Ahead of iOS 12’s public release and key changes it is bringing to notifications, Urban Airship urges financial services apps to adopt customer-centric messaging best practices to accommodate new user behavior, improve notification visibility and maximize the value that their app can deliver.
Granular user controls over notifications, new Grouped Notifications and Provisional Authorization — a historic move by Apple that enables apps to offer a trial of “quiet” notifications prior to obtaining opt-in consent — create valuable opportunities if approached strategically.
- Evaluate Opportunities for Greater Reach
Choosing notifications no longer has to be a binary decision made prior to understanding the value they’ll offer. Financial Services firms can choose to implement Provisional Authorization, which allows them to reach all app users with notifications delivered to the Notification Center without a sound. Users that are already opted in or those that choose prominent delivery will continue to receive notifications on lockscreens with an audible alert.
If 50% or more of users are opted out of notifications, this automatic notification trial may offer a better approach to get more users to understand the glanceable value notifications deliver. With every message users will be given the opportunity to turn them off or continue getting them with the choice of prominent or quiet delivery.
- Run Opt-Out Users Through a Funnel
Preference centres are now deep-linked to notification settings in iOS, in “manage” buttons within notifications, and in “Turn off” buttons served via Provisional Authorization. This tight integration between an app’s preference center and iOS notification settings will expose more users to granular controls that they may not have even realized existed.
Allowing users to easily toggle notifications on or off for various categories — low balance alerts, potential fraud alerts, payment reminders, deposit confirmations, retirement planning — can help retain a greater level of audience opt-in to notifications. Additional controls can be provided around the frequency of messages, or which topics they’d rather have delivered to in-app message centres or via email.
- Get Tuned In to Users as Visibility is in Their Control
The more relevant and timely an app’s notifications, the more likely people will be receptive to them audibly arriving on lock screens. Prominent or Quiet Delivery is an either/or choice with iOS 12, which both banks and users need to realize.
For many firms, being able to flag potential fraud with real-time alerts is inherently valuable, while deposit and payment confirmations take customer service to the next level. The impact of these timely notifications is diminished if relegated to arrive quietly in the notification center.
Financial firms must re-examine their features or focus areas that are worthy of interrupting users on their lockscreen. Allowing users to select alternative means of delivery (email, message center, in-app message) for content they are more passively engaged with can help retain prominent delivery for more time-sensitive notifications.
- Offer Great User Experiences that also Maximize Your Share of Screen
iOS 12 uses Grouped Notifications to condense the display of an app’s notifications on the lockscreen and notification center, which can be dismissed as a group. Ensure important messages aren’t missed by setting up groups for different types of message: educational, account activity, fraud alerts or cross-sell offers. Users can easily swipe through each group to get all caught up or easily dismiss notifications on a topic, leaving your other grouped notifications to consume.
Firms that do not set different groups will have all of their notifications stacked on top of each other, leaving only the most recent message immediately visible, which may result in users missing key updates that are important to them.
- Realize Notifications are an App Feature, Not a Marketing Channel
This is likely where famously user-first Apple is coming from in creating Provisional Authorization; real-time, relevant notifications are now a feature of apps—to be experienced— and too many people approach notification opt-in prompts as a binary decision likely with an old frame of reference like email subscriptions.
Highly targeted notifications see engagement rates more than three times higher than messages broadcast to most app users, and financial services firms have a wealth of opportunities to make messaging responsive to individuals in-the-moment behaviours across channels. They can also elevate transactional relationships to garner greater customer loyalty by drawing greater visibility to financial management services and member benefits, with everything from helpful tailored hints to surveys that further refine what’s most relevant to individuals.
According to Forrester, “Among CX transformer firms — those that employ mobile to transform customer experiences — 55% have seen a significant positive financial impact due to mobile, compared with only 16% of shrink-and-squeeze firms. CX transformers and shrink-and-squeeze firms show the largest difference in their use of notifications (Forrester Research Inc., Consumers Are Connected; Your Company Isn’t, August 13, 2018).
Sunak to use budget to expand apprenticeships in England
LONDON (Reuters) – British finance minister Rishi Sunak will announce more funding for apprenticeships in England when he unveils his budget next week, the government said on Friday.
Employers taking part in the Apprenticeship Initiative Scheme will from April 1 receive 3,000 pounds ($4,179) for each apprentice hired, regardless of age – an increase on current grants of between 1,500 and 2,000 pounds depending on age.
The scheme will extended by six months until the end of September, the finance ministry said.
Sunak will also announce an extra 126 million pounds for traineeships for up to 43,000 placements.
Sunak’s March 3 budget will likely include a new round of spending to prop up the economy during what he hopes will be the last phase of lockdown, but he will also probably signal tax rises ahead to plug the huge hole in the public finances.
Sunak is also expected to announce a “flexi-job” apprenticeship scheme, whereby apprentices can join an agency and work for multiple employers in one sector, the finance ministry said.
