Blog

Are the Financial Institutions Now
Disrupting the Fintech Disrupters?

Alex Mortman
September 14, 2022

Few industries have grown as rapidly as fintech since it sprung from the post-financial crisis, as trust in banks suffered and regulatory change opened the market to new providers. They disrupted the financial services industry like nothing before it.

To be honest, disruption is an understatement, as it implies it’s temporary – an interruption. It has been far more than that and financial institutions across the sector have been playing catch up for years.

But as the fintech market reaches its teenage years, it is facing a crossroads on the path to adulthood. The democratization of the industry – which created a simplified, less costly, and more transparent method to utilize the services we use every day – has gone “all in” on self-service and automation to deliver on its vision.

BUT HAS THE pendulum now swung too far when it comes to serving its customers?

Customers expect more now. It’s not enough for most of the processes to be frictionless. All touchpoints must be. The competition has increased for new customers and even one painful experience along the way can dissuade a user to abandon purchase. Worse yet, those that do make that first purchase have even higher expectations as a paid customer. They expect seamless delivery of the product and if that is in someway not delivered, someone – a human – to parachute in and solve their problem.

The risk of not doing that is real. According to Khoros’s blog on customer service statistics for 2022, 65% of customers said they have changed to a different brand because of a poor experience. And Zendesk went even further…saying that after more than one bad experience, around 80% of consumers say they would rather do business with a competitor.

AND NOW THE DISRUPTER IS DISRUPTING

Guess who’s filling the gap on this. Yep, those same institutions. They have invested millions in human capital since the pandemic started. A July 2022 Forbes article highlighted the opportunity for traditional banks to differentiate from Fintech start-ups by “emphasiz(ing) the bank of human capital over artificial intelligence making it simple to have access to humans.

It goes on to say, “AI may one day replace human customer service teams and deliver five-star service, but for now…bank on human capital—something fintech companies do not offer. AI is great, but the majority of the world still wants human help.”

Sometimes a company will hesitate to let business process outsourcing companies see things the company is not proud of, and some members of management can grow suspicious about all the topics the partner wants to discuss with them. But that is why you are working with a partner in the first place. Your management team needs to be comfortable answering questions and letting the partner’s representatives drive those in-depth conversations.

SO HOW DOES THE FINTECH WORLD RESPOND?

As in most cases, offense is the best defense. The most progressive fintech companies are pulling in the most critical aspects of their customer’s journey. The overuse of BPO-led call centers has created too much of a gap between how customers are served and the philosophy of Cx going forward. Many are bringing areas of their Cx – like product onboarding, platform integration, and technical support – inside their walls.

A few progressive Cx leaders have decided that they need to be agile enough to identify gaps and rectify them in a matter of hours, not days or weeks. Whether that’s by insourcing these teams or finding niche vendors embedded into their workflow, they are working at nano speed to respond, hire and activate these improved services.

One of my former clients and friend Bala Venkataraman, the Vice President, and Head of Customer Experience at bill.com, said this about customer intimacy:

 “Customer centricity is NOT based on how many posters your organization has on its walls or pretty PowerPoint slides, referring to how customer centric the organization is or how many times in a day you hear cool words like customer obsession in your meetings. It is based on how quickly you respond to your customer’s feedback and the effort and prioritization that’s put in to make the experience of the customer simpler. “

All grown up

As the fintech industry turns 14, they are transitioning into adulthood. Their maturity and recognition that they can learn a bit from the institutions will lead to changes in the industry. The question is how quickly and who will tackle this problem first and reap the rewards.

Fintech world: It’s time to think differently. It’s time for a bit of human touch.


JDA TSG is an outsourced professional services firm working with the most progressive Fintech organizations to transform CX organizations, helping them deliver the human touch into their customers’ experiences.  We help companies scale, while remaining agile enough to react to the ever-changing demand of the market.



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