Mary Meeker’s 2016 Internet Trends: Fintech Takeaways

From Mary Meeker’s 2016 Internet Trends Report, here are the top 5 digital trends that the fintech industry can’t afford to miss.

In the last few years, fintechs have gained an edge over traditional financial services firms by rethinking what it means to obtain and connect with their clients. For some consumer-focused fintechs, innovations in marketing, branding and customer service have been just as important as advances in the underlying product. But regardless of product, all financial service providers have extremely high customer lifetime values. As such, they spend a proportionate amount of money to obtain new clients through marketing and advertising.

Even after the customer “hook,” fintech firms must keep their existing clients engaged and satisfied with a top-notch product. Otherwise, they risk losing them to the more tech-savvy competition. Product slip-ups are expensive, so staying up to speed in the digital landscape is a top priority. Here are the top digital trends for fintech to look out for in 2016:

1. Advertisers need to go mobile.

Screen Shot 2016-06-06 at 4.44.47 PM.pngAdvertisers still spend disproportionately on legacy media, such as print and TV, even as the amount of time spent on these platforms plummets. Today, mobile devices represent just 12% of industry ad spend, even though they usurp 25% of all time spent across media, and this number continues to grow as Gen Y rejects the TV and desktop in favor of their smartphones. The mobile ad spend opportunity represents $22 billion in the United States alone.

2. Text is out, images and videos are in.

More so than ever, a picture is worth a thousand words. Generation Z communicates primarily in images and videos, not text. These are the kids who grew up with emojis and GIFs. As social networks like Snapchat and Facebook move towards video-centric product experiences, their audiences begin to expect the same effortless product experience elsewhere, and fintechs will need to adjust their products to be more audiovisual, and less text heavy.

3. Voice is a new form of UX.

Screen Shot 2016-06-06 at 4.57.44 PM.pngAcross generations, voice commands are becoming more prevalent than text commands. In fact, by 2020, voice and image searches will surpass text searches. Humans can speak 150 words per minute, but can only type 40. With machine learning, tone recognition, and other budding technologies, voice interface will become something we use all of the time. In fintech, voice technology brings about new opportunities for solutions in cyber security, behavioral science, and will change the meaning of UX design to something more audio-focused than visual.

4. Messaging apps are becoming commerce & services platforms.

Screen Shot 2016-06-06 at 4.51.44 PM.png

While older generations prefer to contact businesses on the phone, Generation Z “can’t even” wait on hold, and prefers to communicate with businesses through social media and messaging apps. For financial institutions, there is an urgent need to integrate their product into messengers to keep their young clients engaged, without forcing them to pick up the phone.

5. Privacy matters to consumers.

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In 2015, 74% of internet users limited their online activity due to privacy concerns. Among top privacy concerns were how they get user data, and what they do with it. After the 2008 financial crisis, trust in financial institutions reached an all-time low. With the recent backlash from JP Morgan against startups that collect user data, it’s clear that data privacy is a hot topic this year. By understanding their customers’ privacy worries, fintechs can tailor their messaging and communication strategy to retain their customers’ trust and privacy.

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