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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

    • 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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    • 07/29/16
    • Press
    • Financial Services
    • Retail
    • Consumer Goods
    • Global
    • English

    Brexit causes dramatic 11-point drop in UK consumer confidence

    Sharpest monthly fall for more than 26 years – GfK’s long-running monthly Consumer Confidence Index dropped 11 points in July (since the June interviews conducted before the Referendum) from -1 to -12. The survey dates back to 1974 and July sees the sharpest month-by-month drop for more than 26 years (March 1990). This is also a further 3-point drop from the -9 recorded by the Brexit Special in early July. All five measures used to calculate the Index saw decreases this month.
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