Money20/20 Europe: Surveys Say Consumers, Industry May Not Be on Same Page
Two firms presented research at Money20/20 Europe in Copenhagen on April 4—with very different focal points. While CGI’s survey delved into what consumers want out of financial services—and from which companies they’d like to receive those services—Edgar, Dunn & Company presented research sponsored by
“The window of opportunity is open for banks … for now,” said Kevin Poe, global lead for retail banking at CGI. For fintech companies his advice was to “partner, partner, partner.” The CGI survey Poe presented included data from 1,670 consumers in eight countries in North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific. The key finding that informed Poe’s assessment was that across all markets, the majority of consumers want to get financial services from their primary financial services provider. What’s more, the most valued service consumers want to receive (78 percent) is protection from data and identity theft, fraud and cyberattacks. Personal financial management was the No. 2 most valued service, while mobile payments ranked third at 51 percent.
“What’s getting a lot of attention by media is not getting as much interest from consumers,” Poe noted. The finding also shows a disconnect between where consumers see value compared with where fintech largely has focused, he suggested.
Meanwhile, Samee Zafar, a director in Edgar, Dunn & Company’s London office, presented research on where industry stakeholders see the industry moving. The Internet of Things (IoT) ranked high as a future opportunity for payments. Ninety-three percent of the respondents think that IoT will find applications in nearly every field (e.g., connected cars, homes, wearables, health care, agriculture, energy, etc., and 85 percent think that IoT is about smart sensors collecting data on everything around us, which ultimately will change the way we live, shop and pay, according to the report. “There’s a lot of hype around everything from connected cars and connected cities,” Zafar said. “But what will happen over the next five or 10 years will [change things] exponentially.”
Perhaps not surprisingly, industry executives weren’t as convinced by bitcoin’s prospects as they were about opportunities for its underlying technology—the blockchain. Sixty-four percent of respondents said that bitcoin’s greatest potential was its means to maintain anonymity in online transactions. On the other hand, 60 to 70 percent of respondents said more financial institutions will invest in blockchain technology to trade and transfer financial assets; blockchain technology will drive the creation of new payment products and services; and blockchain technology is likely to disrupt financial services by making existing processes more secure, inexpensive, efficient and transparent. Zafar echoed the findings suggesting that bitcoin is going the way of a scarce commodity while blockchain could have applications in the financial markets. However, he cautioned that in developed markets providers will have to “think very hard about where it will add value.”