“We know there’s more to do and it’s vital this continues throughout the next stage of our recovery, which is why I’m boosting support for these programmes, helping jobseekers and employers alike,” Sunak said in a statement.
(Reporting by Andy Bruce, editing by David Milliken)
UK seeks G7 consensus on digital competition after Facebook blackout
LONDON (Reuters) – Britain is seeking to build a consensus among G7 nations on how to stop large technology companies exploiting their dominance, warning that there can be no repeat of Facebook’s one-week media blackout in Australia.
Facebook’s row with the Australian government over payment for local news, although now resolved, has increased international focus on the power wielded by tech corporations.
“We will hold these companies to account and bridge the gap between what they say they do and what happens in practice,” Britain’s digital minister Oliver Dowden said on Friday.
“We will prevent these firms from exploiting their dominance to the detriment of people and the businesses that rely on them.”
Dowden said recent events had strengthened his view that digital markets did not currently function properly.
He spoke after a meeting with Facebook’s Vice-President for Global Affairs, Nick Clegg, a former British deputy prime minister.
“I put these concerns to Facebook and set out our interest in levelling the playing field to enable proper commercial relationships to be formed. We must avoid such nuclear options being taken again,” Dowden said in a statement.
Facebook said in a statement that the call had been constructive, and that it had already struck commercial deals with most major publishers in Britain.
“Nick strongly agreed with the Secretary of Stateâ€™s (Dowden’s) assertion that the governmentâ€™s general preference is for companies to enter freely into proper commercial relationships with each other,” a Facebook spokesman said.
Britain will host a meeting of G7 leaders in June.
It is seeking to build consensus there for coordinated action toward “promoting competitive, innovative digital markets while protecting the free speech and journalism that underpin our democracy and precious liberties,” Dowden said.
The G7 comprises the United States, Japan, Britain, Germany, France, Italy and Canada, but Australia has also been invited.
Britain is working on a new competition regime aimed at giving consumers more control over their data, and introducing legislation that could regulate social media platforms to prevent the spread of illegal or extremist content and bullying.
(Reporting by William James; Editing by Gareth Jones and John Stonestreet)
Britain to offer fast-track visas to bolster fintechs after Brexit
By Huw Jones
LONDON (Reuters) – Britain said on Friday it would offer a fast-track visa scheme for jobs at high-growth companies after a government-backed review warned that financial technology firms will struggle with Brexit and tougher competition for global talent.
Finance minister Rishi Sunak said that now Britain has left the European Union, it wants to make sure its immigration system helps businesses attract the best hires.
“This new fast-track scale-up stream will make it easier for fintech firms to recruit innovators and job creators, who will help them grow,” Sunak said in a statement.
Over 40% of fintech staff in Britain come from overseas, and the new visa scheme, open to migrants with job offers at high-growth firms that are scaling up, will start in March 2022.
Brexit cut fintechs’ access to the EU single market and made it far harder to employ staff from the bloc, leaving Britain less attractive for the industry.
The review published on Friday and headed by Ron Kalifa, former CEO of payments fintech Worldpay, set out a “strategy and delivery model” that also includes a new 1 billion pound ($1.39 billion) start-up fund.
“It’s about underpinning financial services and our place in the world, and bringing innovation into mainstream banking,” Kalifa told Reuters.
Britain has a 10% share of the global fintech market, generating 11 billion pounds ($15.6 billion) in revenue.
The review said Brexit, heavy investment in fintech by Australia, Canada and Singapore, and the need to be nimbler as COVID-19 accelerates digitalisation of finance, all mean the sector’s future in Britain is not assured.
It also recommends more flexible listing rules for fintechs to catch up with New York.
“We recognise the need to make the UK attractive a more attractive location for IPOs,” said Britain’s financial services minister John Glen, adding that a separate review on listings rules would be published shortly.
“Those findings, along with Ron’s report today, should provide an excellent evidence base for further reform.”
Britain pioneered “sandboxes” to allow fintechs to test products on real consumers under supervision, and the review says regulators should move to the next stage and set up “scale-boxes” to help fintechs navigate red tape to grow.
“It’s a question of knowing who to call when there’s a problem,” said Kay Swinburne, vice chair of financial services at consultants KPMG and a contributor to the review.
A UK fintech wanting to serve EU clients would have to open a hub in the bloc, an expensive undertaking for a start-up.
“Leaving the EU and access to the single market going away is a big deal, so the UK has to do something significant to make fintechs stay here,” Swinburne said.
The review seeks to join the dots on fintech policy across government departments and regulators, and marshal private sector efforts under a new Centre for Finance, Innovation and Technology (CFIT).
“There is no framework but bits of individual policies, and nowhere does it come together,” said Rachel Kent, a lawyer at Hogan Lovells and contributor to the review.
($1 = 0.7064 pounds)
(Reporting by Huw Jones; editing by Jane Merriman and John Stonestreet)
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