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Mintel Comperemedia has today (December 11, 2018) announced four trends set to lead the momentum of the US and Canadian financial services industries in 2019.

The ‘Platformification’ of Financial Services

Innovators in the financial services industry are moving toward a seamless, one-stop-shop approach to service and engagement through the use of digital platforms that bring products and services together in a unified experience.

As the financial services industry looks for frictionless ways for consumers and small businesses to engage with their money, there will be a marked shift toward the “platform” approach to digital engagement, creating a more complete digital experience. Expect to see more financial services marketers communicating a holistic digital presence to offer convenient navigation between financial accounts.

“Today, the financial services industry is fully entrenched in the digital age as consumer expectations for convenient and frictionless digital access continue to grow. However, technology is not the only factor disrupting the industry; the need for customer-centric experiences is driving every transaction and touchpoint. Looking ahead, we expect to see more emphasis on customers’ accessibility to their entire financial profile and accounts in one digital ecosystem rather than creating new, stand-alone apps,” said Lily Harder, Senior Director, Marketing Strategy, at Mintel Comperemedia.

Mind, Body, and Wallet

Financial marketers are finding new and creative ways to tap into everyday emotions, connecting the dots between a consumer’s mind, body, and wallet.

A combination of improved health tracking capabilities and the growing awareness of mental wellbeing is changing the way consumers want to engage with their finances. Consumers are becoming more comfortable talking about their feelings, even to strangers. At the same time, advancements in artificial intelligence and machine learning are making it easier for financial providers to be a part of the conversation. Expect to see more marketing strategies focused on tying emotions to managing one’s personal finances.

“The holistic approach to wellness will continue to include new and different elements of self-care. In 2019, reducing financial stress will be a growing focus for brands across many industries, especially financial services. As Mintel research shows that debt and financial management is a primary source of stress for roughly half of consumers, acknowledging the connections between a consumer’s mind, body, and wallet can effectively communicate the value financial services providers place in their customers and help drive satisfaction and brand loyalty,” continued Harder.

The New Reality of Rising Rates

In today’s rising-rate environment, the consumer mindset around debt is shifting and financial services marketers will have to adjust their strategies to incorporate new value propositions, updated messaging, and adjusted targeting efforts.

Financial services marketers will be challenged over the next year with navigating post-recession consumer attitudes toward debt and the macroeconomic effects of rising interest rates. In 2019, expect to see a growing focus on the impact of rising interest rates, transparency in lending, and innovative new value propositions. Ancillary products and services will also play a role, focusing on saving and preparing for the unexpected.

“As rates continue to rise, personal loan offers may fall in volume, but lending solutions such as installment loans and point-of-sale financing will shift the market toward time-sensitive sources of credit. Lenders will be cautious of the overall creditworthiness of customers, especially those negatively impacted by a market correction. And a shifting focus back to savings products will bring marketing conversations back to high-yield savings accounts and the ongoing rate war,” added Harder.

B2B Above and Beyond

Financial services providers are stepping up their product and service offerings for small and micro-businesses, representing a shifting mindset toward innovation in the business-to-business (B2B) relationship.

The financial needs of small businesses are becoming increasingly complex and loyalty in small business banking is up for grabs. Small business owners present a dual opportunity for financial services providers to address their needs as consumers and proprietors of organizations that need support. Expect to see financial services marketers more focused on innovations in mobile-first B2B relationship enhancements as a way to promote loyalty through increased engagement and more meaningful touchpoints.

“Consumer confidence in entrepreneurship is bringing a renewed interest in the needs of small businesses. While this area of financial services has always lagged behind consumer retail banking in terms of innovation, in 2019, we expect to see new growth with digital-first solutions that will help future-proof the small-business relationship and take it from standard to standout,” concluded Harder.

Interviews with Lily Harder, Senior Director, Marketing Strategy, are available on request from the press office.