By the year 2030, financial services organisations will need to adopt a new customer experience strategy. This is the key finding of KPMG’s report 30 Voices on 2030: The Future of Financial Services, which interviews 30 individuals from across the FS sector (and beyond) with a view to reaching a consensus on what the industry will look like in 12 years’ time. One theme is strikingly clear: CX technology – and more specifically, artificial intelligence – will significantly affect the financial customer experience of 2030.

The displacement of big-name brands

Even in 2018, the winds of change are blowing in the world of FS. Independent payment platforms such as PayPal and Alipay are changing the way customers carry out online transactions. Similarly, web-based brands such as Monzo are developing digital solutions that pose serious challenges to other big-names; by 2030 it is predicted that these larger brands will have been displaced completely, with consumers engaging with a model of multiple platforms as opposed to investing all their time in one specific place.

In terms of CX management, KPMG’s research indicates that personalisation is one of the most effective ways to grow and sustain consumer loyalty, and this will continue to be the case in 2030. People who engage with FS brands will still expect their interactions to be tailored to their specific needs, but there won’t necessarily be a human being behind these moments. CX technology will have reached a point where machine learning is able to deliver the same result – perhaps in a more streamlined and efficient manner.

Clinc

Brands such as Clinc provide a tantalising insight into what an artificial intelligence-driven customer experience strategy could look like in 2030. It’s a brand that is predominantly focused on conversational AI with software that can be deployed across a number of different devices including smartphones and home speaker systems. The United Services Automobile Association (USAA) in the United States is one of the strongest CX brands in the world for financial services, and it recently teamed up with Clinc to deliver more refined AI technology to its customers.

“You can talk to it like it’s a person,” said Clinc’s founder and CEO Jason Mars. “It’s different from other chat bots on the market right now in that the user doesn’t have to remember specific ways to ask questions or speak any key words… We’ve never taught this thing a single rule. We’ve trained it with experience and examples.”[1]

Indeed, the demonstration video on Clinc’s website shows individuals engaging with the technology in a number of different scenarios. One user has a conversation with the AI via his Google Home device whilst cooking in the kitchen, and they discuss his recent financial transactions in detail. Another individual opens a credit card account by talking to her Amazon Echo Dot device, whilst relaxing in bed. In both instances, the technology demonstrates an ability to adapt to people’s changing thought processes, creating an experience that is user-led and unrestricted. Moreover, the activities are carried out in a seamless manner, removing barriers and eliminating frustration. The video also highlights the ‘platformication’ that will become the norm in 2030, with brands such as Clinc being able to work harmoniously with companies such as USAA and Google to deliver a functional and effective customer experience.[2]

Despite these advances, the human element will still be essential for optimum CX. Customers will need continual reassurance that there is a real person on-hand to assist where AI can’t, and brand employees will need to exude the same characteristics as their machine counterparts. Specifically, these colleagues must be sufficiently trained and empowered to adapt their interactions to the needs of the moment, and this is something that all FS brands will need to build into their CX. 

The time for investment

Nevertheless, there is no denying the importance of AI in the financial CX strategy of the future. One of the contributors to KPMG’s 30 Voices report is Charlotte Crosswell, the Chief Executive of Innovate Finance which is an industry body representing 250 fintech firms across the world. Her view on the future of artificial intelligence is clear.

“Artificial intelligence will eventually underpin everything,” she says. “We’re already seeing that now, but it’s just the beginning. Technology will allow consumers to make more informed choices and better understand what they’re looking for… Investments need to be made now in areas such as artificial intelligence. Management teams also need to think about how that’s going to affect jobs, skills, and training. Now is not the time to put your head in the sand and assume it’s not going to affect you. It’s going to affect everything within financial services.” 

Learn more from our industry experts and download the full report ‘30 Voices on 2030: The Future of Financial Services’.

 

[1] https://thefinancialbrand.com/66697/usaa-conversational-ai-voice-chatbot/

[2] https://www.clinc.com/personal-finance.html