8 insights into young people’s attitudes towards banking

Graduation

Disruption defines technology’s role in challenging traditional business models by creating a ‘sharing economy’ or innovating to replace archaic products or services. It’s about iPhone VS. Blackberry, Airbnb VS. hotel industry, Amazon VS. highstreet booksellers, famously Uber VS. black cabs. The one industry on the precipice of disruption is financial services, more specifically, retail banking – its ‘uber moment’ is approaching.

Disruption in the simplest sense is a market adapting to meet public expectations. That’s why Good Rebels and Revoo’s ‘Bank to the Future’ report looking at 16 – 25 year olds attitude towards banks and everyday banking is so crucial. They are current customers and customers of the future, growing up in a space where investment in fintech products has ballooned over the last three years.

In a presentation at Lansons, Good Rebels ran through the executive summary of their findings. It’s clear that the financial services sector radically underestimates this consumer group. Banks need to be smarter with data, be even more transparent with how services work, be supportive by speaking an understandable language, and be convenient.

Thanks to Laura Dinneen (@lauradinneen) I’ve now read through the whole report picking out key pieces of insight. There is a lot more information in the full report and you can see the panel debate that took place last year below. If you have any questions, drop me a comment or give Laura, the real expert, a shout.

Bank to the future – panel discussion from Reevoo on Vimeo.

#1 Ambitious and optimistic with global outlook

16 – 25 year olds strive to achieve more in life, focus on developing new skills, and have a passion for social issues. Social media has opened up activism on a global scale for them but has also reinforced the need for validation in themselves. From a global perspective, 39% strongly agree that they want to live and work abroad, with 72% wanting to explore the world around them – not as ‘tourists’ but travellers, getting hands on with world cultures.

#2 ‘Always on’ culture

71% say that they are constantly connected online and 53% say it’s critical that they must be contactable at all times. This means the mobile phone is more important than their wallet, not just for connectivity but potentially because mobiles can now be used as a digital wallet with contactless payments. Giving personal details to companies online isn’t a worry, but it must be for the right reasons – a worthy trade-off.

#3 Plugged into the online reputation economy

They seek expert opinion before buying products and services, with the internet playing an important part of this. However, once they find a brand they like it’s common that they stick with it. Demonstrating the importance of getting the consumer experience right for long-term customer loyalty. Although this could be endangered if the company in question has a social issue, clashing with the first insight.

#4 Attitude towards money

It’s worth remembering that life experience varies immensely between 16 – 25 year olds; from students, undergraduates, and young adults in work. The research identifies five different money-types in the age group. This ranges from those heavily dependent on their parents, a group suspicious of modern banking procedures such as online banking, those classed as ‘adults in training’ experimenting with a range of money products, super users who are confident with their finances, and the checked out who are pessimistic about their financial future.

#5 Financial journey, a story of dependent to independent

There are three key financial milestones. Around the age of 14 a part-time job or handling one-off payments such as birthday money aligns with choosing a bank account – occasionally moving away from one setup by parents. The second is going to university that means looking at student accounts, credit cards, or even short-term loans. The third is graduation, having your own home, or receiving a first full-time pay check, leading to shopping around for financial products to fit (also dealing with debt from University).

#6 Savings and investments

It may surprise you, but 72% do have some form of saving or investment, but its older age groups who have the larger investments. Cash, savings and pensions rank highly, but so are alternative investments such as gold, art and antiquities.

#7 Finance back on the agenda since Brexit

Interest in the economy has been on the decline for the last three years, but 2016 saw a resurgence of interest, possibly due to Brexit. Despite this, overall levels of interest in personal finance/investments is down for 16 – 25 year olds, with proportional increase of interest per older age groups.

#8 There are major pain points

There are a few major pain points when it comes to the relationship between 16 – 25 year olds and banks.

