Predicting the future of any industry is not just about picking which technologies will go mainstream, it’s about understanding how humans will respond to that technology. People let technology drive their decisions and the future of their organisations. However, I believe we put too much emphasis on how technology will change, and not enough on how the customer will change. Here are the top seven trends in human behaviour change that I expect to see very soon….
20 years ago, being a YouTuber or an Instagram model wasn’t a thing. But changes in technology, our behaviours and what society deems to be normal means that these are now considered as careers. As technology continues to evolve and Generation Z enters the workforce, expect some quirky new job titles
2. The shift from the gig-economy to the U/X economy
The gig-economy, or the service economy as it’s sometimes known, is where having everything available on demand is key. In the user experience (U/X) economy, the customer experience is the key factor. This will apply to everything from buying clothes to obtaining a credit card. The U/X will be the differentiating factor between brands. We’re already starting to see that become a reality in some sectors, but it will become much more prominent in future.
3. Bricks and mortar shopping will revolve around the smartphone
Shopping in-store will not die, but the way people shop in-store will change. Smartphones are already becoming integral to the shopping experience. 57% of millennials reportedly compare prices on their smartphone whilst browsing in shops.
In the future, customers will not want to wait in lines, they won’t want to take a card out of their pockets – they probably won’t even carry cards. Making the entire checkout process seamless is going to be key. For payments companies, being able to make the payment invisible, is going to become a basic expectation.
4. Microtransactions will increase
It’s estimated that by 2021, $1.4 trillion of transactions will be initiated by IoT devices. Already, four people push an Amazon Dash button every minute, enabling instant purchases of low cost home products. Certain types of shopping activity, like repeat purchases of low value goods, will become invisible too. Who wants to spend time going out and buying shopping powder anyway?
5. You won’t be selling your financial products to humans, you’ll be selling to machines
In the future, smart finance management tools will be able to automatically select the best card or digital wallet to pay from to minimise interest payments or maximise reward points. Unlike humans, machines are rational and logical. They will evaluate products on how well they meet the customers’ needs. As a provider of financial products, you need to think about how you can make machines select your product over a competitor’s. This is already starting to become a concern with the arrival of Open Banking, but it’s going to be amplified in the near future.
6. Cryptocurrencies will expand from financial value to representing other values
Millennials and Generation Z place a high importance on brands reflecting their values, so expect there to be cryptocurrencies that reflect the values of these generations. These could be things like GreenCoin or EcoCoin, which would contribute to improving the environment. Cryptos like these would drive people to use them more than fiat currencies, but this will increase the need for a fast, efficient and cost-effective way to convert fiat currency into cryptocurrencies and that is a problem that the banking world needs to solve pretty quickly.
7. Virtual reality will extend beyond the realms of the video game
In 2016, multiplayer online games which are free to play generated $17bn in revenue. That will almost double to $32bn by 2020. As its adoption increases, we expect more of these virtual worlds to arise. We may see virtual worlds where people go to practice yoga or watch movies together or experience a holiday to another planet together.
Sci-fi often paves the way for real-world innovation, so maybe the Virtual Reality worlds will provide the blueprint for the future of payments or even new financial products? This is definitely a space to keep an eye on.