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A recent MeridianLink survey shows consumers & institutions are aligned on the need for tailored, digital solutions.
To get a better picture of the road ahead in 2024, MeridianLink® conducted a customer survey involving nearly 100 financial institutions (FIs) on their priorities, concerns, and goals in the new year. When compared with an earlier 2023 consumer survey we conducted, some areas of focus become readily apparent.
Debt & Interest Rate Concerns Are Fueling a Need for FI Assistance
In a 2023 survey of 1,000+ American consumers’ financial habits over a six-month period, more than half (52%) stated that they are concerned about debt, with a third most worried about credit card debt and 19% feeling uneasy about their mortgage.
Additionally, while nearly a third (31%) of respondents shared that they’ve spent more money than usual in the past six months, 39% of respondents said that they’ve saved less money than usual.
Our FI customer survey on anticipated priorities in the upcoming year reflects these concerns: nearly one third (32%) of FI respondents foresee a pressing need to assist consumers with credit card debt and debt consolidation in 2024; 26% of FI respondents are preparing for an increased demand for new mortgages and home loan refinancing among their consumers.
FIs’ responses also take into account expectations surrounding elevated interest rates, with 34% of respondents linking rate fluctuations to anticipated economic growth or potential recession in 2023.
All this to say, debt management is shaping up to be a major challenge in the year ahead, and FIs that provide assistance to struggling consumers will likely come out ahead in terms of preparedness and consumer loyalty.
Personalized, Digital Experiences Are a Must
Consumers also shared the features they most value from their FIs, with personalized account alerts being the most frequently sought benefit; however, while personalized assistance dramatically increases consumer satisfaction, a fifth of respondents (20%) do not believe their primary FI provides them with enough personalization in challenging financial situations—something that will need to be urgently addressed in an upcoming year underscored by increasing debt concerns.
Again, FIs appear to generally be in alignment with their consumers on these issues. FI respondents expressed priorities including a seamless, omnichannel experience (43%), enhanced mobile banking apps (25%), and personalized financial services (25%).
Artificial intelligence (AI) is also receiving a lot of attention among FIs. In fact, several sectors are already applying AI to develop next-generation products and services that are more personalized and suited to the needs of their target consumers.
As for those FIs surveyed, responses varied in how they plan to integrate AI into their banking models: nearly a quarter plan to utilize AI for data analysis and business insights—which can help them better understand and serve their consumers—while another quarter aims to use it to automate routine tasks and processes. Another 20% intend to use AI to enhance customer service, as well as develop AI-driven products or services. Interestingly, nearly a third of respondents (30%) did not report immediate plans to implement AI within their operations.
Want To Learn More?
FIs and the consumers they serve are evidently in agreement on debt challenges and customer experiences, emphasizing the critical need for FIs to have the necessary tools and resources to elevate their service offerings. Read the full report below for more details on emerging trends and issues in the new year.
Read the Survey Report
MeridianLink Can Help You Modernize
MeridianLink provides over 2,000 financial institutions with powerful tools to strategically grow account openings, proactively manage consumer debt, and quickly provide personalized pre-screened offers to those who need it most—all with a commitment to personalization and improved experiences.
Learn how MeridianLink can help you modernize operations and provide the digital lending and account opening experiences today’s consumers expect. Schedule a Demo.