The financial services industry is at a precipice. Now, while settling into changes that were rapidly introduced under pandemic settings, organisations are looking ahead to support customers through an extraordinary period of change.
Priorities and plans identified over the coming months will shape the entire nature of the industry in the future.
Last year, when we surveyed our financial services clients, they identified multiple pressures: fast tracked digital agendas, changing workplace and macroeconomic concerns, the fallout from the Royal Commission and ongoing regulatory burdens.
In this year's survey, many of those challenges remain. Regulatory requirements are demanding and complex. Retaining and acquiring talent is a challenge. And digital transformation is even more of a focus. Organisations identified its risks as a major concern, as well as the impact of crypto changes and big tech.
Despite their concerns though, financial institutions have a strong focus on making their customers' and the community's experiences better. Two means to this end are technology and ESG considerations.
We explore the key findings our survey identified.
Financial Services in Focus survey findings
Finding 1: Financial institutions' focus on technology is primarily to make their customers' experiences better
In last year's survey, 92% of respondents found that their customers had increased their interaction with their existing digital platforms since March 2020 – and a third of respondents said significantly so.
This year, customers continue to be the focus as organisations take the next steps in their digital transformation.
When considering what would give financial services organisations a competitive advantage for consumers and investors, the largest group identified service affordability and accessibility as most important – 31%. And according to our research, technology is central to that.
70% said that, in order to give them a competitive advantage, they would like to streamline existing systems. Investing in new technology or developing their own was also a priority.
In addition, of those who said they were looking to invest in new technology, 86% said they are interested in automating processes, 71% in streamlining customer experiences and 64% in making customer or employees' experiences more mobile.
"For financial services organisations, technology is fundamental in transforming and enhancing customer experiences – and the journey is only just beginning. Key to this is driving change in customer behaviour. Building trust, protecting privacy and safeguarding against cyber risk are critical ingredients." Michael Lawson