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Smart Insights: Financial Services

The competitive landscape has broadened significantly for the financial services industry. Trust (or lack of it) is a major issue. Consumers have fast access to online user reviews, financial product comparisons and easy switching of services, making them savvier and more demanding than ever before.

Successful finance industry players deliver differentiated products and services to suit varying customer needs and increase trust by emphasizing transparency and client data security.

Our financial service research experts analyze market trends to deliver consumer insight and help you develop winning finance product and service strategies for your customers.

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Latest insights

Here you can find the latest insights for financial services industry. View all insights

    • 05/18/16
    • Financial Services
    • Retail
    • Technology
    • Consumer Goods
    • Denmark
    • English

    The future of retail and what it means for the industry

    “Build it and they will come” has long been the modus operandi for the retail sector. But two decades of unprecedented change both in terms of technology and the economic environment has shaken the retail sector. This is the age of the Connected Consumer who expects retailers to fulfill their needs before they even ask. Omni-channel is the word that now defines retail as we have moved to a model where retailers need to be constantly present, ready to engage with shoppers in the moment and on the move – as well as on the high street. This is what retailers must do to survive in the Future of Retail.

    Four key battlegrounds: Choice, price, convenience and experience

    The retail environment may have changed dramatically but the four key battlegrounds – choice, price, convenience and experience – are every bit in evidence. On each front, retailers must work harder to survive, let alone win. This is a world where prices are standardized, consumers are dazzled and confused by endless choice, and shoppers judge stores by the way they make them feel not just the goods they sell. All retailers, from pure play online stores to the stalwarts of our high streets and malls and everything in between, now face a myriad of challenges. At its heart is the shopper of the future – today’s constantly Connected Consumers who want it all and expect retailers to come up with the goods.

    The shopper of the future expects retailers to keep up with them

    Understanding what makes these shoppers tick is more than half the challenge. Price savvy, technologically forward and with a mission to fulfill, the shopper of the future expects retailers to keep up with them, not the other way around. The challenge for retailers is to stay one step ahead of consumers’ demands. That means delivering on all fronts, be it product choice, service, customer experience or price. The retailers that dominate and define this new age of retail will be the ones for whom change and uncertainty represents a fresh opportunity to thrive. Understanding the constantly changing consumer and market landscapes will be key, as will be a willingness to embrace innovations and invest to benefit retailers and customers now and in the years to come. That future of retail is here and now. Are you ready for the Future of Retail? Find out more about how to navigate the Future of Retail in our report. Please share your thoughts in the comments below or email me at
    • 09/20/16
    • Financial Services
    • Geomarketing
    • Geodata
    • Global
    • English

    Building better wind storm models with geodata

    A risk modeling company needed reliable boundary and market data to create and validate its windstorm model for Europe. Constructing geographically precise risk models is essential to predicting financial risk for the insurance and reinsurance companies that use our client’s services.
    • 08/26/16
    • Press
    • Financial Services
    • Public Services
    • Trends and Forecasting
    • Global
    • English

    Consumer climate: good economic data have a stronger impact than terrorism and Brexit

    Consumer sentiment in Germany developed positively on the whole in August, with consumers appearing to digest the shocking Brexit news very well. The overall index for consumer climate is forecasting 10.2 points for September, following 10.0 points in August.
    • 08/08/16
    • Financial Services
    • Retail
    • Connected Consumer
    • Global
    • English

    Can new mobile payment solutions meet the hype?

    In the current payments marketplace, there seems to be quite a bit of innovation in the transactional arena.  We’ve seen Samsung Pay being rolled out ahead of the Olympics and Facebook’s most recent strategy to convert users into buyers.  But how much is hype vs. reality?  Our research shows that consumers are still slow to adopt mobile payments in certain areas. Today, the brightest opportunities for innovation in payment solutions are around online transactions becoming more mobile. Venmo* for example, PayPal’s fast growing peer-to-peer payment service, also incorporates elements of social media and plans to expand into consumer-to-business payments. (*For those of us with a sarcastic side, check out Venmo’s latest ‘Unboxing’ spot, starring YouTube sneaker reviewer Brad Hall.) On the flip side, payment solutions based around physically using devices at the point-of-sale to complete transactions are facing challenges with adoption.  And those that are paying for physical goods with their mobile phones are not doing so regularly; of the 7% of consumers who have made a purchase using their mobile phones, the vast majority (74%) are only paying three or fewer times per month with their devices.

    On-demand is in demand

    It’s no secret that we now live in a highly accelerated culture where consumers expect goods and services to be available ‘on demand’.  In turn, shopping channels have to be accessible anywhere, anytime.  The connected consumers of the future will increasingly make online purchases via mobile, which is estimated to account for half of all e-commerce sales by 2020. So how can brick and mortar retailers position themselves successfully for the future?  Recent innovations toward blending the in-store and online relationship may offer a hint. The mobile shopping app Curbside, for example, is partnering with retailers such as Target and CVS to allow users to shop and pay from their phones, and then pick up purchases at local stores without having to get out of their cars.

    From ‘cash-less’ to ‘card-less’?

    Many consumers are also looking to free themselves from what they have to carry in their wallets, including cash and credit/debit cards. Our data shows that nearly 90% of consumers globally carry a mobile phone with them when they leave their home; in comparison only 69% carry a credit, debit, or charge card. Clearly there are opportunities for other payment solutions.  In fact, many banks are already tailoring services to this end – leading institutions like JP Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo are implementing new options for cardless cash access expecting consumers to at least have their phones on them, but not necessarily their cards.

    Infrastructure is Holding Us Back

    Generally, consumers tend to look for infrastructures to be in place before adopting certain innovations.  Understandably, mobile payments are a more massive undertaking that involves a good deal of collaboration among financial service companies, retailers, mobile device makers, phone carriers, apps, and more – but if the systems aren’t in place, how can we expect consumers to truly start adopting? Though small, the appetite is there, but adoption will still be more gradual in nature.


    Consumers are seeking help to free themselves from cards and cash, and innovation through new payment methods is taking place within the consumer mindset of instantaneous access.  Anticipate mobile solutions to continue gaining ground – though primarily more as another form of ‘online payment’ (through apps, etc.).  Expect slower adoption around the physical usage of mobile devices to help consumers make transactions. More opportunities for mobile payment systems will arise with a wider infrastructure put into place and with further innovations that blend consumers’ in-store and online relationships.  Smart retailers and brands can leverage the fast growth of peer-to-peer payment systems such as Venmo to create the appropriate infrastructure within their business, but the wants and needs of consumers ultimately will be what drives adoption. Mihir Bhatt is a Senior Consultant at GfK Consumer Life.  He can be contacted at

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