Digital-first brands raise the bar for financial services providers

Digital-first brands are raising the bar for all financial services providers, signaling a watershed moment in the financial industry.

Financial services providers usually belong to one of two categories.

Legacy brands:

Large, established incumbent institutions with physical stores that offer a range of financial solutions


Digitally native, tech-first challengers that deliver innovative experiences across products and tasks to make customers’ financial lives easier

Most financial consumers use at least one disruptor.1

But they’re especially popular among adventurous early adopters.2

A significant number have already switched their primary financial services provider to a disruptor. More say they might switch.3

Legacy brands were once thought to have an advantage when it came to trust, bolstered by physical marble-and-mortar locations.4

Now that most financial brands offer digital tools, trust is table stakes — and disruptors are closing the gap.

They’re also outshining legacy brands when it comes to personalized, seamlessly integrated, user-friendly digital experiences.

And after trying a payments disruptor once, customers start to expect those experiences from other providers in the payments space.5

Making up more than a third of U.S. consumers, early adopters are 1.6X more likely to be a trusted financial advisor to their friends and family.6

They are defined by an attitude of openness and experimentation, not by a demographic.7

They’re enticed by financial incentives like better rates, sign-up offers, and lower fees.8

But it’s a standout user experience that compels them to switch their primary financial services provider.

When an early adopter switches and stays, word spreads and trust grows.9

So how do you earn an early adopter’s loyalty?

By building digital products that make their lives easier. User-friendly digital options are important to mainstream users too: Searches for “best online savings” (e.g. “best online savings account”) rose by 60% since last year.10

Due to the pandemic, demand for mobile-first financial technology has soared since last year.

Beyond everyday transactions, people are turning to digital solutions for a range of financial needs.

People who had a positive financial outlook before the pandemic are feeling less positive now.15

Early adopters have a more positive outlook than most. If circumstances changed, however, they’d be the first to switch.16

Compassionate customer care matters to all consumers when selecting a financial services provider.

By investing in digital transformation, brands can demonstrate to early adopters that they care about making their financial lives easier – especially in uncertain times.

And by creating user experiences that simplify stressful tasks, brands can earn and keep their trust.