In Australia, when the Consumer Data Right law passed to enable open banking, a string of new challenger banks launched, and seven local companies made the Fintech 100 list.  It’s the start of a new dawn in Australian financial services. Many are saying the best is yet to come, with significant strides still yet to be made in emerging technologies like AI, machine learning and robotics.

While the shift to non-banks is evident, traditional banks still have more than two-thirds of the market. They still run the show on how the majority of personal and business finances are managed, as well as bearing the burden of personal finance education to the greatest number of Australians.

Looking at 2020 and the current pace of change, it’s fair to assume that the way we use, receive and share money isn’t going to change any time soon…or is it?

The onus on financial institutions

Following the recent Royal Commission, the responsibility of and incentivisation for banks to financially educate their customers has come into question.

Traditionally, the argument went, it was in financial institutions’ best interest not to educate their customers too much. Otherwise, customers would grow more knowledgeable and begin questioning the necessity of certain financial products or up-sells, or (to a bank’s horror!) look into self-managing their finances.

However, the thinking today is less self-centered, and many financial institutions are rightly embracing a framework where they believe it’s their duty to help their customers have access to a breadth of knowledge to make better informed financial choices. This can come in the form of educational apps, blogs, podcasts, and more.

The role of communications and marketing professionals in financial education

As content creators, in a world where ‘snackable’ content reigns supreme, it’s common to undervalue the need for content to have long-term intent. Taking a step back and understanding emphatically who content is intended for and what they will get out of it will ultimately keep content creators accountable for imbuing quality and meaning in the work we do.

With the growth of fintech, we’re too often seeing marketing and communications professionals focusing on educating consumers about what the technology can do, and the features of each product. While there’s a valid time and place for this type of content, it shouldn’t form the bulk of any content strategy. Instead, as Simon Sinek would say, we need to focus on how the tech will impact our everyday lives and why a change in behaviour is worth adopting.

But this isn’t always easy. Often content creation for fintechs can become muddled with legal and compliance (as it needs to be), but can have the downfall of diluted or generic content by the end.

Without an investment in content that tells compelling stories, whilst adhering to regulatory requirements simultenously, fintechs will struggle to break through the noise. Consumers will only get more clued-in to the new opportunities presented to them by the Consumer Data Right as awareness grows.

Fintechs should prioritise content which consumers can access to actually change their views of fintech in a way that drive behavioural change and adoption of these technologies. Otherwise, we’ll be left with some pretty fantastic, but unused, solutions that could be solving some real-world problems.

Hotwire Australia will be running a panel event on November 26 about the future of fintech and open banking, which will focus on the challenges around driving behavioural change with these technologies and how to overcome those challenges
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