2020 Top Trends for Financial Services to Kick Off the Next Decade

January 30, 2020 by Stefani Wendel

It may be a new decade of disruption, but one thing remains constant – the consumer is king. As such, customer experience (and continually evolving digital transformations necessary to keep up), digital expansion and all things identity will also reign supreme as we enter this new set of Roaring 20s. Here are seven of the top trends to keep tabs of through 2020 and beyond.

1. Data that does more – 100 million borrowers and counting

Traditional, alternative, public record, consumer-permissioned, small business, big business, big, bigger, best – data has a lot of adjectives preceding it. But no matter how we define, categorize and collate data, the truth is there’s a lot of it that’s untapped, which is keeping financial institutions from operating at their max efficiency levels.

Looking for ways to be bigger and bolder? Start with data to engage your credit-worthy consumer universe and beyond. Across the entire lending lifecycle, data offers endless opportunities – from prospecting and acquisitions to fraud and risk management. It fuels any technology solution you have or may want to implement over the coming year.

Additionally, Experian is doing their part to create a more holistic picture of consumer creditworthiness with the launch of Experian LiftTM in November. The new suite of credit score products combines exclusive traditional credit, alternative credit and trended data assets, intended to help credit invisible and thin-file consumers gain access to fair and affordable credit.

“We’re committed to improving financial access while helping lenders make more informed decisions. Experian Lift is our latest example of this commitment brought to life,” said Greg Wright, Executive Vice President and Chief Product Officer for Experian Consumer Information Services.

“Through Experian Boost, we’re empowering consumers to play an active role in building their credit histories. And, with Experian Lift, we’re empowering lenders to identify consumers who may otherwise be excluded from the traditional credit ecosystem,” he said.

2. Identity boom for the next generation

Increasingly digital lifestyles have put personalization and frictionless transactions on hyperdrive. They are the expectation, not a nice-to-have. Having customer intelligence will become a necessary survival strategy for those in the market wanting to compete.

Identity is not just for marketing purposes; it must be leveraged across the lending lifecycle and every customer interaction. Fragmented customer identities are more than flawed for decisioning purposes, which could potentially lead to losses.

And, of course, the conversation around identity would be incomplete without a nod to privacy and security considerations. With the roll-out of the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) earlier this month, we will wait to see if the other states follow suit. Regardless, consumers will continue to demand security and trust.

3. All about artificial intelligence and machine learning

We get it – we all want the fastest, smartest, most efficient processes on limited – and/or shrinking – budgets. But implementing advanced analytics for your financial institution doesn’t have to break the bank. And, when it comes to delivering services and messaging to customers the way they want it, how to do that means digital transformation – specifically, leveraging big data and actionable analytics to evaluate risk, uncover industry intel and improve decisioning.

One thing’s for certain, financial institutions looking to compete, gain traction and pull away from the competition in this next decade will need to do so by leveraging a future-facing partner’s expertise, platforms and data. AI and machine learning model development will go into hyperdrive to add accuracy, efficiency, and all-out speed. Real-time transactional processing is where it’s at.

4. Customer experience drives decisioning and everything

Faster, better, more frictionless. 2020 and the decade will be all about making better decisions faster, catering to the continually quickening pace of consumer attention and need.

Platforms and computing language aside, how do you increase processing speed at the same time as increasing risk mitigation? Implementing decisioning environments that cater to consumer preferences, coupled with best-in-class data are the first two steps to making this happen. This can facilitate instant decisioning within financial institutions.

Looking beyond digital transformation, the next frontier is digital expansion. Open platforms enable financial institutions to readily add solutions from numerous providers so that they can connect, access and orchestrate decisions across multiple systems. Flexible APIs, single integrations and better strategy and design build the foundation of the framework to be implemented to enhance and elevate customer experience as it’s known today.

5. Credit marketing that keeps up with the digital, instant-gratification age

Know your customer may be a common acronym for the financial services industry, but it should also be a baseline for determining whether to send a specific message to clients and prospects. From the basics, like prescreen, to omni-channel marketing campaigns, financial institutions need to leverage the communication channels that consumers prefer.

From point of sale to mobile – there are endless possibilities to fit into your consumers’ credit journey. Marketing is clearly not a one-and-done tactic, and therefore multi-channel prequalification offers and other strategies will light the path for acquisitions and cross-sell/up-sell opportunities to come.

By developing insights from customer data, financial institutions have a clear line of sight into determining optimal strategies for customer acquisition and increasing customer lifetime value. And, at the pinnacle, the modern customer acquisition engine will continue to help financial institutions best build, test and optimize their customer channel targeting strategies faster than ever before. From segmentation to deployment, and the right data across it all, today and tomorrow’s technology can solve many of financial organizations’ age-old customer acquisition challenges.

6. Three Rs: Recession, regulatory and residents of the White House

Last March, the yield curve inverted for the first time since 2007. Though the timing of the next economic correction is debated, messaging is consistent around making a plan of action now. Whether it’s arming your collections department, building new systems, updating existing systems, or adjusting rules and strategy, there are gaps every organization needs to fill. By leveraging the stability of the economy now, financial institutions can put strategies in place to maximize profitability, manage risk, reduce bad debt/charge-offs, and ensure regulatory compliance among their list of to-do’s, ultimately resulting in a more efficient, better-performing program.

Also, as we near the election later this year, the regulatory landscape will likely change more than the usual amount. Additionally, we will witness the first accounts of what CECL looks like for SEC-filing financial institutions (and if that will suggest anything for how non-SEC-filing institutions may fare as their deadline inches closer), as well as see the initial implications of the CCPA roll out and whether it will pave a path for other states to follow.

As system sophistication continues to evolve, so do the risks (like security breaches) and new regulatory standards (like GDPR and CCPA) which provide reasons for organizations to transform.

7. Focus on fraud (in all forms)

With evolving technology, comes evolved fraudsters. Whether it’s loyalty and rewards programs, account openings, breaches, there are so many angles and entry points. Synthetic identity fraud is the fastest-growing type of financial crime in the United States. The cost to businesses is estimated to grow to $1.2 billion by 2020, according to the Aite Group.

To ensure the best protection for your business and your customers, a layered, risk-based approach to fraud management provides the highest levels of confidence in the industry. Balance is key – while being compliant with regulatory requirements and conscious of user experience, ensuring consumers’ peace of mind is priority one.

Not a new trend, but recognizing fraud and recognizing good consumers will save continue to save financial institutions money and reputational harm, driving significant improvement in key performance indicators. Using the right data (and aggregating multiple data sets) and digital device intelligence tools is the one-two punch to protect your bottom line.

For all your needs in 2020 and throughout the next decade, Experian has you covered.

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