Technology is bringing about one of the biggest storms to hit civilisation as we know it, the Digital Age, leaving in its wake significant changes to the way we engage in our daily activities and carry out our jobs.
Financial Services is fast approaching the eye of the ‘digital storm’. It’s hard not to get lost in the plethora and excitement of it all with FinTech, Big Data, robo-advice and Chatbots all making their debut.
Established financial service organisations preferring to wait out the storm in the hope that it passes, will very shortly find their business being buffeted by organisations standing out in the open field, embracing the storm head on with conducting rods in their hands.
Like it or not, this storm isn’t passing.
Although initially behind the FinTech curve, not only is the UK financial services catching up to the rest of the world in developing and providing automated financial services, but having learnt from early international adopters, in some cases are already showing signs of leading edge superior functionality.
With an actively engaged, forward thinking, and pro-digital government and regulatory body you can safely bet on the UK continuing to make great waves into automating financial services.
The main driver for government in automating financial services is to engage the mass market in saving for their future.
The diagram below identifies the key steps a consumer should go through on the journey towards building a sustainable and successful ‘Financial Life’.
Multiple studies identify one of the greatest causes of human stress, ill health and unhappiness is the lack of knowledge of how to manage income, expenditure and debt.
Our analysis highlights a glaring failure within most of the market is the lack of focus on assisting the consumer in managing these three components, in order to help them prepare for longer term savings.
For consumers, managing their finances can involve making some of the most important and challenging decisions of their lives, yet they frequently do not have the means to understand the information on which such decisions should be based, nor do they have support in making the right choice.
While the UK is churning out a significant number of low cost investment propositions (step 6), our analysis identifies a gaping hole in the market. This presents a real danger that new services may not penetrate the mass market. These consumers do not currently have either the financial education or the financial means to embrace these low cost automated investment propositions.
We crawled before we walked, before we ran. Each of us went on a personal journey, taking our bumps and bruises along the way, before we were able to run.
So too is this true in our financial life.
To assist consumers actively engage in their long term savings goals (step 6) it is imperative that we take them on a journey from the very beginning and assist them in dealing with their finances of today.
© F&TRC 2016