2022 started off like a typical rom-com; after a couple of life-changing adventures, we thought we were finally headed toward our happily-ever-after. But wait—as we begin the first chapter of 2023, there’s a looming plot twist. What customer experience (CX) challenges can we expect to see in 2023?
Spotting emerging trends and helping clients take advantage of them is a critical part of our work at Beyond the Arc. Every year we focus on key themes and potential CX impacts that create opportunities and risks in the next 12-18 months.
Looking at the intersection of 2023 trends in CX, and 2023 fintech trends, our team shared predictions and insights. We want to help organizations “skate to where the puck will be”, and also forge a path that helps them skate ahead of the rest of the pack.
With ongoing economic uncertainty, differentiation and delivering measurable value are more important than ever.
2023 Trends in CX, Fintech and AI
CX and Financial Wellness >
- Real-time payments will become a lever for improving financial wellness
- Focus on financial health will drive new business models
- Credit unions will use FedNow to attract younger members
- Embedded payments will drive growth in business super-apps
AI and Machine Learning >
- AI/ML will become critical for using first-party data in a cookieless world
- AI and NLP will gain traction for backoffice automation
- AI image processing will continue to transform applications and CX
Social Media >
- Machine learning will increasingly influence experiences in social media
CX and FINANCIAL WELLNESS
prediction: Real-time payments will become a lever for improving financial wellness
As 2023 promises more volatility in the economy and job market, financial institutions (FIs) will face more pressure to support financial wellness. Beyond the Arc CEO Steven Ramirez underscores the importance, predicting that focusing on financial health will be one of the top 2023 fintech trends. He argues the #1 challenge banks and credit unions will face:
“Rising interest rates, and the subsequent fallout, are going to batter consumers. FIs will need to do more to help protect their customers’ financial health. Despite much conversation and virtue signaling, FIs have not developed effective means to improve financial wellness.“
Gavin James, a CX strategist and our Director of Creative Services, expects that offering real-time payments will become a competitive driver to help meet that need:
“In a tough economy, both consumers and businesses grow edgy about cashflow. Real-time payments offer new control to pay bills at the last minute, and enable struggling businesses to get paid faster. Integrating services like RTP® and FedNowSM will quickly become essential to any FI’s CX strategy.“
prediction: Focus on financial health will drive new business models
Supporting financial wellness will become more of a focal point for new products and services and one of the key 2023 fintech trends. Nina Katz, a wealth management and banking expert, predicts we’ll see financial institutions come to market with new as-a-service offerings for financial health:
“As an example, a new financial education subscription-based service provides guidance around key life events, such as marriage, children, divorce, and retirement. Financial advisors can subscribe and offer this resource as a value-add to clients.“
the bold move for wealth management firms
Consider a business model mashup for mass affluent clients to help them prepare for homeownership. For instance, create a monthly ‘subscription box’ experience1 of digital services that includes a robo-advisor app for financial planning and advice. It could help increase client engagement, and provide both a new revenue stream and an ongoing source of valuable client data.
prediction: Credit unions will use FedNow to attract younger members
Many credit unions (CUs) face the challenge of an aging member base and difficulty attracting younger generations. Designer Michelle Espinoza predicts the new FedNow service for real-time payments, launching in 2023, represents a pivotal growth opportunity:
“Credit unions have appealing qualities for Gen-Z (membership-owned, focus on community, lower fees), and offering instant payments could be the key to winning them over. But CUs will need to get better at marketing to this audience. Those that prepare now will have a competitive edge when FedNow launches.“
the bold move for credit unions
Download the FedNow Readiness Roadmap and complete STEP 1: Evaluate your own systems, processes and plans.
