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  • Writer's pictureFernando Estanislau

Fintech: who are you in your customer’s journey?



Every digital transformation takes into account the customer journey to understand the moment of greatest positive impact that your service can leave. In this first article I bring a vision that I intend to deepen in the next ones. I hope you like it.


We already know that technology will not replace human relationships, right? DO you still have doubts? Well, know that I have it too and, on this threshold between the today we live and the tomorrow we want, I find myself relativizing human beings and technology, especially the one that arrives first in our lives and changes everything: financial life. That's right. What? Still using paper money? You are a warrior!

Maybe some here don't remember, but for banks, digital transformation arrived first and in earnest with the launch of internet banking and, along with it, new challenges regarding culture and customer digitalization occurred and were supported by institutions. From then on, the ease of access to services was what guided the development of websites and platforms with new banking transactions that also needed to follow the evolution of browsers and smartphones.


Onboarding is the name of the game

This thinking in favor of usability has made the work of the experience designer extremely relevant in the design of digital services. Consequently, this conception brought a new phase aimed at establishing a more emotional approach and connection through a dialogue that could, in addition to transforming apps and websites into more interesting and attractive services, also captivate new customers in their adoption.

From then on, what followed was the increasingly clear understanding that it was not enough to just be on the smartphone screen, but that it was also necessary to be part of the customer's daily life: a constant search for experts in UX, UI and Devs.


The era of Design Flow

In banks and fintechs, these tracks of evolutionary projects and studies of the approach to interaction with users through tutorials, dialogue screens and email trails, were (and still are) the main protagonists in their construction, always with focus on generating empathy and the desire to be a true wizard for bank-client relationships.

The race to bring the hiring journey and offers of extra services such as insurance, investments, credit offers, cashbacks, among many others, took place with the emergence of startups and fintechs focused on each of them, all competing for the same slice of cake. A movement that spread the simplification of services and popularized new players.


The UX point of the business

This means that, no matter how innovative, fluid and important you are or think you are in your customer's journey, there will always be the possibility of being forgotten in some tab or on the tenth screen of your smartphone. Therefore, more than being important, it is necessary to be remembered.

At the same time you read this text, there are countless initiatives to increase new financial services in your bank's super app with more features, more customers and... everything is very much the same: the same customers as the competition, on the same financial journey , all with a cool interface and funky copy. All of this is no longer enough to be remembered.


Be the journey of treasure or the treasure in the journey?

Anyone in the sector has probably heard the famous phrase: “never put all your eggs in one basket”, right? So what would be the reason to want to include all financial services in the same fintech, since we now have several of them just a tap away? Wouldn't it be better to focus on where you will make a difference and be remembered?

Returning to the UX point of the business, position yourself as the persona present in the journey of each institution (how many accounts do you really have?). With everything no longer being new but becoming the basis of the offer, who will you, the customer, share and share your day-to-day life and journeys with from now on? See, the light I intend to shed here is on the convenience and profile of services and banks that you want to have at different moments in your life – is he in the same mood as you? Does it fit with your moment?


Pop Coin or Pay Fitness

Imagine having two friends with different personalities: one you decide to invite to the cinema and another you invite to the gym. What was the determining criterion that made you differentiate them and decide which would be best for each activity? From this context, it becomes easier to understand that the service provided needs to be strictly linked to the essence of the business, the needs of each person and, with your service connecting to a certain point or all that demand (popcorn + ticket + event + art + benefits, etc.). Just like in the cinema or gym, each partner has their specific role, that is, one is better suited than the other according to your expectations within a context, which makes everything much more memorable.

What we have for a traditional bank are not the same as what we expect from a new startup. So, it's not what we want to be or have, it's what we do best for a certain niche, which suits us, it's a relationship of friendship (but also, and again, of convenience). Because, when we make a service highly fluid and close, we know that the result will depend on the good relationship, the conversation, a well-structured, fluid thread with clarity of objective with our client or our bank (perhaps this explains the success of Chat GPT). So, whether with the newest AI or the newest financial service, we will learn that to have adequate and functional responses we need to return to interacting more through human drive and perhaps less through machine drive.


ChatBot is not Artificial Intelligence! And now Jose?

But after all, what does this have to do with UX and UI and their variants? The question I raise is: what point in the “customer journey” will we be at and become a reference, the one that will make much more sense for us to always be remembered?

The answer is simple and has always been the same: we are talking about the relationship between people, between understanding what your interlocutor expects from you and what more convenient response or service your AI (also read as Friendly Institution) will provide. This is our starting point to build more and better financial services focused on human relationships and needs, in each micro moment and, we understand that in certain situations of the experience journey, it is not enough to make an incredible payment flow and wait that the consortium or insurance plan are also.


In the dark of the basement: a Swiss army knife or a flashlight?

The fact is that we like to have different experiences, with different brands and companies, each one in its own moment (or in its own square?), in the one that your client chose for the "AI" to occupy.

And finally, it's worth bringing up a parallel: people have different relationships with their peers, friends, parents, siblings, salespeople, delivery people, etc. Each of these relationships is formed by unique characteristics, expectations that determine the universe of their relationships, whether affective or not. Therefore, just like in life and relationships between people, Product Design needs to understand and contextualize experiences and tools based on this new interpretation of the persona and their relationship with the service, with fintech, to tread new paths in building memorable interactions that strengthen and generate unique relationships.

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