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EXECUTIVE

SUMMARY
ATTITUDES TOWARD DIGITAL
TRENDS AND FINTECH
US, OCTOBER 2019

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ATTITUDES TOWARD DIGITAL TRENDS AND FINTECH - US - OCTOBER 2019 2

Market Philosophy FIGURE 1: PROPORTION OF US THAT OWNS SMARTPHONE AND TIME SPENT
ON DEVICE, BY GENERATION, MAY 2019
Fintech is a unique subject matter that
seems at times to mean both everything
and nothing. All of finance, from minting
pennies to using smartphones as wallets,
requires the application of technology, and
yet the former is decidedly not Fintech
while the latter is its posterchild. Living in
the 21st century, technology is presumed
to mean digital technology (even as sales
of vinyl records have grown every year
for the past decade), and that is certainly
the understanding when discussing
Fintech. Although consumers are spending
unprecedented amounts of time on their
devices, they are comparatively slower to Base: 22,848 adults aged 18+; 17,690 adults aged 18+ who own a smartphone or feature phone
move their financial lives completely into the Source: Simmons Research, fall 2018 Simmons Connect Plus. Copyright: 2019 Simmons Research, Inc. All rights
digital world. reserved/Mintel

Key findings FIGURE 2: USE OF AND OPINION TOWARD VARIOUS FINTECH OFFERINGS,
AUGUST 2019
Tech isn’t an issue: people love
their phones “Have you used, or are you interested in using, the following types of financial
tools? Please select all that apply.”
Much of the customer-facing Fintech
innovation has served to make conducting
financial transactions easier and more
efficient – especially from mobile devices.
Using smartphone ownership and use as
a proxy for the Fintech market, we see
that the ground is fertile indeed. The lion’s
share of consumers own a smartphone,
and a significant portion of them spend the
equivalent of a full-time job staring at their
screen every week. Financial brands know
where to reach their customers, they just
need to compete with thousands of other
apps, videos, and attention traps (see
Market Size and Scope).

Most even like the Fintech they’ve


tried (but they haven’t tried much)

We asked consumers whether they were


familiar with a number of various Fintech
features, and, for every offering, those
who had tried it were about twice as likely
to have liked it than not. But this positive
reaction is underscored by a usage
problem: none of the offerings had been
used by more than a third of the population.
In fact, only one feature – fingerprint
access to financial accounts – was used
by more than 30% of respondents. Further
complicating matters, significant amounts of Base: 1,917 internet users aged 18+ who own a financial product
the population hadn’t even heard of many of Source: Lightspeed/Mintel
the features.

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ATTITUDES TOWARD DIGITAL TRENDS AND FINTECH - US - OCTOBER 2019 3

Innovation can only return value to the FIGURE 3: INTEREST IN FINANCIAL ACCOUNT WITH TECH COMPANY, AUGUST
extent that it also drives awareness. 2019
Consumers can’t use new products and
features unless they first know they exist,
and so financial brands need to make sure
that they are also devoting resources to
educate consumers about their Fintech
innovations (see The Fintech in Consumers’
Lives).

But people are not sold on Big Tech


in finance

Apple has now released a credit card in


partnership with Goldman Sachs, and
Facebook is trying to iron out the kinks
in its plan to release a cryptocurrency.
2019 has seen Big Tech sidle up to the
financial industry more closely than ever,
and it seems it may only be a matter of
time before we see the likes of a Bank of Base: 2,000 internet users aged 18+
Amazon, for example. Source: Lightspeed/Mintel

But before a Big Tech company attempts a FIGURE 4: ATTITUDES TOWARD SECURITY IN FINANCE, BY GENERATION,
successful full-scale entry into finance, they AUGUST 2019
will first have to win over a considerable
share of public trust. We asked consumers “Which of the following statements about security and your personal finances do
whether they would open a financial you agree with? Please select all that apply.”
account with a technology company such
as Facebook, Apple, or Google, and only
27% said they probably or definitely would,
compared to 52% who said they probably
or definitely would not. Another fifth remains
squarely on the fence.

As legislators openly debate whether these


tech giants should be treated as monopolies
and broken up, the prospect of building
further public goodwill certainly seems an
uphill battle (see Do Consumers Want Big
Tech in Fintech?).

And security needs to be front and


center

Regardless of whether traditional banks or


new tech entrants are providing financial
services, consumers need to know that the
security of their information and assets is of
utmost importance. Currently, less than 60%
of consumers say they trust the security of
their financial accounts and investments,
and just over half wish they knew exactly
what personal data companies have access Base: 1,917 internet users aged 18+ who own a financial product
to. Source: Lightspeed/Mintel

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ATTITUDES TOWARD DIGITAL TRENDS AND FINTECH - US - OCTOBER 2019 4

The digital world has made life What it means and what’s next increasingly digital. But while innovation can
incomprehensibly complex, and financial summon billions of dollars in venture capital
brands need to capitalize on that confusion Fintech will inevitably advance and evolve money overnight, consumers are far slower
by being a reassuring voice of stability as the underlying technologies propelling to adopt new technologies, and many have
and security as we move further into the the industry also progress and develop in serious reservations about security and the
technological future (see Fintech and order to more efficiently serve consumers role of Big Tech in Fintech.
Security). and their financial habits – which are

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