A new generation of CX technology is reshaping the way consumers handle money. The days of dealing with banks or credit card companies in-person are over. Digital apps let consumers automate bill negotiations, manage debt, monitor their credit, and much more. If you’re looking for a preview of trends and innovations in the consumer fintech space, and how they’re changing the experience for financial consumers, here are five trends worth watching.
AI and professional negotiators help save money
Paying too much for cable? Need help negotiating a payment plan for medical debt? Services like Trim can help. Users sign up, connect their related accounts, and then the software identifies opportunities to reduce spending. It helps to eliminate fees, negotiate lower prices for existing services, and reduce interest rates. Through machine learning, and with the aid of experienced financial negotiators, Trim and other innovators help consumers reclaim control of their finances.
Real-time monitoring increases visibility
Staying on top of your financial life can be tough, but new tools are making it easier. Companies like Credit Karma monitor your credit score in real time.
Tools such as Cushion monitor bank fees, overdraft fees, and interest charges in real time. The app then “negotiates” to get fees refunded. While Cushion’s success rate isn’t 100% and varies by type and lender, they report recouping more than $4,000,000 in fees for customers.
Increasingly, consumer financial apps provide real-time monitoring, alerts, and automatic actions based on a consumer’s goals. That makes it easier to stay on top of the smallest details in today’s complex financial ecosystem.
Innovations change online payments
A tight economy and a shift to online shopping are driving innovations that make it easier for shoppers to pay online. Digiday reports that point-of-sale loans are on the rise. Retailers across sectors are introducing point-of-sale loan programs like Afterpay, Klarna, and Affirm. Shoppers may select one of these options at checkout to break a single purchase into four equal payments. Loan terms vary on payment frequency, credit checks, and interest rates. Some point-of-sale companies do not require credit checks and offer interest-free payment options, making them extremely popular with consumers. Retailers see a benefit too. Afterpay, for example, reports that their partners see a 22% sales increase.
Bypassing traditional bank applications for mortgages
UK-based Mojo Mortgages acts as a digital broker that connects consumers buying a home or refinancing a mortgage with 90+ options, depending on their needs and financial history. One of the app’s most innovative features is its MortgageScore™, which uses the applicant’s credit history to help potential buyers understand how lenders see them and create a personalized roadmap for improvement.
New approaches to banking
Dave is an app backed by Shark Tank investor Mark Cuban. App members pay a small fee and can get small cash advances auto-debited from their next paycheck. The app doesn’t charge fees or interest and instead solicits tips. Dave also offers other features that help consumers plan for upcoming expenses. The tipping business model —encouraging consumers to reward you for a great customer experience—could transform service delivery models for financial apps.
As technology and innovative business models continue to reshape the financial consumer’s experience, they will have new and easier ways to reach financial goals, save money, and stay connected to economic and market trends. Approaches that serve the majority of consumers—instead of targeting only high-wealth individuals—will continue to grow.