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Where does loyalty lie in the pursuit of fintech happiness?

Unlocking value

Keeping customers and staff happy is a tricky challenge for all businesses. Technology can be the answer to both though.

How do you make everyone happy? It’s the sort of question that has philosophers purring. UK illusionist Derren Brown recently wrote a book all about it, while his TV show Miracle explored the concept through his love of Greek philosopher Epictetus. The idea is that to achieve a state of happiness you have to start living in the moment, controlling only the things you can control. Because you can’t control the uncontrollable.

For banks, like any business or organisation, the idea of making their customers and staff happy is central to loyalty and retention. At a time when banks are being bombarded with challenges, from fintech disruption through to economic conditions and changing customer habits, retaining business and staff has never been higher on the agenda.

Identify areas of biggest impact

Certainly banks should heed Brown’s and Epictetus’s advice. Disruption is happening and will continue to do so. The tide cannot be turned, so why waste time trying? Instead, what banks need to do is identify what they can influence and where that influence will have the biggest impact in helping customers and enthusing staff.

As millennials start to take control of budgets this becomes increasingly important. New technologies from mobile payments through to virtual cards and data-driven card transactions and administration are changing how businesses think about expenses. Technology is changing business finance strategies and on-going cash flow management. Is this controllable or uncontrollable?

It is in fact controllable. Traditional banks need to innovate to remain competitive and outsourcing or partnering with new fintech businesses is often a quicker way to market. Using existing fintech solutions to supplement traditional banking has the potential to turn traditionalists into disruptors.

You should embrace innovation

Fintech can also inspire businesses and employees by offering greater visibility of spending and longer term planning and transparency. Meeting the expectations and digital aspirations of millennials will also help to improve staff loyalty. Millennials generally love technology, so having a happy workforce that embraces innovation will only drive loyalty further. It could even lead to further innovations and ideas.

For customers, use of technology paints a picture of a progressive organisation, keen to innovate and improve services to meet the changing demands of users. Technology means more flexibility, less rigidity and more opportunities to say ‘yes’.

According to the World Fintech Report 2017 from Capgemini and LinkedIn, technological innovation is essential to brand loyalty in the new economy. Striking a balance between push and pull is difficult but not trying is business suicide.

“Fintech’s success in rapidly gaining trust and popularity shows that customers are actively seeking innovative services that cater to personalised needs, and are quick to adopt firms that provide such services,” says the report.

It also talks about capitalising on what are called, “Moments of Truth”. These are the day-to-day interactions that can impact reputation and loyalty. When customers are easily surprised by the ease of opening an account, the flexible and transparent options they have in managing business cards, or the benefits of live card accounting, virtual cards or flexible payment solutions, this can have a profound effect on how the bank is perceived.

With new technology in play, what might seem uncontrollable at first glance is often anything but.