How fintech is transforming customer experience

Chirag Shah, founder and CEO of Nucleus Commerical Finance and Pulse.io

 

Fintech is transforming the customer experience for the better. Thanks to the latest advances in technology, the customer can now do everything from checking their balance to making payments in a matter of seconds, all at the click of a button.

Among the key drivers behind this digital revolution have been generative artificial intelligence (AI), mobile banking and the digital wallet. But even those technologies are starting to be superseded by new innovations that look set to shape the future of banking and finance.

One of the most significant developments in recent times has been the advent of AI and advanced predictive analytics, with companies planning to spend an additional $31 billion by 2025 on technology, according to Jones Lang LaSalle’s 2023 Banking and Finance Outlook. The technology is enabling customers to get better access to finance and manage their money more effectively using tools such as predictive insights to help them plan ahead.

AI also helps banks to improve their lending inclusivity and equip their customers with greater insights and personalised money management tools. By using real-time analytics and insights from transaction AI across their portfolio, they can better understand their customers’ needs and therefore serve them better.

Taking it a step further, generative AI virtual assistants and chatbots are now being used across the board to answer customer queries 24/7. Another application is for developing and rolling out personalised offers that meet the customer’s needs, such as cashback.

Benefits for SMEs

Fintech is making a huge difference in small and medium-sized enterprises’ (SMEs) day-to-day operations too. It makes it easier for them to set up recurring payments, as well as to gain access to finance, enabling the customer to make a loan application in minutes and receive a decision within a matter of seconds.

By using personalised dashboards that provide data-driven insights, SMEs can also make better informed critical business decisions. With wider access to data, they can run more targeted marketing campaigns and acquire more customers too. They can also benchmark against industry standards and their competitors more easily.

Inflation assessment

AI is also being used to pre-empt the impact of inflation and rising prices on customers and, thus, enable them to manage their money more smartly. That makes the lending process easier for lenders, from carrying out income verification and affordability assessments of applicants to supporting existing customers who are struggling with repayment or have defaulted.

When combined with open banking, AI models can examine a consumer’s financial history by looking at much wider data sets than most traditional credit-scoring algorithms currently used, thus broadening the basis on which scoring and lending decisions are made. That provides access to finance for those who couldn’t obtain it before based on credit reference agency data alone, such as gig economy workers or people without an established credit history.

Finance management tools

Banks are also enabling customers to better manage their money using self-service tools such as saving pots and in-app budgeting capabilities to help them control their spending.

Customers also want to feel that their banks are looking after them and providing them with the support they need, particularly during these economically uncertain times. By providing services like budgeting and personal finance management tools, and giving them a broader view of their finances so they can make better financial decisions, banks and fintechs are able to build greater trust and loyalty among their customers.

In addition, digital wallets and ecards have simplified and made the payment process frictionless. Apps enable the user to do everything on their smartphone, including activating physical and virtual cards and ordering new ones, viewing transactions in real-time and transferring money seamlessly.

Rise of embedded finance

Another game changer is embedded finance and open APIs. Many non-financial businesses now offer financial products via their apps, for example, allowing end users to book and pay for a taxi in one place, which has allowed companies to add new revenue streams and foster greater customer loyalty.

But in order for all these technologies to function effectively, the quality and availability of relevant data is key. By scrutinising data from all parts of the payment process, including cards, bank accounts and payment systems, AI can recommend what customers want, enabling banks and other finance providers to build their products around these requirements.

Customers are also becoming more willing to share their data as they realise the benefits of their overall payment experience. That has meant more data is available for businesses to provide a more personalised customer payment journey.

Better financial control

The bottom line is that all of these fintech tools are enabling customers to manage their finances better than ever before. But the technology is only as good as the data that it uses and if it provides a solution that’s relevant to the consumer’s needs.

By providing a service that’s specific to the user, these applications have the potential to take banking to a new level. And as the gap between the physical and digital journey continues to close, so the customer outcome is improved too.

In order for banks to remain relevant in the long term, they must unify the customer journey across both physical and digital channels. Technology is the key to addressing their needs and preferences, as well as ensuring customer loyalty.

 

 

Chirag Shah, founder and CEO of Nucleus Commerical Finance and Pulse.io has over 20 years of experience in the financial services industry and a deep understanding of the needs of UK SMEs.

In 2011, he founded Nucleus, a leading alternative finance provider, to offer flexible and tailored solutions for SMEs across various sectors and stages of growth. With an understanding of the challenges that UK SMEs face in the current economic climate, Chirag launched Pulse in October 2022, a free-to-use service that helps businesses and accountants gain insights into financial performance with AI-powered data visualisation and personalised dashboards. Chirag is not only committed to driving growth and innovation in the UK business ecosystem, but he’s also helping SMEs better understand their data to boost their profitability and guide them towards success.

 

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