Viewpoint: How IoT Connects Financial Services to Everyday Life
From homes and appliances, to cars and accessories, the internet of things (IoT) has the potential to bring banking to every corner of people’s lives. Comprised of physical devices that can collect and exchange data, IoT includes everything from smart appliances to connected cars, and the number of these devices is growing exponentially.
At its best, IoT offers an opportunity to deliver relevant, timely information that helps people keep pace with the speed of life today. On the other hand, there’s the risk that people could be overwhelmed with so much content that it simply amounts to noise. The challenge for financial institutions is to determine how consumers might want to consume financial services through these devices and what content is relevant for each device.
|“For some devices there may be no applicability for financial services—at least in the near term—while others lend themselves quite well to the delivery of financial information or transactions … People are unlikely to want to set up a budget from a screen in their refrigerator doors, but they may very well want to check their balances or pay bills from there.”|
For some devices there may be no applicability for financial services—at least in the near term—while others lend themselves quite well to the delivery of financial information or transactions. The physical attributes of a device are often a good indicator of the type of information a consumer might want to access or the tasks they might like to complete via that device. People are unlikely to want to set up a budget from a screen in their refrigerator door, but they may very well want to check their balance or pay a bill from there.
In some cases, people may simply want the option to connect with their financial institution, such as being able to check their balances on request, one of several concepts Fiserv has created to showcase the way banking could be conducted via an Amazon Echo. Other circumstances may lend themselves to proactive alerts, such as those that would be sent to a wearable device like an Apple Watch.
No matter the device or the use case, the information must be relevant. In an age of information overload, irrelevant information will at best be ignored and at worst lead consumers to disengage. For example, consumers should have the ability to personalize the information they receive via alerts, choosing what they are alerted to and when.
When it’s time for your financial institution to extend existing financial services capabilities to the IoT, use the same lens you do when evaluating the capabilities your financial institution would deliver on a smartphone versus a desktop: What types of capabilities are practical for this device, and how will consumers want to access them?
Fiserv is continually evaluating the impact developments such as IoT have on financial services. This includes testing technology, such as our prototype of skills for the Amazon Echo, and gauging consumer demand through research and focus groups. This type of purposeful innovation has the potential to change how people live and work—and how financial institutions deliver services to consumers.
Scott Hess is vice president of user experience, consulting and innovation at Fiserv. He manages a multidiscipline team of professionals tasked with developing compelling and rich digital banking experiences, consulting on the use of digital banking services and pushing the boundaries for what is cutting edge in financial services. Scott has been shaping innovation in financial services for 30 years in positions at Reuters Financial Software, Corillian and now Fiserv. He can be reached at [email protected].
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