The financial services world of 2030 could look very different from today’s - that is the conclusion of a new report from KPMG which considers the views of 30 FS experts and paints a picture of what the sector could look like in 12 years’ time. Titled 30 Voices on 2030, the report theorises that the ‘big brands’ as they are currently known may have disappeared from existence, with a new practice of ‘platformication’ in place that will change the shape of customer journey mapping.

Just how likely is this scenario, and is it a future that the larger brands of 2018 need to prepare for?

Understanding journey mapping

In 2018, customer journey mapping in the financial services sector is often encased within the framework of a specific brand. A large bank, for example, may offer a range of financial services that can be accessed via its website, its bespoke smartphone app, over the telephone or perhaps in one of its branches. The process of journey mapping measures the moments of delight and the moments of pleasure from the time the person first reaches out to the point at which they reach their goal. Indeed, there is great value in this process; finding ways to surprise and delight customers is a prerequisite of CX best practice, and it can foster loyalty and advocacy, and drive revenue growth.

Platformication

However, whilst journey mapping will doubtless be necessary in 2030, it’s predicted to take on a different shape. According to some of the voices in the KPMG report, the bigger brands will no longer be as self-contained as they are today. Instead of offering a ‘one-stop shop’ of in-house services, these FS brands will act as platforms through which customers can access various solutions from niche providers to satisfy the needs of the moment. For example, one bank may host a voice recognition service which enables people to carry out transactions via their home speaker devices. This same bank may also host a service that enables money to be transferred via text message on a smartphone. These services would be provided by independent brands, with all of them interlinked to create a seamless journey.

As such, getting this process right will be one of the biggest challenges facing brands in the financial services sector. Measuring the ‘emotional hotspots’ that can impact customer loyalty will be a complicated and more collaborative procedure, requiring brands to work together harmoniously for the betterment of the individual.

Artificial intelligence

Moreover, fewer of the touchpoints in 2030’s customer journeys will be managed by human beings. It’s predicted that a large proportion of them will be handled by artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), with services such as robo-advice rendering traditional relationship management redundant. It’s the consumers who will drive this change, though; FS brands will be expected to deliver a service whereby a person can ask their smartphone a question about a particular transaction and receive an instant autonomous reply.

That being said, it’s also predicted that the human dimension of customer journeys will continue to play a role, albeit a reduced one. Some brands may maintain a presence on the high street in order to fulfil their commitments in customer communities, and indeed a select number of individuals will be on-hand to deal with any complaints or enquiries that require manual intervention. 

Another consequence of these changes will be an increase in the range of customers who are able to access financial services. With technological innovation having reduced the cost to serve, the FS industry will be free to invest in the needs of those who had previously been excluded, including vulnerable people and smaller enterprises.

No more “walled gardens”

“Everyone’s going to be a platform company, or have a platform type element to their business, which

means you have to run with the hare and hunt with the hound,” says Adam Grant, Executive Director of the cloud business 9 Spokes. “In some cases, you can have an exclusive relationship; in others, you’re going to have a relationship where they are both a competitor and a friend. The days of a walled garden around your business are probably gone.”

As such, those brands that continue with the “walled garden” approach are indubitably at risk of being considered unnecessary by 2030, with time-poor consumers opting to seek out services that can address their needs in a more efficient manner. Being conscious of the renewed form of journey mapping that will accompany this change is be the key to survival in the financial services sector.

 

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