Accenture Song’s design agency Fjord has released its much anticipated Fjord 2020 Trends. The meta trend? There is a major realignment of the fundamentals, says Fjord, “a re-evaluation of purpose and place in the world by governments, businesses and individuals alike.” It’s a shift that will offer financial services (FS) organizations a chance to innovate their business models, services and products around new definitions of value.

The key insights? Fjord sums it up:

“In 2020, we will know more and care more about our world and our impact on it than ever before. What is important to us will be increasingly reflected in all areas of business, technology and design. This opens the doors to unprecedented opportunities for innovative and responsive organizations to better serve people—and truly thrive in business—in ways never before possible.”

Seven trends will shape the business of experience in the year ahead. They signal a major realignment of the fundamentals.

Crowdsourced from its global network of 1,200 designers in 33 studios, these trends will shape the business of experience in the year ahead, says Fjord.

I believe that financial services are becoming an increasingly integral part of consumers’ everyday lives. The Fjord trends are thus hyper relevant to FS players, especially in the areas of talent and organization (T&O)—my specialty.

The seven key trends are:

  • Many Faces of Growth: People are challenging organizations to define their success in more ways than financial growth. This is opening the doors to opportunities to imagine entirely new ways to create and sustain value. For FS organizations, it’s important to take note of this attitudinal shift and act on it. To earn mindshare and retain loyalty they need to redefine the types of value they can deliver. This may require new approaches by HR, and a culture shift.
  • Money Changers: The very notion and shape of money is morphing, along with our perception of it, and relationship with it. These shifts will enable us to do more than just buy things, and create opportunities for a new stream of product and services. As change accelerates, non-traditional FS providers are emerging. The opportunity for FS firms is wide open to innovate and collaborate to offer new services—if they are able to keep pace and engender trust.
  • Walking Barcodes: Facial and body recognition now make us as trackable in the real world as we’ve been for years online. 5G will create opportunities for new products and services—but we must all learn lessons from digital world mistakes and prioritize privacy and security above all else. FS firms, with their deep access to customer information, including indirect access via their roles in multiple ecosystems, need to understand the power and threat that their client- and employee data-access privilege presents.
  • Liquid People: This trend reflects the human side of growth. It takes into account that people are more aware than ever of issues like climate change, mental health and sustainability, and their impact on the world. It’s changing how FS customers live, work and buy. To remain relevant, FS firms need to understand these issues and ensure their brand and offerings fit, meeting lifestyle needs and matching highest principles.
  • Designing Intelligence: Artificial Intelligence (AI) is moving on. While, at first, it was largely used to improve efficiency through smart automation, its next iteration will be more about adding new value and supporting human ingenuity. For FS firms, this trend dovetails with the next, Digital Doubles, as AI begins to play a bigger role in building differentiating intelligent service capabilities.
  • Digital Doubles: Digital twins are the future. They are established tools in manufacturing and industry. Now, they’re getting personal. The race has begun to create virtual manifestations of ourselves: digital doubles. Organizations in financial services, healthcare and the workplace will increasingly recognize digital doubles as essential tools to predict, optimize and personalize customer solutions, as well as better engage with and grow their workforce.
  • Life-centered Design: We’re starting to question the self-centered nature of a user focus above any other value, prompting a need for design to switch from user-centered design to design for all life. Now, FS product and service designers must begin to address people as part of a greater ecosystem, as opposed to being at the center of everything.

Join me over the next four weeks as I take a closer look at these trends and their potential to help shape FS organizations’ success over the next 12 months.

Click here for more on Fjord’s 2020 Trends. 

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