The Future of Banking UX

Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, Google and more importantly Sony, Tencent and Electronic Arts are redefining User Experience. As they do so, Customer Engagement has emerged as the number one priority for retail financial services companies according to the Economist’s Economic Intelligence Unit.

At the heart of the FAANG platforms is a recognition that there is nothing like novelty, fun and reward to keep people engaged. Quarterly or even monthly releases with a new money management feature, harvested from a innovation laboratory, is not enough to win. Apps must be  updated fortnightly if not daily and hourly and not just bug fixes. They must recognise core human needs of recognition and how the dopamine pump at the centre of our reward system works.

As the regulators do to banking what they did to utilities in the “One Big Switch” , if your app isn’t constantly evolving and changing how its relevant to you, you’ll be off as quick as you can to download an app that is and login using your PayId (Mobile Number)  for universal KYC.

New challenges, ways to meet, be recognised and valued rule the roost.

To achieve this level of novelty and engagement there  are two options:

1/People: Hire the smartest, most creative, designers to create a massive roadmap of features and bling and give these in priority order to the best engineers with robust, multi geo, cross platform, CI/CD tooling

2/ Intelligent Platforms that take the core principles of human behaviour and flow theory to provide a dynamic, data driven application, that personalises itself in real time based on the customer, their player archetype and priorities.

There are a number of frameworks to assist with those adopting the People strategy. These increasingly revert to the world of 4GL languages that aim to allow non engineers to build software. The idea is to get to “no” or “low” code environments .

The challenge with these tools has always been the inefficiency of the code (run time compile issues)  along with the ineffectiveness of the outcome (way too many compromises and limitations). Such frameworks are also not to be confused with cross platform development tools such as React and Flutter which have a lot of merit as will as the world of AI built software. such as GPT-3, where we can just ask to robots to do all the hard work.

A much smarter, adaptive and scalable solution is to use intelligent platforms. Such platforms allow product owners to work with their market to understand the very many ways a customer needs to go about their journey to mastery and provide them with an experience that increasingly recognises the experience that the customer wants or needs and serves that up, evolving intelligently over time. This is the power and promise of AI. Whilst AI today is primarily focused around operational efficiency, automating processes to increase accuracy and reduce cost, over time the robots will be deployed to work with customers inside the user experience, keeping the experience novel and engaging.

Big Tech, such as Ant Financial, Google and Facebook, are rapidly capturing share with this data and event driven model. As they do, and gather a rich war chest of data that Big Tech is integrating into every part of our lives and capitalizing on every aspect of real-time data insights. They’re becoming the “go-to” payments providers for many of us and as Google is showing, banking is next.

Data is not just for risk decisioning. The real prize is in engagement and this will be delivered by intelligent platforms that keep pace with the customer.

Exciting times

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