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Customers are driving new trends in the lending market

Blog
24th November 2017

One very interesting change in customer behaviour in recent years is that a positive experience in one industry very quickly creates expectation in another. For instance, innovation in the insurance market can easily lead to customers asking why retailers cannot deploy similar ideas to improve their own service.

Recent research by PwC found that this trend applies in the cards and loans function of most financial brands. The trends being introduced to this area are very likely to have originated outside of the banking sector. This is an extremely interesting development from the customer perspective as it means there is a constant focus on innovation and improvement, but for the banks it means they can no longer just watch what their immediate rivals are doing – the next innovation may come from an entirely different industry. The success of a product like Apple Pay is a good example – why didn’t a major bank launch that service?

PwC found four key trends driving change in the consumer lending area of financial services:

  1. Online all the way: it’s mandatory to put the process online. The vast majority of customers expect to now be able to complete the entire process of arranging a loan online. Although human interaction may be essential in some cases, as much of the process as possible should be online.
  2. Keep things quick and simple: forget the long detailed forms and consider how you can simplify the process. If you are asking for a loan from a company where you already have an account then don’t ask the customer to enter their address again – be smart about making the process faster. The decision process in particular needs to be fast – automated if possible.
  3. Reach out to younger borrowers: loans to younger borrowers are often for much smaller amounts and are often paid off early. Be more flexible about amounts and repayment options. Younger borrowers are rarely looking for 30-year fixed rate loans.
  4. Cross-selling works: customers are highly likely to purchase new products if they are advised about the new product as a response to a question – so the interaction is natural and the agent response is advisory. If the customer is guided to a new product as a solution then it doesn’t feel like a sales process.

It’s interesting to note that PwC is saying these are the four key trends in the loans market, yet none of these trends could be described as specifically related to the financial services industry. All these trends relate to changing customer expectations, changing customer behaviour, and changes in the way that customers communicate. Ignore these changes in customer behaviour at your peril.

Are these lending trends really all being driven by customers today? Let me know what you think about the PwC observations by leaving a comment here, or get in touch on LinkedIn.


Helen Murray
Article by: Helen Murray

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