To truly become a leader in the "Internet of Me" space, executives will have to figure out how the customer experience they "own" relates to other experiences in the customer's life or how they can help to deliver the outcomes that a customer is trying to achieve - without breaching consumer trust.
There is no question that consumers are embracing the new digital world order. Nearly two-thirds of consumers intend to purchase a connected home device by 2019, while the ownership of wearable technology is expected to have doubled year over year in 2016, according to a recent Acquity Group survey.
Clearly, the more useful services that are added on to the devices, the better. And let's face it, financial services are the epitome of useful. But financial service providers really need to get ahead of this space, now. Insurers need to be thinking about what smartwatches and fitness device data can be shared to help map out suitable health insurance programs. Banks should be working with a variety of industries that are developing interconnected devices to create payment plans and loans that suit consumers' needs.
In short, executives at financial services institutions need to get creative.
As Accenture points out in its Everyday Bank report, Garanti in Turkey and mBank in Poland are already ahead of the pack when it comes to mobile apps. They both have highly sophisticated phone apps that provide customers with personalised offers and advice based on their location and spending history. The apps use GPS to inform customers if they are close to a store with a special offer, provide saving suggestions, and estimate how much customers will have in their account for the rest of the month based on past spending.
The next step is to understand the customer so well banks can advocate what they might need. For example, managing cash flow to enable a bank to pay suppliers in a timely fashion, but then make investment suggestions when cash is flush. The key is understanding the customers' needs and proactively advocating.
We believe that the power brokers of the future will be savvy orchestrators who place themselves at the center of digital ecosystems. They'll do as Garanti and mBank have done and swiftly master new digital relationships with customers, end users, suppliers, and alliance partners. The next step is throw into the mix is working together with the developers, data sources, smart-device makers, and specialty talent sources as well. In a world where the virtual is migrating to the physical, each person's experience will differ slightly. Companies will need to tailor their products or services to the unique affinities of each individual and financial services providers will need to be as flexible as well.