Attitudes towards banking

These are:

  • Banks not speaking an understandable language. There is a lot of frustration as the language of banking is full of jargon and terms difficult to understand. This age group crave straight-talking and impartial advice.
  • Lack of personalisation. Many feel banks view them as just a number and this age group responds by feeling no particular loyalty towards their bank. Feeling undervalued means shopping around online for another deal.
  • Exploitation, the banks just want my money. I can personally relate to this one as moving from a student current account to a standard one can cause havoc with managing overdrafts.
  • Banks look down on young people as they have less money. This was a significant feeling, especially as the age group felt banks didn’t trust them with sensible financial decisions.
  • Banking technology is limited. This is just a fact for the younger generation who have grown up with smartphones, needing constant connection to the internet. Seamless online banking still needs developing to catch-up with the other activities this age group do through their smartphone. Someone in the study switched banks because theirs didn’t support Android Pay.

Do read the full study for more information and if you have any questions leave a comment or get in touch on social media.

 

How to write a social media compliance procedure

Looming buildings

Whilst the best known digital campaigns tend to be consumer focused, regulated industries are the heartbeat behind the UK economy. The services sector in the UK accounts for 80% of GDP and financial services are an important part of this.

Digital innovation for highly regulated companies isn’t just about virtual reality, chat bots, and embracing the world of open APIs – sometimes it is posting a tweet or sharing a picture on Facebook. It is the challenge of meeting the real-time demands of social media, balancing creativity with wordy disclaimers. This often results in communications teams choosing to stay clear of online channels to not get on the wrong side of compliance teams or infighting.

As a solution, social media can be conquered with an operating procedure. A framework that links into existing regulations and guidance (such as the FCA social media guidelines), providing a set of procedures to follow. Such a procedure can be agreed between multiple teams internally, referred to as an active document, and provide step-by-step instructions for issues/crisis escalation.

If you’re looking to write a procedure for social media compliance, then here are some sections to start you off:

Overview of the team

It sounds straightforward, but list who the members of the team are. List out all relevant titles and contact details. You may be surprised how quickly members of a team change over time and keeping an up-to-date list helps when seeking sign-off or if something on social media needs escalating.

Managing content and approvals

Social media is instantaneous, 24/7, and it never sleeps. Regulated companies on the other hand can be slow to move and occasionally even be their own worst enemies when it comes to social media communications. I’ve worked with regulated companies who put all of their trust in their PR agency to post content, equally I’ve managed social media programmes with a month sign-off process. Regardless, you need an approvals process for content and a regimented way of working that still allows for creativity.

Cyber security

The resurgence of fake news making headlines is raising questions of what to trust online. Fake news isn’t just an issue for journalism and social media, it’s about ensuring the websites you’re visiting are safe. Fake information has always been around, as exampled in my blog post from 2015, “In the USA, Dow Jones plunged 140 points after a rumour spread on Twitter from Associated Press’ Twitter account. The estimated temporary loss of market cap in the S&P 500 totalled $136.5 billion.”

If you’re a regulated company then have a process to ensure best practice in cyber security. An easy way to start his looking at the format of your passwords and making frequent refreshes. Eventually consider expanding this policy across to your IT team educating people about the sites they are visiting to prevent security breaches.

Social media monitoring

If you are a regulated company then you may have specific social media monitoring requirements to follow. For instance, the FCA require companies to keep a complete record of their communications on social media for auditing purposes. However, social media monitoring is also about understanding the online community you wish to engage with and spot opportunities to take advantage of; whether commenting on a relevant story or assisting a customer in difficulty.

Escalation

By the very nature of social media, sometimes people won’t agree with you or unfortunate instances can occur. Sometimes an employee may get caught doing something they shouldn’t, confidential documents may appear online, and the governance of a company can fall under question. Ensure you have a solid escalation procedure for these situations, supported by a modern social media monitoring solution, and a talented team that knows when (or not) to engage.

Service Level Agreements (SLAs)

One of the biggest bugbears of highly regulated industries are the timescales involved. Make sure your social media compliance procedure includes agreed SLAs, not just for the sign-off of online content, but for compliance feedback and the timeframes of monitoring. For instance, if social media requires continuous active monitoring, then you may need to outsource teams across different time zones.

