European demand for digital in financial services is growing

According to an analysis carried out by Fujitsu, a third of consumers are willing to give up banks and insurance companies not interacting with advanced technologies. There’s more. Google, Facebook and Amazon are already considered as viable alternatives

Published on 01 Jun 2016

No more excuses for banks and insurance carrier holding back in their digitalization processes: consumers are ready and confident, and definitely wants the digitalization of financial services. And there is no problem to consider tech company such as Google, Amazon or Facebook as the next provider of such services, if the opportunity arose.

This is what emerges by an analysis carried out for Fujitsu (the ICT Japanese giant) at European level between 7,000 consumers surveyed online aimed precisely to understand the habits of consumers and their opinions about the current financial services sector.

The results are clear enough, just mention an element: one third of the sample (37%) threatening to abandon those providers that may no longer continue to offer up to date technology.

Despite a preponderant part represented by the 44% of consumers still use cash, new digital payment methods are rising to the fore: the 32% already pays through mobile devices, 22% has taken wearable technologies and, even, already 20% uses cryptocurrency, particularly in Eastern Europe where the latter is used by 44% of respondents.

“The customer today is more reluctant facing the novelty,” said Francois Fleutiaux, Senior Vice President and Head of Sales, EMEIA Fujitsu. “However, it is willing to embrace innovation when it adds convenience for interaction. The customer can ignore it until it is offered, but this is the way in which technology comes to the fore: is the boost in consumer expectations, and the financial sector should be up to this new pace of change “.

Among consumers has already occurred in essence a change in expectations towards the financial services provider and a greater willingness to buy from them an even greater number of proposals relating to services that do not constitute the core business of the same, for example, one respondent in three said it was ready to consider the possibility of extending the relationship up to purchase energy for its own home; the same percentage is interested in the storage services of personal data, while 30% would be willing to buy broadband services from the bank or insurance company.

This consumer openness is also reflected on the issue of data sharing. 97% of those surveyed have no objection if banks and insurance companies use personal data to offer a wider range of services, in particular:

* Nearly three out of five persons (59%) would be happy if their own providers would use the personal information to lower the mortgage payments

* Almost half (47%) of consumers would be willing to let banks and insurance companies use their own data to get in exchange advice on interesting products and services

* More than two out of five (44%) would like their data were used by insurance carriers and banks to be advised of spending habits and get useful advice

* More than a third (36%) would like their data were used by banks or insurance companies to update their personal credit rating

The downside, for traditional financial providers, is that the same digital acceptance of innovation drives consumers to non-traditional competitors: a fifth of respondents in fact stated its readiness to purchase banking or insurance services from potential alternative providers such as Google, Amazon or Facebook.

The perspective from which today’s consumers look to financial services has thus become digital first, and in this respect should not forget in the fintech field the challenge of startups.

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