Views from Vegas Money 2020: The future of customer experience

For any business, keeping focus on customers is crucial. But faced with higher expectations, shorter attention spans and more competition than ever, how can you stay ahead? It was a question that came up time and again at this year’s Money 2020 conference in Las Vegas. Missed it? Here are some of the key insights we heard on the most innovative experiences in the market today, and how businesses can execute on them.

Meeting customers where they are

For the last few years, we’ve been talking about customer-centricity in limited terms. The focus has been on allowing customers to perform an action, and removing some of the friction in their way. But it’s clear that merely removing barriers is no longer enough and the conversation has moved from ‘what’ to ‘how’. According to Mastercard, the most innovative solutions in the market now are not just enabling, but empowering users.

Central to that is choice.  Customers should be able to control where, when and how they perform an action. After all, as multiple speakers pointed out, customers have no sense of channel. Every interaction they have – wherever they have it – builds to a single view of your brand, and they expect consistency and continuity of experience across all of them. For some businesses, that might be a struggle to balance against internal organisational silos. Rethinking how teams collaborate across your organisation could help.

Giving back control

But what is it that customers actually want? When it comes to financial services, the critical element is control. Real-time payments – one of the most popular topics of the conference – deliver exactly that. As PayPal explained, RTP gives customers the instant assurance that cash has landed in an account. They love not only the speed, but the visibility – and as current uptake shows, they’re willing to pay for it.

If real-time payments aren’t quite in your reach, don’t worry – there are plenty of other opportunities for innovation. When it comes to payments, personalisation still only exists at the macro level. Payments pages have remained impervious to change for some time, and most businesses revert to muscle memory when building them. But they’re a core part of the buyer journey offer enormous scope for personalisation thanks to the amount of passive data they offer up. Recognising returning customers and offering them their preferred payment method, rather than making them select from different options, is an easy way to cut friction.

Keeping friction out of customer experiences

As ever, the f-word loomed large in almost every panel at Money 2020. When it comes to cutting customer friction, progress remains slow – in large part due to to the ever-increasing burden of compliance and security measures. That’s a problem for financial businesses where there’s still a strong sense that any friction at all is unacceptable.

While tangible solutions were lacking, eBay and Netflix suggested that a change in thinking could help. Tailoring the 99% of good actors and assuming good intent, rather than putting all users through the same level of rigorous security, was suggested as one solution to reduce customer drop-off. Likewise, processing direct debits that are a few dollars short, rather than suspending access to services, could help build customer loyalty with payment providers.

At Fidel, it’s our goal to empower everyone in the financial ecosystem and give control of data back to end-users. To find out how card-linking can help create a better customer experience, read our blog.