Always in Beta - Rethinking Banking

Always in Beta – Rethinking Banking
Samantha Ghiotti, Director & Founder, Anthemis

Ms. Ghiotti’s presentation examined trends among “digital native” consumers and what financial institution can do to connect, attract and retain consumers. To obtain these insights, Ghiotti founded an open platform for the study of consumers’ behaviour and preferences across geographies among a consortium of six banks.

In conversations with digital natives in London, Dublin, Istanbul, Cape Town and Mexico City, Ghiotti’s group gained insights about consumers’ expectations of financial services in the future. First, digital native consumers should be characterised by their attitude towards technology rather than by their age. They live a highly fragmented life, with multiple options and discontinuities, which makes traditional financial products less suitable to them. Furthermore, digital natives map their life cycle as a decision tree, with a number of short term decisions supporting a long term goal. The challenge for financial services providers is to design products that fit these decision making processes.

Samantha’s team identified three types of attitudes towards technology among digital natives. Some showed compliant behaviour: They saw technology as being there to help, so they think it should be simple. Others can be classified as hackers who are eager to form an understanding of how the machine works. What they care about is a product whose inner workings they can see and understand. Then there are anarchists,who have a conflict-laden relationship with technology and don’t trust anything. This group exhibits an inherent desire to zone out from products and services in the financial space.

Looking into the future, financial services providers should pay greater attention to the changing attributes and demands of the customers they are serving and design products that fit their fragmented lifestyles.