Breaking inertia in financial services – the expert view

At the beginning of July, we invited experts from banks, insurers and fintechs to join us in examining this perennial question for financial services:
 
What will it take to break customer inertia?

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Despite a sharp increase in new products and providers, a more progressive attitude from the regulator and the explosion of fintech into the mainstream, consumers are not feeling the benefit.  Few are feeling anything at all. These are the facts:
 
Fintech is a movement for change.
Inertia is the enemy of change.
Customers are not moving.
 
As experts in customer experience and advocates of digital as a powerful change agent, this position of stalemate is an irresistible challenge for True.
 
We believe that putting the customer at the heart of innovation and applying insight and understanding into how people are really feeling about money can spark game changing ideas.
 
So our agenda got straight to the point, asking our expert audience:   
 
Why is inertia so common?
What are the contributing behaviours or motivations?
Where in the customer journey does inertia have the greatest impact?
Is the industry confident of what is myth and what is reality?
 
Our Head of Strategy and event chair James Caig explains more. 


Together we learned three things:
 
  1. The sector assumes too much about how well people understand unfamiliar financial concepts, and who they might be for.  As a result even new services underline traditional perceptions of risk, causing people to self-select out of the market.
 
  1. For most, financial products are necessary, not desired. While lowering entry points (such as low minimum investment levels, or trials of new services) can help, the sector is still in incremental mode, and hasn’t yet found the radical approach that might unlock the motivation of the majority.  Finance needs its ‘killer app’.
 
  1. There is a great deal of energy spent on the need for customers to do something, but very little awareness of the real cost of doing nothing. We’re all subject to ‘status quo’ bias, and in finance we weigh the reward of change against the effort of making it happen. People need a more tangible sense of why they should switch, and a simple process to do so.
 
We’ll be expanding on these findings in our next post, but if you can’t wait, we’d love to hear from you! Get in touch with Bertie.