Customer insights & innovation central to future of finance

Providing a better customer experience is increasingly crucial for financial services organisations to drive a competitive advantage

The financial services industry is at the forefront of digital transformation. Today, providing exceptional digital experiences has become imperative for organisations to foster customer trust and loyalty and stand out from competitors – ultimately driving a competitive advantage.

However, despite the significant opportunities for the industry, most financial services organisations are still very early in their journey to adopt more modern UX practices. 

With this in mind, Maze, the continuous product discovery platform for user-centric teams, has published a study into the vital role of UX research in the financial services industry. According to the new report, The Future of Finance: Driving Digital Innovation Through Customer Insights, improving UX can elevate financial services experiences, deliver exceptional customer value,  and drive business innovation.

Personalisation, speed and security are key customer expectations

The digital revolution in financial services has not only changed how customers interact with financial institutions – from online to in-person and mobile interactions. Today’s more informed and tech-savvy customers have higher expectations when it comes to their financial products. 

As a result, delivering seamless experiences across all customer touchpoints is no longer just a nice-to-have. Customers are even willing to switch financial services providers to receive a better experience: in 2022, 25% of customers switched banks and over a third switched their insurers and wealth managers. 

The reason? User experience. Across all three financial sectors, Maze’s research found the desire for a better digital experience was the main driver for changing providers. 

Providing personalised experiences tailored to customers’ unique needs is another must-have for financial institutions. According to Maze’s report, 66% of consumers say they would stop using a brand if it didn’t provide personalised experiences. 

However, as the report shows, the key to success will be balancing personalisation with high levels of security. While customer data is necessary to personalise experiences, increased awareness of personal data security has made trust between providers and customers more crucial than ever.

“Navigating complex financial regulations and still creating simple and user friendly experiences, ensuring user data safety, and shaping intuitive, accessible financial apps that cater to all digital literacy and financial competence levels are some of the key UX challenges in finance and banking,” describes Sheila Maceira, Head of Design for Everyday Banking (Savings) at a leading UK-based financial services group.

Why delivering superior financial experiences is essential for business success

In a constantly-evolving landscape, the experiences financial services institutions provide to their customers are the key differentiator and represent a sizable opportunity for business growth. 

With advanced technologies like AI coming to the fore, Maze’s report highlights that banks and financial institutions must truly understand customer needs, deliver personalised experiences, and add value at each step of the customer journey to stand out from competitors. 

“The current AI revolution is changing the game for how we’ll build products, making it easier than ever for anyone to build an effective product," says Jonathan Widawski, Co-founder & CEO at Maze. “A company’s ability to build products fast is no longer a differentiating factor. Instead, what matters most is a company’s ability to adapt to changing user needs on an almost continuous basis.”

This UX success can be enhanced through mature research practices. UX research maturity measures the extent to which research activities are established and leveraged within an organisation. Data from Maze’s Research Maturity Report shows that companies that have reached the highest stage of research maturity achieve 2.3x better business outcomes, including reduced time-to-market, increased revenue, improved brand perception, and more active users.

“The role of UX is to be the voice of the customer in the journey of transformation and solution discovery,” comments Dylan Brits, Client Experience Designer at Capitec Bank. “From a business side, UX research also saves time and costs down the line and improves team culture. Research creates better solutions, better solutions create better wins, and better wins create better team cohesion.”

As the report found, most financial services firms are on their way to becoming research-mature but significant room to grow remains. When comparing average research maturity scores across different industries, financial services placed ninth out of ten sectors studied. 

As a result, banking and financial services providers have a unique opportunity to unlock UX research's full potential and successfully navigate the future of finance.

How Maze empowers organisations to unlock customer insights and drive financial services innovation

Maze empowers banking and financial service providers to create exceptional experiences, fueled by customer-driven insights and backed by strong security and compliance. With solutions for participant recruitment, product research, and reporting, Maze helps teams build the habit of continuous product discovery in a platform that enables everyone to run great research.

Learn how to create superior financial experiences that foster innovation and customer loyalty. Get The Future of Finance Report for free here.

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