WhatsApp for digital financial services
In light of the ever-increasing popularity of social media messaging channels amongst young people, and following Facebook's recent acquisition of WhatsApp, David Webber examines the implications for financial service providers.
In light of the ever-increasing popularity of social media messaging channels amongst young people, and following Facebook’s recent acquisition of WhatsApp, David Webber examines the implications for financial service providers.
The way young people want to engage with their financial service provider is changing. According to recent research by Intelligent Environments, more than six in ten (61 per cent) 18-30 year old financial services customers are demanding social media style customer service messaging, equivalent to nearly seven million people. Furthermore, seven in ten (69 per cent) 18-30 year olds never call their financial services provider, while according to vouchercloud, one in six has never even visited their own bank branch.
On the other hand, as many as four in ten (43 per cent) would like to speak to an advisor over a video call when they have a customer service question – a service currently offered by Amazon.
As consumers increasingly shun traditional forms of communication, the push towards digital omni-channel solutions is an important consideration for financial services providers. It’s no longer just about a choice between mobile banking, tablet banking or online banking. Financial service customers no longer have single channel preferences, they want to interact through a variety of digital channels.
The majority of Britons now manage their finances online. Therefore, financial services providers need to look at ways to tune into consumer demand with the forms of communication already being used by their technologically-savvy customers. As Simon Mainwaring, social media guru and founder of We First, puts it: "The new dynamics between brands and consumers, driven by social media, are proving to be a powerful impetus for change".