization of products. Here are a few ways to show customers your financial institution is happy to provide the personalization they desire.

    • Show that you care about your customers, their finances, and their future by offering financial and investment guidance and advice. Especially at transitional times, such as after a marriage or birth of a child, demonstrate that your financial institution recognizes these events and wants to help them save to meet future goals.

    • Offer customers the opportunity to show their personality and design flair by allowing them to upload an image for their debit and credit cards. Members will find this a memorable and fun benefit of doing business with your institution.

    • Make recommendations that will save your customers money. For example, if you have reason to think a customer is taking an international trip soon, suggest a payment method that will save on transaction fees.

    Mobile-first thinking

    It's clear by now that our financial institution customers, like almost everybody else in the country, are attached to their mobile phones and devices. With this attachment comes the expectation that they will be able to carry out all their financial tasks and requests through an application or mobile site, 24 hours a day. As we've already discussed, traditional bank competitors and technology firms offering payment apps and other specific digital applications are eager to assist today's customers if we do not meet their needs.

    To make sure your financial institution is competitive, you must not only offer mobile services, but you must also shift your institution's priorities. Mobile offerings, services, and financial content must be your first and top priority. If your institution allows customers to accomplish their financial tasks on their devices anytime, they'll have no reason to take their business elsewhere.

    Growth of customer relationships

    Collecting and using customer data has always been a little tougher for those of us in the financial industry, due to the numerous regulations we must abide by. Luckily, things are a bit easier these days. Customers routinely volunteer information about themselves and their preferences in online forums and social media posts, and generally, most customers are willing to part with some personal information in exchange for the personalized services they crave.

    When you combine easier access to customer information with the pervasiveness of mobile devices, you get new opportunities to use those devices for building and deepening customer relationships.

    • Upon learning of a major life event, such as a marriage or new child, send a timely message offering an appropriate service. For example, send educational information about college savings plans to a customer with a new child or a child starting school.

    • If a customer has borrowed money for a car recently, and they've opted in to receiving email communications from you (per CAN-SPAM laws), send helpful information about vehicle protection products

    • Ask for permission to send customers text messages. For those customers who agree, send useful reminders by text, like bank and credit card account alerts, payment reminders, or notices of services your institution offers, such as life insurance

    Unfortunately, especially in the world of financial technology, failing to keep up means sacrificing customers. Capitalize on these trends now to grow your existing relationships and make sure your financial institution is top of mind for new prospective customers!

    To learn more about trending topics in fintech and payments, check out our new ebook.

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