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2021 outlook/2022 trends and predictions

2021 outlook/2022 trends and predictions 3

By Andy Mielczarek, Founder and CEO at Chetwood Financial

2021 outlook/2022 trends and predictions 4

Digital banking

It’s no surprise with the ongoing pandemic that the last two years have been dominated by digital transformation when it comes to banking.

Customers wanted more than simple digital-only payment methods; they needed instant access, fast responses and a seamless experience at the tap of a button. Fintech’s are already providing this technology for their customers, helping change the way people manage their finances. 2022 will bring greater changes in this space as banks continue to learn more about customers’ new expectations following such an unprecedented time.

Going cashless

The decision to increase the contactless payment limit up to £100 in 2021 was definitely accelerated by the pandemic but like all new payment methods moving into the mainstream, the change was inevitable.

In fact, between January and July this year, 60% of all debit and credit card transactions across the UK were contactless, according to trade association UK Finance. This accounted for 6.6 billion payments, with a value of £81.4 billion.

With transactions being welcomed through Apple Pay, Google Pay, Contactless and Buy Now Pay Later, customers expect choice when it comes to payment methods. This expectation will continue into the new year as financial service companies move to reduce the number of physical credit cards and debit cards being produced, and we learn more about customer behaviour and start to innovate further.

Buy now, pay later

As online shopping becomes the primary purchasing method for new generations, the adoption of new payment options, such as buy now, pay later (BNPL), is picking up speed.

Although this method provides customers with a flexible payment solution and frictionless experience, tailored to what they want in the moment, the next year will shine more light on this area and encourage BNPL providers to be more transparent and customer-centric when it comes to the customer’s best interests and what’s the right financial choice for them in the long-term.

Customer experience

The need to design and implement digital journeys for customers has only grown in importance during lockdown and won’t be going anywhere.

Financial services want, and need, seamless digital journeys for their customers that not only increase efficiency but also have the flair to deliver a tailored experience for each individual.

This will call on banks to collaborate in areas such as open banking, data sharing and white-labelled solutions in order to embrace the technology and innovation that’s available.

Funding

After things slowed down during the last two years, I expect to see a surge in investment by the end of 2022; investment in technology, talent and partnerships with fintechs. This spend will allow banks to move into a new agile era and work with people who are pushing the boundaries and adapting to the unexpected.

Banking as a Service (BaaS)

Banks are quickly realising that partnering with fintechs will have a major positive impact on their service, costs and overall customer experience.

Banking-as-a-Service (BaaS) solutions are proof that rather than seeing fintechs as a threat, banks should take advantage of what gives them the upper hand; analytics, AI, cloud computing and digital services that can enhance their offering.

Those that will really benefit in 2022 will be the ones that collaborate with the best to enhance their services and their customer’s financial experience.

2021 featured many new trends in financial services and showed great signs that 2022 will be a year of further innovation within the industry. But one thing I’ve learned over the past year is to expect the unexpected and continue to push for innovation and positive change at all times.

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