The iPhone 6 has arrived with a tremendous amount of press and hype as only Apple can do in a new product introduction. Regardless of the Apple vs. Android debate, our focus from a financial services perspective should be on Apple’s intense focus on improving the customer experience. What has differentiated them in the marketplace is that they are selling an innovative and elegant user experience – an experience that many consumers will pay a premium for. And Apple Pay is a perfect example of how technology will continue to raise the bar for financial services firms.
With the combination of NFC and fingerprint scanning driving Apple Pay, the credit card may soon become obsolete. And the new technology provides more than just a better customer experience, it’s also more secure, a key concern of both financial services institutions and retailers. With remote check deposit scans and smartphone payments, is there really a need for brick-and-mortar banks in an Apple Pay future?
And what about the process of applying for a mortgage or refinancing a loan? Will NFC and fingerprint scanning allow for more streamlined application processes? While compliance is certainly a consideration, there may be ways to better educate consumers. Quick links to understand legalese or the ability to have Siri read contracts aloud are just some of the possibilities.
The takeaway is that FSIs need to break the usual focus on cool new technology and to start thinking differently to pave the path to innovation. Apple’s value comes not from added camera pixels or faster chips, but on their ability to solve customer problems. Perhaps all of us could benefit from a customer-centric approach – developing the technology and processes around day-to-day needs rather than requiring adaptation around new products.