2023 may go down in history as the year the tide started to change for fintech companies. What was once seen as a breeding ground for various startups with fast growth but uncertain longevity is now a bonafide industry, full of potential and set to stay. As McKinsey recently put it, the “decades of hypergrowth” have now led to “a new era of value creation, where the focus is on sustainable, profitable growth.”
Throughout 2023, we’ve been following these trends in the fintech space: automating recurring tasks, personalization customer engagement touchpoints, and anticipating customer needs before they’re realized. All three have been and will continue to be crucial for solidifying the footing of any fintech organization for years to come. Let’s take a closer look at how these trends shaped the trajectory of the fintech industry this past year.
If there was ever a now or never time to automate, that time is now. On the brink of an explosive AI boom, fintech companies are automating any and all recurring tasks to streamline and maintain efficiency—especially when it comes to tasks in the data management realm. Preparing data practices to be automated, reliable, and fast is a critical primer for any advanced AI endeavors later on. And if customers can’t expect to access their financial information via automated channels with your organization, they’ll be hard-pressed to trust any future innovations.
Additionally, IT automation in financial services is especially valuable as it can help organizations maintain better compliance and risk management practices with automatic flagging of fraudulent transactions or suspicious activity. This sort of efficiency drives not only better internal operations but also more trusting relationships with customers and partners.
Automation is critical and ever-present on the enterprise priority list. But personalization can’t be left behind in the rush to automate. Customers are still keen on personal, custom-made experiences that cater to their specific preferences, circumstances, and financial goals. And that’s exactly what distinguishes some of the top-performing fintech organizations from the rest of the herd.
Again, the frontier of AI looms large as a way to provide hyper-personalization throughout customer engagements at scale. But also once again, the caveat of getting your data practices in shape remains first and foremost. If one slip-up in the data matrices of your organization shows up in a customer’s experience, it can potentially make them question the reliability of the entire relationship with the app, service provider, or company at large. That’s why secure, widely adopted data practices are essential to making personalization click for all your customers.
Hand in hand with both automation and personalization is the overarching goal of consistently anticipating customer needs. This is where AI is perhaps of most interest for fintech leaders, as the assumption is that AI will help companies always keep a finger on the pulse of customer expectations and wishes—perhaps before even the customers themselves realize those needs.
This is a fantastic vision for any industry and a very possibility in the future. But the immediate discussions need to be practical about what truly can and can not be done right now and instead focus on preparing foundational technical architecture for more advanced integrations with AI later on. As we’ve addressed earlier this year, synthetic data remains the most promising use case for AI in the here and now for fintech organizations, especially for organizations not able to get a hold of their own customer data or with too many gaps. Synthetic data can be combined with your own data to create a powerful foundation of customer intelligence values to fuel anticipation of customer needs.
Of course, maintenance and cleanup of your own organic data is still a major priority to maintain customer personalization and privacy. With a tried and true data management strategy at the helm, and using the right cloud tools to house that data dynamically, your fintech organization can be on the cutting edge of customer anticipation operations.
Looking to drive your fintech org towards recurring, steady growth? Let’s talk and set up the technical architecture and data management practices for success together.