New Year's Predictions: Marketing, PR and Fintech in 2024

2024

 

The fintech and financial services industries continue to show resilience, and we eagerly anticipate another year marked by innovation and productivity. As we work on our annual Bankers as Buyers report, which highlights predictions and trends for the financial services industry, we were inspired to make a few of our own. WMA team members weigh in on their 2024 fintech, marketing and PR predictions. 

5-Dec-12-2022-08-38-31-0886-PMPrediction: Generative AI and Ethics

"Generative AI has been top of mind for everyone this year and 2024 will be no exception. Media organizations and trade associations have started releasing their guidance and recommendations for the use of generative AI. For example, PRSA just published material on the ethical use of AI. In 2024, the conversation around AI will shift from how we can use it to how we should use it. There is no doubt AI is a powerful tool, so as communications professionals, we must be mindful of the power we allow it to have." – Gracie Gay, Senior Account Agent  

1-Dec-05-2023-02-33-03-0025-PMPrediction: Bank and credit union workforce shift

"Even with relatively high turnover of staff, banks will be more deliberate about the roles they create to address their needs. For example, CFIs have less than 2 employees responsible for fintech partnerships. Moving forward, they will grow the staff and departments that generate new revenue sources. " – Scott Mills, President

3-Dec-12-2022-08-38-30-7268-PMPrediction: Data will continue to engage audiences and be a driving force of storytelling

"Data points and statistics will continue to be woven into articles to emphasize storytelling. Sharing data within an article can show transparency, validate assumptions, and create a form of more personalized communication that appeals to an audience. One example of how data is utilized to create a personalized and engaging experience is through Spotify Wrapped. Each year, users of the music streaming app flock to see their data-based stories that share a recap of their individual listening throughout the year. Likewise, MuckRack releases an annual "State of Public Relations." People enjoy seeing complex topics broken down into simple measurements that they can individually relate to." – Kayla Smith, Account Associate

13Prediction: AI

"The financial industry is positioned for transformative changes driven by technological advancements, especially in Artificial Intelligence (AI). It will influence various facets of financial and fintech services. With models making it easier and less expensive to integrate AI capabilities in digital products, more banks, credit unions, and fintech companies will focus on AI initiatives hoping to introduce new products that will bring incremental revenue. This trend will set digital products apart while enhancing the overall customer/member/user experience." – Catherine Laws, Executive Vice President

2-Dec-05-2023-02-33-03-0084-PMPrediction: FI’s will spend more on services – consulting/contract programming in 2024 than new tech platforms

"Financial institutions will spend more on services because they want to get the most out of their existing tech investments and services are not capital investments by FI's that need to be amortized over several years." – William Mills, CEO

 

6-Dec-12-2022-08-38-31-2643-PMPrediction: Focus on Financial wellness 

"As many continue to struggle due to increased cost of living, high rates and the resumption of student loan payments, we will see a spike in fintech focused on helping consumers increase their financial health and wellness next year. There will be fintechs that try to do this through a B2C model, but there is a real opportunity to instead reach consumers through their community FI – it just needs to be approached the right way. Community banks and credit unions remain critical parts of their communities and local economies, but they have to figure out how to serve and support consumers in a digital-first world. This is one way they could really make a difference. "

Prediction: Diversity in fintech

"There will be an increased push for diversity in financial services. The often homogenous boards and leadership teams of financial services companies not only leave many un or underrepresented, but this sameness is detrimental to innovation. Different POVs are necessary to push the needle and evolve. There will be a significant drive for more women, POC, and other traditionally underrepresented groups to get a seat at the table next year."     – Amber Bush, Group Director

Haleigh-1Prediction: Loss of interest for Twitter/X

"Twitter/X has had quite the year of ups and downs and many organizations have jumped ship already and relied heavily on LinkedIn for the B2B space. I would guess this would increase even more in 2024. Posts will continue to be more interactive and engaging with an increase of visual elements. Some companies may even break into routine podcasts or video posts or segments for their followers."  – Haleigh Dhaou, Account Supervisor 

Blair-2Prediction: Growing Deposits, conversion of single product customers/members

" Community FIs - particularly CUs - often have single product relationships with consumers (ie, an auto loan through a CU that was set up by F&I at a dealership). Too often, the consumer pays off the loan and then the relationship ends. Community FIs are recognizing this and more aggressively working to convert the relationship from that of a secondary FI to a primary FI with those consumers. The challenge is how to do so effectively and through the mobile/digital channel." 

