Humanizing finances: beyond the cold numbers

Let's imagine for a moment that banking was presented to us as a movie... would we be seeing dramas, thrillers, comedies...? I propose this exercise to you because entities try to connect with people and send us messages and offers –with greater or lesser fortune– to provoke some type of feeling, like the seventh art. Let's see the tools they use to make the financial sector more human.

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How does your bank make you feel? Emotions arrive in the money world

Continuing with the cinematographic analogy, there are many cases of directors who are really capable of transmitting emotions with their creations despite having low budgets. This is increasingly happening in the financial sector. When your entity cares about its customers and helps them on a daily basis, it is generating a real relationship and a feeling of satisfaction and trust, with no need to make large investments.

Let’s now imagine that the bank understands my needs, knows how I live and adapts in real time to my life project. Does it seem impossible to you? The reality is that everything is in my transaction data: expenses, income, insurance, deposits, charges, loans… If an unexpected income arrives and my entity cares about me, it will recommend that I must save or invest, to get the maximum benefit from that extra money.

When, due to those tips and recommendations, I can afford that trip I have been waiting for so long, my attitude towards the bank will never be the same. Because it helped me! It contributed to making my dream come true, generating a warm feeling, full of joy for achieving my goals. Do you understand the difference? It’s not about words, but about actions.

Explore the world of behavioral finance and how it helps you understand your customers’ habits.

More human and people-centered entities

Banking directors or, as we are seeing them in this article, financial “artists”, can connect with us on a deeper level. When watching a movie, why do we sometimes cry and other times leave the room “cold”? The key is in the dedication of these artists and whether they are able to empathize with their audience. With enough information, my bank can understand my thoughts, my concerns, and my emotions. They just have to pay attention and have the necessary tools.

Finance is inherently transactional, focusing on figures and balances. Where does emotion and feelings fit in here? Well, a key aspect to humanizing finances is to realize that the economic aspect occupies a very important place in our scale of priorities. Linking how we relate to money and how we live our lives allows entities to create a unique user experience.

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Innovation to better understand the banking customer

I have already given an example of a banking experience committed to people. I am going to tell you now how financial history allows us to discover the most important moments in our lives. Do you remember your kid’s first day of kindergarten? Or when you surprised your father with an afternoon of fishing? And that special comic that you found by chance?

Emotions are present in every banking operation. What entities need is to work with tools capable of enriching transactional data and translating the figure into sentiment. Numbers are actually decisions, memories, hopes… everything that defines us as human beings. Technology helps us read data and strengthen ties.

Emotional engagement and behavioral finance

Why are more and more banks applying behavioral economics principles to their business strategy? Because it has been proven that to overcome their cognitive biases, users need a little “nudge” (as the Nobel Prize winner in Economics, Richard H. Thaler, described it). These nudges can be programmable insurance expiration alerts, personalized savings tips, or timely information on energy consumption, for example.

Offering data to customers and lending a hand to manage their finances requires a banks’ commitment. On the one hand, they guarantee access to the knowledge that users need to improve their financial health. On the other hand, they allow them to make informed decisions about their lives. The developments that some entities are integrating, thanks to their collaboration with fintechs, can materialize this emotional commitment and ensure more lasting relationships between companies and users.

What movie do you want to be for your financial client?

The speed, transparency and flexibility required in the financial industry seems to have no limits. It’s time to use the technology at your disposal to stand out from the competition and become a cult film. Your users need help to achieve their goals, and you can only offer it if you understand their current situation. Therefore, it is necessary that you have tools that integrate artificial intelligence, machine learning and natural language processing.

Using these technologies, transactional data makes sense and you discover the feeling behind each banking transaction. The key is to categorize and enrich that information –that the user is already giving you– in order to discover financial insights with which to hyper-personalize your communications, products and services. When you humanize finances you are not only improving Customer Experience (CX), but also establishing a solid and lasting relationship with your clients.

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