The Internet of Things (IoT)—the extension and interaction of the Internet with things in the physical world—and the rise of connected intelligence are ushering in a new digital era that we call Living Services. These digital services react in real time to changes in the environment and to patterns of behavior, and they promise to transform how we live, work and play.

They also promise to affect the way we spend our money. In a digital world, payments are integrated into a person’s day-to-day routine, becoming almost invisible. Consider Uber, for example. A person taps the app to call a car, makes the journey and arrives at their destination, all without giving a thought to the financial transaction that occurs.

Living Services place the person at the center of everything. They wrap around us, constantly learning about our needs and preferences, so that they can flex and adapt to make themselves more relevant, engaging and useful. As opposed to generic services, which are designed for the masses, Living Services are designed for the individual.

Technology Trends

Why now?

Conceptual ideas about intuitive, responsive Living Services have been with us for decades. What’s different now is that these concepts are finally deliverable at scale. And in a GAFA (Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon) world, they are becoming a must-have, driven by two forces:

  • The digitization of everything. Products with built-in smart technology are connected by a vast network.
  • Liquid consumer expectations. A cultural shift is raising our expectations for a best-in-class experience across categories.

The way of the future

Over the next five years, sensors, the cloud, connected smart devices and real-time analytics will combine to deliver a new layer of connected intelligence. Across industries and sectors, this connected intelligence will revolutionize the ability of financial services organizations to offer interesting and increasingly indispensable digital services to their customers.

Initiatives that are showing the way of the future include:

  • Visa and Accenture worked together to build a connected car prototype. A single touch on the car dashboard lets drivers place grocery orders, or pay for gas or fast food. The application has the potential to learn patterns and behaviors over time, becoming increasingly more valuable to the driver.
  • Fiat-Chrysler and Accenture collaborated on the design of Uconnect®, a system that provides drivers with communication services, entertainment and navigation, and helps them stay focused while on the road.
  • Tesla’s December 2015 upgrade integrates Spotify and connects with the driver’s profile.
  • IFTTT (If This Then That) is a service that allows users to create chains of simple conditional statements, which are triggered based on changes to other web services such as Gmail, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.

Where will we experience Living Services?

Living Services will affect almost every aspect of our lives:

  • Our homes. Managing energy, shopping, security, environment, entertainment, our diaries and budgeting.
  • Our transport. Driving management and support, maintenance management, route planning, traffic information, insurance assessments, roadside attractions and services, media and work communications, fuel and energy management.
  • Our leisure time. Real-time, contextually-appropriate recommendations, content curation, bespoke offers, information on travel/parking options, decision-making tools.
  • Our money. Balance management, moving money, shopping decision-making, investment advice, mortgage advice and borrowing.
  • Our cities. Managing congestion, combatting crime, street lighting, infrastructure, the environment, building repairs, waste collection and planning.

By embracing consumers’ lives and adapting to their needs in real time, Living Services will bring in an era of personal service, similar to what was available to wealthy consumers in department stores and at home 100 years ago. Only those financial services companies who know their customers and gear their services to match people’s needs will be able to remain competitive.

In my next post, I’ll examine what Living Services will look like in tomorrow’s Banking world.

In the meantime, to learn more about Living Services, visit Fjord’s site

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