 

At Lansons we work with regulated companies on a daily basis, often introducing social media compliance processes. The above list is just a starter of some things to consider. If you have any questions or bits to add, comment below or get in touch.

London needs these entry-level digital roles

There are currently 40,000 technology businesses employing almost 200,000 people in London, which is 3.5% of the capital’s workforce.

To drive digital innovation and futureproof the workforce of London’s businesses, the Mayor of London launched a new £7 million Digital Talent Programme in December that will provide entry-level digital opportunities for young people.

The programme supports 1,500 young Londoners by offering work placements, providing learning opportunities, and matching academic prowess with real-world experience. One of its primary objectives is to provide work opportunities for those from disadvantaged backgrounds and ethnic groups.

To celebrate the launch, the programme has released their “Priorities for entry-level digital skills needs in Greater London” report, a result of a consultation made earlier in 2016, setting out the priority digital needs by companies in London.

I’ve read through the report so you don’t have to, picking out the key pieces of insight. It should be useful reading for anyone interested working in the digital industry as a whole, and sheds some light on the state of digital marketing in London.

Digital priorities are broad

The priority entry-level digital roles in London includes cyber security, which should be embedded across all business areas and has a real need for specialists. Games development is a profitable business area and is considered a priority beyond other software and applications roles. For digital business roles, digital marketing specialists are needed – as we know from the public relations industry, often this may involve introducing digital expertise to traditional companies.

Foundation knowledge for the digital industry

Businesses who responded to the consultation said that irrespective of the entry-level digital role, foundation knowledge in digital should include:

  • An understanding of the digital landscape that means knowing how different digital roles are interconnected with each other, along with how businesses are now using technology
  • Understanding cyber security and the best working practices
  • Entrepreneurial working approach and the ability to respond quickly to change

Shortage of cyber security specialists

Even though the report is aimed at entry-level roles, it admits roles in cyber security need to be more specialist. This means jobs tend to be more focused around operational functions, such as managers, risk analysts and penetration testers (*giggle*). If you want to enter the profession then a basic foundation in cyber security is obviously required, along with a foundation knowledge of coding, law, and ethics.

Software and game developers are needed

The biggest digital priority in London is the need for software and games developers. This covers everything from analysts, design, providing excellence for user-experience and implementing internet solutions. Most common skillsets required are those who can use the Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop, Flash, After Effects, etc), with knowledge of the languages Unity3D, Unreal and Swift.

IT and Big Data

Alongside the need for straightforward IT support in businesses, are roles that cover the creation and maintenance of databases, plus the analysis of data. In this category knowledge of SQL Server is a must, Microsoft software, and Oracle EBS. Understanding of statistics tools R or SAS are needed for data analysis.

Digital marketing

Digital marketing is the single biggest priority area in business services across London. It includes everything from content creation, search engine optimisation, advertising, community management, email marketing – the list really does go on. There is an opportunity for the public relations industry to help plug many of the digital marketing gaps here, but also a realisation that with growth across online advertising and e-commerce roles, public relations may not be a suitable ‘umbrella’ discipline to futureproof businesses in London.

Lights, camera, action!

Jobs in film production are still the largest sub-sector in all film related employment and visual effects is a significant part of roles in London. A number of roles in these areas have to be filled by overseas work according to the Migration Advisory Committee, so the Mayor’s apprenticeship programme is aimed to plug this gap.

 

If you are currently looking for an entry-level digital role in London, then I encourage you to read the report to discover exactly the types of knowledge and skills that will be expected from you. For example, computer science degrees are still more naturally aligned to roles in the IT sector.

As I read this report, it’s clear that the public relations industry has a need to clearly outline its career journey and look at skills being asked for across other digital industries; such as video production, data analysts, and broader areas of digital marketing.

I fully support the Mayor’s Digital Talent Programme, especially as we’re now living in an age where rigid academic structures struggle to keep up with the pace of digital innovation – leaving real-world ‘hands on’ experience as a priority.

