Good save: Disrupting users to break bad money habits

But how do we really motivate people to change their habits for longer-term gain and ensure they've saved enough? Humans are creatures of habit. Those who’ve never saved need little encouragement to continue spending. The future is years away. Couple this to today’s always-on consumerism, where there’s always something to spend on, and the problem is plain. In any case, aren’t pensions really complicated? Add in affordability issues, lack of urgency and poor financial incentives and you’ve got the perfect storm.

Here at Answer Digital, we think there’s a huge opportunity for finance organisations to engage customers and turn the inertia currently inhibiting saving on its head. New financial digital experiences can help people overcome the myopia and the lack of knowledge and understanding. Digital can empower people, encourage them to take much greater control and plan for the future while giving them the confidence they’re doing the right thing.

Online banking expectations are ever increasing...

These days, consumers expect online banking portals to provide easy to navigate records of transactions, interactive performance graphs, paying and transfer facilities, quick and easy online application forms for new products and more, as standard. So how can digital help to motivate users to change their habits, give them confidence and plan for events long into the future?

With this in mind, a range of design principles should influence new financial digital experiences: users should be offered malleable goal-based saving scenarios (Is 200k enough to retire on? Even if I have five children? How can I save more?); nudge theory should support and encourage users on a regular basis; easy to access information about different options should enable self-learning and empowerment, without being daunting, boring or complicated; tools should be available to build a solid financial plan for the future by highlighting gaps; and more.

By creating delightful, innovative and responsive experiences – while being sensitive to customers’ different financial circumstances – companies can disrupt customer behaviour to motivate users to take more control of their financial future. And as consumers increasingly rely on mobile phones to complete everyday tasks, this is the channel through which the majority of customers will expect to start and probably complete their journey.

Traditional financial institutions should be as ambitious as the challengers when using digital opportunities to improve a user's life and wellbeing. If companies get this right, regular brand exposure and improved relationships is the heady reward; especially in relation to long-term savers with pension products.

About the Author...

Andy has been an Experience Design professional for over 13 years, responsible for solving problems within UX, Service Design and Design Sprint roles. Companies he's worked for include HSBC, Aviva, NHS, Bupa, Co-op and Government agencies to name a few. Previous to joining Answer Digital, he was a Lead UX at Aviva for a 45-strong team of designers. His passion is working with clients to help solve complicated problems through beautifully simple experiences marrying business and customer needs.