Were my team and I to select one phrase that will be fundamental to financial services this year, “Back to basics” is our uber prediction. In an environment of high interest rates and inflation — with uncertainty on where the economy is going — we have compiled a handful of basic tenets we feel certain will be key drivers in 2023.
Here, then, top trends on which banks and asset management company leaders may wish to stay focused, especially as they relate to product and offer lifecycle management.
BUNDLING AND RELATIONSHIP PRICING
Bundling of products with relationship pricing will become a “Must Have,” not just a “Nice To Have” component. Fully 90% of the financial institutions we work with have projects on the books for managing their offers that help build on the relationship.
ACQUIRING LONG-TERM CUSTOMERS
Unsustainable customer acquisition strategies will become less prevalent as cheap capital dries up.
An overview of 2022 Q3 trends in financial technology (fintech), published by CB Insights* reported a 38% quarter over quarter (QoQ) decline in global fintech funding, matching 2020 Q4 levels. As this equates to a year over year decline, it seems clear financial technology firms (fintechs) will have to compete on customer experience and product value.
MORE TARGETED PRODUCTS
Expect more innovative products that are fine-tuned for each segment.
As an example, Citi for the longest time had one cash back product called Double Rewards. Now they have another called Custom Cash which offers up to 5% in certain categories. Similarly, Wells Fargo has Active Cash Card, and Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card, among others.
Expect more of this as the number of new, innovative, and tightly targeted products that financial institutions are creating continues to increase. Some of these products allow users to choose categories and percentage cash back with multiple cards and offer levels, while others offer rewards in the form of travel or points.
The increase in the number and types of offers presented calls for an increase in the use of technology — to automate and improve the offer management system. Innovative platform technology is in place to meet the growing needs of banks, their customers and regulators in this fast-paced, ever-changing environment. As I wrote in an end of year article, “On Fed Policy, Risk Management and Improving Disclosures,” change continues to be a constant in finserv, and managing disclosures with automation is key to driving growth amidst the many unknowns ahead in 2023.
IMPROVING EXPERIENCES FOR THE CUSTOMER AND THE EMPLOYEE
Customer experience investments will continue to increase but with an added focus on improving the employee experience.
It is no good to deliver a great customer experience if your team feels like hamsters on a treadmill as they work to deliver a great customer experience. In a recent conversation with a leading payment company, their team told us they have close to 100+ steps and 30 systems which they have to touch just to get an offer out to the market.
Improving the customer experience while improving the employee experience can both be achieved with automation that improves the complete life cycle of offer management.
MANAGING RISK BY DOING DISCLOSURES BETTER
There will be higher scrutiny by the regulators, so get your house in order.
One area that we feel is a ticking time bomb for most financial institutions is their disclosure process. In most of the financial institutions who reach out to us for support with automating and improving offer management processes, we find that almost all parts of their disclosure process is completely manual, and not tied to the product, with separate processes for each channel. This is a significant area of risk and we are seeing an increasing number of fines being levied by SEC, CFPB and other regulators.
A well managed program has a methodology to manage the complete process from impact analysis to delivery into the channel.
After the craziness of the last few years, we see 2023 as a good year for financial institutions to focus on projects that help improve their business materially — chiefly, delivering better returns, improving efficiency — all while reducing risk.