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Tech take-up may engage more young savers

Tech take-up may engage more young savers

Financial services companies that want to win younger customers will need to continue to adopt new technologies, a tech specialist has said.

Nick Ford, chief technology evangelist at software platform Mendix, welcomed news that the coronavirus lockdown had encouraged more people to start thinking about getting their finances in order, particularly younger people.

However, he said if these young people were to be able to build proper savings pots, they would need a joined-up approach from technology and financial services organisations to help provide various platforms and tools that would enable a whole new generation of savers to thrive.

Mr Ford said: "Technology is becoming increasingly important to financial services organisations that want to win younger customers and get them interested in their finances. To achieve this, organisations need to provide an experience that the younger, more tech-savvy customers really want."

He said technologies such as voice assistants, smart watches, and augmented reality devices, are all gaining traction and provide touchpoints that younger customers are accustomed to.

"All of these touchpoints enable mini-experiences between consumer and bank such as payments, alerts, account balances and quick reports, and must be delivered in a compelling way", he said.

"Firms understand this need to embrace technology, with our recent study finding that nine out of 10 IT leaders in financial services believe their firm will need to invest in digital projects over the next two years, just to survive in a rapidly changing market", he added.

While such innovations often require a technology stack and solution supporting them that can handle the complexities of multiple data sources and service providers while maintaining context across different touchpoints, it is important to attract people with the "necessary skillset" to build such solutions. 

He said low-code can help as it enables all makers, "both those who are technical and less technical digitally to participate in and add value to the process of creating enterprise-grade applications.

"This helps foster a spirit of collaboration between business and IT, bridging the gap that currently exists and making sure that digital skills are extracted from all of the business."

His comments followed from a podcast on FTAdviser, in which specialists across the fintech world revealed how the lockdown had encouraged more young people to start trying to get their finances in order, using smartphone and other accessible technology.

At the time, Michael Kent, from digital money transfer firm Azimo, said: "The promise of fintech is a reduction in the cost to serve. Historically, people with access to market opportunities and good education were those who had a high net-worth but if you have £100 a month to spend it has been hard to put that into the market to get the same level of opportunities.