Prediction: Generative AI and Fraud

"Whether through AI-generated deep fakes, better phishing attacks, or more persistent AI-supported data breach attempts, the industry will be working to keep pace with the development of new AI capabilities and its use by fraudsters." – Blair Logan, Executive Vice President

Frankie-1Prediction: Secure technology to combat fraud

"Now is the time for banks and fintechs to tap into the power of AI to optimize tasks and enhance efficiency and, most notably, prioritize real-time fraud detection. Customers' personal and financial data need to be secure and protected from any fraud. Investing in sophisticated technology with proactive measures that not only prevent fraud but also detect any red flags will be a crucial step for banks and fintechs. As fraud continues to advance, leveraging technology and AI to protect customers from threats needs to be at the forefront. FI's can gain a competitive edge and foster stronger customer relationships by effectively positioning themselves against fraud." – Frankie Keck, Account Associate

11Prediction: The verticalization of AI

"Looking ahead, the next horizon of AI deployment will focus on verticalization. This involves tailoring AI to specific industries and integrating it into certain business operations. As generative AI matures, more businesses will customize or build their own, remarkably niche and highly personalized models. This shift also presents a powerful opportunity for those looking to break into the AI space, enabling them to stand out among the crowd and create a differentiated service experience. " – Maddie Mitcham, Account Representative 

12Prediction: Authenticity in the face of AI

"Generative AI is changing the way communicators do business, with programs able to create not just words, but videos, artwork and sounds. For communicators, the challenge is to continue to be authentic with content, strategies, and establishing strong relationships with the media and clients. We will need to be transparent on how AI tools are used and focus on the value we bring to those we work with. Authenticity builds trust, which creates genuine connections and long-term relationships." – David Jones, Executive Vice President 

Adrie-1Prediction: A human approach

"An authentic human approach has always been important, and it always will be. The one variable that stands to completely disrupt this approach? AI. As the digital age ramps up its use of AI-driven technology (doing more things than I can keep track of), emotional connections, authenticity and the human touch will play a much larger role than ever before in the next year. With consumers shifting expectations and demanding more authentic interactions, whether in-person or via social, taking a more humanized approach in the way in which you interact with people will be essential in the time of chat GPT. When you “humanize” a brand, you’re making it more relatable and approachable to its target audience. This goes beyond crafting the traditional corporate messaging and will require incorporating genuine human qualities such as empathy, humor and understanding to allow you to connect with your audience on a deeper level. " – Adrie Morales, Account Representative

Derek-1Prediction: The continued rise (and likely acceleration) of invisible finance

"Embedded finance will likely continue to see growth/ubiquity over the next year, with more integration into non-financial platforms like e-commerce, SaaS and marketplaces, pushing closer to a truly invisible financial experience. Consumers like the seamless access today's digital landscape offers and financial services are finally catching up. With its popularity, more and more FIs are also likely to embrace embedded solutions too as a way to stay relevant, attract younger customers and compete with digital nonbank alternatives, like P2P and BNPL platforms. Additionally, with the continued rise of fintech partners providing these technologies and along with more robust, widespread digital wallet capabilities, some FIs may even look to include these options as part of an overall repositioning to more of a banking-as-as-service strategy over a traditional FI approach. But at the same time, due to the complexities, costs and heightened regulatory concerns, many FIs may also be a little more wary of who they're partnering with for these opportunities, which could ultimately slow down the actual implementations of these solutions."  – Derek Howard, Account Supervisor

Prediction: Instant Payments Augmenting Payments Landscape
alex-2

"Instant payments have been around since 2017 thanks to the Clearing House's RTP Network. However, the recent launch of the FedNow Service has the potential to shake up the payments ecosystem completely. With the ability to make payments at any time from anywhere, the potential use cases are a significant point of interest. For instance, earned wages could become more viable, creating a more reliable form of payment for gig workers and freelancers. Enhancements to digital wallets is another potential use case. Instant payments would allow consumers to withdraw money from their digital wallets without delay. The immediacy that instant payments provide will require FIs and other organizations across the payments landscape to plan how to take advantage of new possibilities and opportunities." – Alex Arango, Account Coordinator

lauraPrediction: Authenticity

"2023 will be remembered for several key events: advances in AI, changes in monetary policy to combat rising costs, continued geopolitical conflicts, and more. As we move into 2024, we'll continue to feel the impacts in addition to the anticipation of the presidential election in November. Brands have to navigate all of these polarizing issues with sensitivity and intention - making authenticity the most important value to keep in mind in the new year. " – Laura Lenz, Account Associate