prediction: Embedded payments will drive growth in business super-apps
Major fintechs are dominating market share with small businesses by enabling embedded payments. Big banks like Chase are fighting back, creating digital ecosystems to “regain ground lost to Stripe and other big fintechs by integrating banking, payments and business services.”2
Gavin thinks one of the top 2023 fintech trends we’ll see is increased pressure (and innovation) to design B2B super-apps. This will give small businesses a centralized way to efficiently manage diverse financial needs. But making it work requires a user-centric focus:
“A super-app for small to medium businesses could become a vital differentiator for banks and credit unions. But it can’t just be a jumble of products and services, like the typical business portal. A winning super-app must put the user at the center, with a personalized, goal-oriented experience that reflects how business owners think and operate.“
AI and MACHINE LEARNING
prediction: AI/ML will become critical for using first-party data in a cookieless world
In mid-2024, the world will never be the same. No, this isn’t an apocalyptic prediction, just the long-awaited retirement of the third-party cookie. And with this change, much of the targeted digital marketing goes away. First-party data, or the internal data a company has about customer behavior and transactions, will be more important than ever.
As Steven sees it:
“In 2023, look for two data science techniques to gain popularity, look-alike modeling and cohort studies:
- ‘Look-alike modeling is a process that identifies people who look and act just like your target audiences.’3
- ‘A cohort is a group of users experiencing a common event within the same time period. And a cohort analysis is when you try to derive insights from the behaviour of this group.’4
“With these techniques, and a solid AI development process, banks and credit unions will be able to counter some of the performance marketing tactics that have led to fintechs’ rapid growth.”
the bold move for marketing leaders
In 2023, develop your first models to predict which factors determine customer lifetime value.
prediction: AI and NLP will gain traction for backoffice automation
For industries like banking and insurance, two ongoing challenges are how to operate more efficiently and personalize customer experiences. Jacqueline Espinoza, a CX strategist who frequently works on natural language processing (NLP) projects, predicts we’ll see a rise in NLP for workflow automation:
Brian Yang, an analyst, expects we’ll see more wide-spread adoption of NLP as one of the 2023 trends in CX. In addition to using NLP to understand customer email:
prediction: AI image processing will continue to transform applications and CX
AI image detection and deciphering isn’t new, but it’s now gaining traction for more use cases. We see this driving new opportunities in the year ahead. Bruce Johnson, our lead data scientist and AI/ML expert, expects that places and objects that once required an explanation will be trusted instantly thanks to AI image processing:
“Images can include products and objects, but also problems. We already see apps that can diagnose problems with plants and suggest solutions. AI image processing will increasingly learn to capture the relevant details from visuals to solve issues and answer requests. This kind of thinking will span further business and sales applications.”
We’d love your feedback on our 2023 predictions. Tweet at us @beyondthearc or tag us on LinkedIn. And now you can find @beyondthearc on Mastadon.
Our Beyond the Arc team is part of the tech and CX innovation ecosystem. We’re passionate about helping businesses take advantage of the 2023 trends in CX and fintech with innovative ideas, strategic services, and deep industry expertise.
Let’s collaborate to help accelerate your success in 2023
1 The Ultimate Guide to Subscription Box Business Models, Chargebee
2 Chase’s Playbook to Beat PayPal and Square in Digital Payments, Financial Brand, Oct 2022
3 Back to Basics: What is Look-alike Modeling? Lotame, May 2018
4 What Is Cohort Analysis & How Can It Help Your Business, Webengage
prediction: Machine learning will increasingly influence experiences in social media
As top social networks continue to battle it out for engagement, we’ll see more analytic innovations to improve monetization. Brian predicts that as machine learning gets ‘smarter’ for social media, brands will want to learn from it as well:
the bold move for customer service leaders
Evaluate if social media channels like Facebook and Twitter are still relevant for handling customer support. Time to consider Instagram and TikTok?
What kind of predictions would these be if we didn’t mention the metaverse? One of the 2023 trends in CX to watch is that metaverse experiences will become more targeted. Bruce notes:
How did our 2022 predictions turn out?
Did we hit the mark? Let’s circle back to a few trends we targeted for 2022: