Financial Services: Visual Insights for Europe

Trends / Technology
Jonathan Knowles
Jacqueline Bourke
May 5, 2022
At Getty Images, we are investing in research to help financial services brands authentically connect with their target audiences. 3 in 5 consumers are now making decisions based on visuals, and with more content consumed every day, it's important that your messages take the right visual approach. Our latest VisualGPS research explores how financial services brands can use visuals to position themselves as sustainable wellness brands that are not only inclusive and accessible, but innovative, too.
Digital Transformation
As financial services brands rapidly accelerate their digital transformation, consumer requirements for accessible, secure and seamless experiences have intensified.
McKinsey research showed how European customer behaviour and needs changed instantly due to the impact of the pandemic: digital engagement levels climbed up to 20%, the use of cash halved, and 30 to 40% of customers expressed a greater need for advice.

Getty Images' VisualGPS research finds that 9 in 10 Europeans place high importance on brand commitment to personal data protection. While open banking is creating opportunities for personalisation, 79% of Europeans do not feel comfortable with companies collecting and using their data. From AI to cryptocurrency, the digital transformation for this industry is complex and multifaceted. Understanding which visuals inspire digital trust and engagement is essential.

We have found that the digital visibility gap widens for people aged 50+. Our European financial services customers are 9 times less likely to visualise people aged 50+ with technology than Gen Z. This is despite the fact that nearly 8 in 10 Baby Boomers use a smartphone on a daily basis. In the last 5 years, this representation gap is further widening in visuals most used by our financial services customers in Europe. There is a key opportunity here to close the visibility gap for people aged 50+ in digital transformation stories.  

When choosing visuals, ask yourself:
  • Are you establishing digital trust by showing clear messages of digital security and safety?
  • Are you encouraging adoption by showing the benefits of personalisation and convenience?
  • Are your visuals digitally inclusive? Who are they directly speaking to?
Financial Wellness
Financial wellness has shifted to become a top life priority for consumers due to the pandemic. Consequentially, financial services brands are now expected to be wellness brands, too. Getty Images' VisualGPS research finds that less than 3 in 10 Europeans are optimistic about the state of their financial health in the immediate future, and this impacts their mental wellbeing. From empathy to education, placing wellness at the heart of your visual strategy can speak to both financial and mental wellbeing.

Additionally, our research finds that twice as many young people in Europe say they struggle to manage their finances. Improving their financial literacy and saving for the future are much higher priorities for them now than before the pandemic. They are open to a wider variety of visual styles, and bold, clear standout visuals resonate well.

When choosing visuals, ask yourself:
  • Are you showing empathy by visualising proactive care for customers and employees who are currently experiencing financial anxiety and stress?
  • Are you prioritising financial literacy messaging in your visual communications through education and functionality, i.e., showing how to easily access resources for better money management?
  • Are you engaging younger generations by considering the visuals you select?
The Era of Social Good
The financial services industry is investing in efforts towards sustainability and financial inclusion to create value for society post‑Covid. Over 8 in 10 Europeans now expect brands to have sustainable practices and to be consistently committed to inclusion in their advertising and business communications.

In this era of social good, consumers are also looking to financial services brands to drive greater financial inclusion for the most vulnerable groups at the risk of financial exclusion and over‑indebtedness. From representing communities who have experienced bias to showing responsible consumption at scale for green investment, moving representation beyond tokenisation and getting real about unconscious bias can create more meaningful relationships with your audience.

Our inclusive visual storytelling search guidelines will provide you with helpful and practical keyword search tips to better represent your audience.

When choosing visuals, ask yourself:
  • Are you showing consistent commitment to sustainability in your advertising and business communication visuals? Do your green investment visuals show stories of transparency, scale and accessibility?
  • Are you showing financial inclusion? Are you considering the different layers of identities your audience may identify with? Are you representing inclusion on age, body size, different ethnicities, gender identity, disability, socio‑economic backgrounds, religion and sexuality?
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