Prediction: TikTok Controversy Could Intensify in an Election Year
patrick

"Ever since TikTok's rise in popularity in the U.S. starting around 2018, there has been much debate over the platform and its links to the Chinese government among other concerns. These issues have led to regulatory decisions in the past, but they could intensify in the coming election year. No matter what you may think of the individual claims made, many Republican presidential candidates have already made the platform's presence in American life a campaign issue. Should one of them win the White House in November, they may push for further restrictions on TikTok or even ban it outright. Organizations that market themselves heavily on TikTok should keep a close eye on the looming presidential race and plan accordingly." – Patrick Guilshan, Account Associate

gabrielaPrediction: Data and AI-driven Personalization

"In 2024, banks and fintechs will continue to drive customer personalization by leveraging data analytics and AI. Intuitive experiences tailored to an individual are no longer nice-to-have, but rather table stakes. When used together, data and AI can intelligently aggregate data from a variety of channels and parse through for insights into customer behavior trends, needs and preferences to deliver real-time personalization. These technologies are redefining personalization capabilities across the industry, empowering enhanced customer relationships, improved digital experiences and stronger customer loyalty for FIs and other organizations." – Gabriela Lumpkin, Account Associate

Prediction: Increase in Combination PR/Marketing Communication Strategies
kendall

"The most successful communication plans include a balance of earned media and owned content. A combined approach ensures that PR and marketing messages are aligned and reinforce each other, building a strong and unified brand image. In 2023 we have seen an increase in “pay-to-play” opportunities. We will likely see those opportunities continue to become popular in 2024. Complimenting PR efforts with marketing can amplify reach by leveraging both earned media and now paid media with owned marketing content." – Kendall Carwile, Account Agent

Heather-2Prediction: Fintech in the fast lane

"Embrace the speed of change we’ve seen; it’s just getting started. Generative AI allows developers to move faster, granting the opportunity to explore more innovative ideas. At the same time, the market is ripe with opportunities for advancements. The CFPB’s personal financial data rights rules are solving financial fragmentation challenges and present opportunities for big advancements in financial health. SMB banking services are evolving quickly, and the need for better fraud mitigation will continue to grow as fraudsters emerge from the shadows. It will be an exciting year!" – Heather Sugg, Executive Vice President

Prediction: Breaking through the noise
Anna-1

"Engaging with your target audience is important for every industry, but in 2024, it will be incredibly important for fintechs to stand out in an increasingly noisy industry. Creating valuable, consistent and relevant content to attract and engage your audience is no longer optional, it is essential to future success. Specifically, engaging your target audience on social media will be pivotal in 2024. Leveraging social media platforms to share insights, educational content, proprietary data and perhaps most importantly, customer success stories, are just a few key methods fintechs should be leveraging in 2024 to break through in a crowded marketplace. A few other tactics that will continue to gain importance are leveraging video to connect with your audience, disseminating information in a way that is easy to digest such as infographics and providing industry statistics and third-party research to validate your opinions." – Anna Stanley, Account Supervisor

Angelo-2Prediction: With the growing presence of Artificial Intelligence (AI), successful communicators will need to sharpen their strategic and creative skill sets.

"AI tools are capable of developing a variety of communication assets. However, these tools aren’t as able to identify the best channel for a message, ensure message accuracy or suggest out-of-the-box thinking/creativity. These are a few examples of where the communicator will shine and provide value." – Angelo Jones, Account Supervisor

As we prepare for the year ahead, staying up to date with PR, marketing and fintech trends is crucial to achieving success. If you’re interested in submitting an article to Bankers as Buyers 2024, contact Scott Mills at Scott@williammills.com.

Submit an Article to Bankers as Buyers 2024

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