The Rise of the Mobile Device in Finance

Trends / Technology
Thomas Barwick
Rebecca Rom-Frank
Apr 28, 2021
The digital transformation has been years in the making, but the pandemic accelerated financial services’ online offering, as well as consumer adoption. The Harris Poll found that, after months of avoiding brick‑and‑mortar banks due to health concerns, 59% of Americans use more banking apps to manage their money now than they did before the pandemic. Now that traditional financial institutions face competition from FinTech, getting technology visuals right can have a powerful effect on reinforcing consumer trust.

Over the past year, our financial services customers have become increasingly interested in visually representing technology itself—and the presence of smartphones increased at an even faster rate. As an industry, Financial Services is often ahead of the curve when it comes to choosing authentic visuals, but now, consumers also expect digital channels to offer them a more personalized, convenient, and simple solution to banking and financial transactions. As technology becomes more integral to our lives, reinforcing trust amongst Finance customers requires elevating the humanity of its users, and visuals are an effective way to communicate that trust.
As technology becomes more integral to our lives, reinforcing trust amongst Finance customers will require elevating the humanity of its users.
Today, 85% of Americans own a smartphone, according to Pew Research—that makes it even more popular than laptop or desktop computers. At Getty Images, rising global customer searches for “facetime,” “mobile banking,” and “contactless payment” indicate that customers want to show smartphones being used for variety of purposes, while rising searches for “hand holding iphone,” “person looking at phone,” and “smartphone home” tell us that they also want to show context around how and why people use them. Here are three tips for showing mobile technology in Finance visuals:

Show the purpose of mobile technology
Mobile devices are becoming integral to the way that consumers interact with financial services—now, smartphones are used for online shopping, contactless payments, banking apps, and even withdrawing cash from ATMs. With so many new possibilities, visuals present an opportunity to show how mobile solutions are portable, versatile, and convenient.

Our Visual GPS research found that in fact, 7 in 10 consumers only want new technology if it serves a purpose. So visuals that provide context around how technology fits into people’s lives—will resonate with consumers and small businesses alike.
Visuals can help educate consumers about artificial intelligence
Most of financial services’ visuals showing artificial intelligence often portray it as abstract, robotic, and futuristic. In fact, artificial intelligence is already integrated into financial services’ business—credit scores, robo‑investing, customer service chatbots, mobile check deposits, and even bill‑pay reminders in banking apps are all made possible by AI.

Consumers are ambivalent about artificial intelligence, our Visual GPS research found, because they don’t realize the degree to which it’s already making their lives more convenient. There is an opportunity to win customers over by choosing visuals that illustrate what AI actually does. Data protection is also a concern, so avoid futuristic blue tones and choose visuals with warm tones and a human touch.

Actually, the generational digital divide is a myth
Last year, our financial services customers chose twice as many visuals showing young adults using technology as seniors—and when seniors were shown using technology, it was often with a partner, or with the help of a younger family member.

However, our Visual GPS research uncovered that the generational digital divide is a myth—in fact, 79% of Baby Boomers report using a smartphone on a daily basis. Showing seniors confidently using mobile technology is a more authentic reflection of the world around us, and getting that right in visuals will reinforce trust with consumers.
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