The fact is, to remain competitive in the new landscape, lenders will have to be extremely good at both.
Credit providers are now between a rock and a hard place: On one side, the latest Payment Services Directive plus the Competition and Markets Authority’s 2018 Open Banking regulations will force them to throw open their product and customer data in order to level the competitive playing field - this gives the consumer more choice, but makes it much harder for the lender to win customers and keep them.
On the other hand, the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) will force compliance departments to be ultra-careful with customer data - the potential fines will be enough to cripple any business that allows personal data to be breached or compromised.
To compound all this, increasingly impatient customers in the digital age are ever more demanding and have ever shorter attention spans. They expect applications and decisions that take seconds, otherwise they will take their business elsewhere.
In the midst of this conflict, what do creative teams need to think about in 2018? They will need to create a front-end that not only complies with all the next-generation regulations, but also stops losing too many customers half way through the application process.
First, it is important to get creative and compliance in the same room. It will be critical for the two teams to work collaboratively together. Compliance will set out the parameters that have to be adhered to, and creative will take the lead on problem solving around them. A good creative project manager should also act as a ‘systems integrator’ to bring together other critical business processes such as security, and ensure collaboration and cohesiveness across the whole organisation.
"Increasingly impatient customers in the digital age are ever more demanding and have ever shorter attention spans"
Together they will have to address certain key questions, such as: “How can the user journey be as frictionless and yet secure as possible? What is the best way of laying out on-page content, terminology and prominence without compromising its attractiveness and usability? Who is the data owner and which department’s policy is responsible for this?”
The teams will need to agree on what we ask customers to do, and at what point in their visit to the site. Ask them too much too soon and they will bounce; on the other hand it is vital to establish their eligibility and their permission to access their data.
The technology exists to incorporate hidden, high-level checks within the first three elements of content - while a first-time customer is still enjoying the experience of their first visit to an engaging and attractive new site, a lightweight check can be triggered in the background to very quickly personalise the user journey for every individual - telling them what they may be eligible for and therefore minimising declined applications and disappointed customers.
This personalised user journey should therefore be able to cater to different users’ needs: if they’re just shopping around then it must be frictionless and give them as many incentives as possible to stick around. If, however, they know what they want, they will want to do it straight away. Today’s customer treats time spent creating an account like a financial transaction - time is money. We need to focus on the benefit to the customer at every stage – not just on the website but cohesively across every channel from the contact centre to in-branch. This is the difference between multi-channel and truly omni-channel.
Finally, the right blend of creativity and tech can create opportunities for up-sell and cross-sell while the customer is in this journey. With the cooperation and collaboration of an expert compliance team, the creative possibilities are still extremely exciting.