In a month that saw PokemonGo, the augmented reality game, absorb 15 million people into chasing success through the streets of their cities and setting new records for download and adoption rates, it was only right that we should hear from the future trend setters in financial services: FinTeens or millennials involved in financial technology.
Millennials often trailblaze the path of technology adoption. That is why their views are so valuable. Tools now widely used started amongst younger people: Facebook started as a campus network in American universities and now has 1.65bn* users, and newer platforms are quickly catching up such as WhatsApp with more than 1bn users and Snapchat with more than 100m users a day. There are three factors making millennials trailblazers: they jump seamlessly from tech to tech, app to app; they adopt new digital tools with phenomenal ease and speed, and the reduction in technology costs has made available to them solutions previously reserved for high end consumers.
Not being so hung up on cutting edge technology, focussing on older or vulnerable customers and capitalising on the trust built by brands over hundreds of years may not be the advice you’d expect some of the youngest and most dynamic talents in FinTech to offer, but this was exactly what they did when the tables were turned and the FinTeens took centre stage at Lloyds Banking Group’s FinTech Week 2016 event, one of its ‘Espresso Martini’ panel events.
Representing the breadth of experience and expertise embodied across the London FinTech community, four unassuming panel members were plucked from the 200 strong crowd.
“We may not read the T’s and C’s but we still expect companies to adhere to their moral duty and only share our data if we give express permission.”
Data, and how it is managed by banks and more broadly, provided the FinTeens with much to debate. There was consensus that the personal financial data of individuals is ultimately ‘owned’ by those individuals but that banks have a role to continue to act as custodians of that data and use it in accordance with the permissions of their customers.
Lukas Zoerner, CEO of moBILLity, made the point that aggregating and analysing data from different parts of a customer’s life can be used to create compelling new services which benefit the customer. For example using data from banking and utility companies can help customers identify opportunities to save money easily and effortlessly.
“A contactless phone charger is seen by some millennials as life-changing: we actually live in a world where the process of connecting a phone to a socket to charge now has too much friction.”
Through the eyes of the panel the future is set to be one of greater collaboration between FinTechs and banks. Ensuring that organisations don’t focus too much on their younger audiences will be key to ensuring digital improvements have the greatest impact. “It’s important that banks look at people currently in their forties and fifties now to make sure they remain part of the journey and aren’t left behind as the use of technology evolves,” noted one panel member. Using artificial intelligence and other capabilities within all channels of interactions rather than making mobile even more cutting edge was one way that the FinTeens suggested this could be achieved.
“Tech based companies are the ones that will be best placed to make the leap into financial services, although I suppose all companies have to be ‘tech companies’ now to survive.”
The discussion finished where it started, on trust. The most significant factor in the organisations that people will choose to do business with, regardless of when they were established, the sector that they started in and how they have evolved, will be whether or not people have the confidence that they can trust them.
For Daniel Peled Founder & CEO at PayKey, a solution that “makes sending money as easy as sending an emoji”, banks need to innovate or bring in good innovation from FinTech to continue to leverage the historical trust afforded upon them by customers.
Ed Thurman, Lloyds Banking Group Ambassador for London said: “Turning the tables and hearing from the youngest people in the room was extremely refreshing. London is home to a diverse and evolving FinTech community and there is no doubt that many of today’s FinTeens will go on to become the future leaders of financial services. With a view that the landscape will continue to transform, it was reassuring to hear the panel talk about the trust that they have in banks and also reflecting our own position on the customer benefits that will result from increased collaboration between banks and FinTech in the future.”
Espresso Martinis are monthly FinTech panel events hosted by the LBG Innovations Labs at Lloyds Banking Group. These events are open to the FinTech community via a Meetup.com group. These events are often in collaboration with another Meetup group and topics have included open FinTech APIs, intrapreneurship, data and gamifying savings and the most recent ‘FinTeens’ panel. These sessions are a great opportunity to hear the latest thinking and network across the FinTech ecosystem.
*As of Q1 2016, Facebook has 1.65 billion monthly active users