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Futuristic vs. Future Shock: Which Mindset is Your Financial Institution In?


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Organizations can be generally categorized into two opposite mindsets when it comes to the future and changing technology: Futuristic and future shock.  


Financial institutions have a unique opportunity to get ahead of upcoming expectations for powerful, smooth digital experiences. However, those operating in a state of future shock may fumble when the time comes if they don’t adopt a futuristic mindset now.   


Futuristic Mindset  

A futuristic mindset takes a proactive approach towards technology in both thought and practice. A futuristic financial institution will recognize that consumers adapt to and cope with newer technologies as they become available.  


The Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 is great example of how consumers adapt to more futuristic ideals. People who traditionally did not use digital solutions like video chatting, online shopping and schooling, etc. had to adapt to the world staying in their homes; they were pushed to embrace digital solutions and continue using them even as the quarantine was lifted. 


Companies with a futuristic mindset during the pandemic were able to adapt and thrive with an open mind to new technologies, while those in a state of future shock strained their staff and infrastructure while struggling to meet consumers’ digital needs. 


Embracing futuristic technology advancements doesn’t mean your bank or credit union needs to adopt every brand-new piece of tech that comes out, but it does mean you need to keep an open mind about these technologies and how it's shaping the consumer experience, and therefore, expectations.


Future Shock Mindset  

Financial institutions with a future shock mindset are reactive instead of proactive, especially resulting from the pandemic. Banks and credit unions that are still reacting to problems presented by the pandemic are in a state of future shock, so focused on the past and present that they are unable to look ahead and explore the technology advancements consumers are expecting. 


At the beginning of the pandemic, restaurants that did not swiftly pivot to embrace mobile ordering and delivery options quickly fell behind. These businesses were in a reactive state of “but,” instead of the proactive state of “and.”  


Prepare for Tomorrow’s Financial Consumers 

With people (especially the younger generation) already experiencing a fully digital world, financial institutions must prepare now for the coming massive shift in consumer expectations in banking.  


Consumers can accomplish virtually anything online. People now are getting education, elementary through graduate school, without leaving their house. They can earn high school diplomas and PhDs without ever stepping foot on a campus, from their computers or even phones with mobile apps for studying and attending virtual classes. 


Others have experienced the process of applying for a loan and purchasing a house entirely online through realty and financial institutions that offer seamless digital experiences.  


You can even order a car online, loan included, and have it dropped in your driveway in 5 hours, without ever speaking to another person. Some people even visit car vending machines to pick up a car they ordered online.   


Do these digital-first consumers and members who are accustomed to achieving these major tasks online even need brick-and-mortar branches?


Will they choose a financial institution that requires in-person visits for services limited to business hours, or will they choose one that offers access to the entire range of products and services 24/7 on a mobile app?  


How Financial Institutions Can Think Futuristic Instead of Future Shock 

Financial institutions must be open to learning how to adapt with (and for) their consumers, focusing time on future members and not just the “right now.”  


An example of a financial institution acting on a futuristic mindset would be putting together a 5-year plan on digital strategy. This can include implementing digital solutions that today’s consumers are already getting used to and tomorrow’s consumers will expect, like online chat/digital customer service solutionsAPIs and integration strategy, online appointment scheduling, custom mobile apps, and more.  


Financial institutions might also consider the changes that come with a strong digital presence, such as less of a need for in-person services during business hours. With consumers able to access products and services online 24/7, perhaps a 4-day workweek or shortened business hours will make sense. 


Another example of a futuristic mindset is considering how your financial institution can take advantage of the metaverse. From creating your own fully functioning virtual branch, to advertising your brand to local consumers, or even supplying consumers with financial education, the metaverse presents ample opportunities for banks and credit unions to get in front of attentive audiences where they are already comfortable spending their time.  


Is your financial institution ready to adopt a futuristic mindset? Connect with our digital experience experts to explore your options.