53% of Wikipedia articles don’t “provide encyclopaedic coverage”

Wikipedia_mini_globe_handheld

Despite the English Wikipedia having 29 million registered users, only 119,453 have been active within the last 30 days, and it’s just 24% of this group that make over 5 edits each month. This is putting strain on the biggest crowd-sourcing project of the 21st Century as almost 30,000 active editing users are attempting to maintain 29 million English articles – let alone cover new topics (explore the stats here).

Wikipedia classes each article on the website according to its importance and quality score, a complete list of the quality scores can be found here. To date 53% of the articles on Wikipedia have been rated as stub class meaning “an article deemed too short to provide encyclopaedic coverage of a subject”. As studies have shown Wikipedia pages appear in 99% of Google results, this presents a reputation issue for companies wanting to provide internet users with accurate information about their operations, especially as even non-registered Wikipedia users are able to make public changes to pages.

When agencies and in-house teams worked with Wikipedia to form the ‘Statement on Wikipedia from participating communications firms’ in 2014 and sign the agreement that included to not make direct changes to the encyclopaedia due to conflict of interest, perhaps Wikipedia was in a better place? Perhaps Wikipedia editors were more likely to make factual changes on behalf of public relations practitioners?

Practical experience of working with Wikipedia editors and advising clients has shown me a potential lack of activity from once influential users on the website. With over 5.5 million articles on the English Wikipedia, there is simply not enough crowd-sourcing activity from maybe 30,000 people alone to ensure information on the website is kept up-to-date. The knock-on effect for the internet in general could be catastrophic, as Google and Facebook frequently pull the free information from Wikipedia to generate information around search results.

Wikipedia’s current situation presents both a risk and an opportunity for the public relations industry. Practitioners are being pushed into making direct factual changes to pages where they have conflict of interest, as the two-year-old signed agreement becomes difficult to follow in practice. Of course, the foundations of Wikipedia are also beginning to crumble as over half the information on the encyclopaedia isn’t seemed detailed enough to provide coverage of a subject.

The current situation Wikipedia is in requires an honest and upfront discussion with administrators on the website. As long as current active editors remains flat and the number of articles increase, the long-term content sustainability of Wikipedia is in question. Even though from a financial point of view, Wikipedia appears in the black.

If you’re trying to work with Wikipedia but are finding it difficult to find an active editor who can provide support then ensure you follow Wikipedia policies and guidelines before making changes and don’t be afraid to use ‘Wikipedia: Ignore all rules’:

If a rule prevents you from improving or maintaining Wikipediaignore it.

LinkedIn rolls out new features for business pages

LinkedIn has begun rolling out its new website design for business pages, three months after the initial announcement. The face-lift is intended to lure people into spending more time on the social network and includes a host of new features for business pages. For a long time LinkedIn has proudly kept a retro design, in a similar way to Reddit, but it seems modern functionally has required a revamp.

The website design change comes 12 months after LinkedIn overhauled its tablet and smartphone app experience. Now that Microsoft has secured regulatory approval for its $26 billion acquisition of LinkedIn, the design change is no doubt to prepare for better integration with Microsoft services. Thankfully this has not meant adopting the 1980s-esk blocky metro design theme.

What’s new for business pages?

At the centre of the LinkedIn business page change is a clear focus on recruitment. Whilst LinkedIn proves valuable for B2B marketing efforts, this is mostly achieved through personal profiles, leaving LinkedIn business pages struggling to find purpose. The focus on recruitment isn’t just a design tweak, but shows LinkedIn is investing in a clear HR functionality for pages.

LinkedIn new design, overview

One of the biggest changes by LinkedIn is a ‘life’ page that focuses on showcasing the culture of a company. This provides the option of integrating a featured YouTube video, showing images of the workplace, profiling company leaders, and a spotlight section on what it’s like working in the company. In an age where companies are held accountable by their workforce to reviews on websites like Glassdoor, LinkedIn is providing an opportunity for companies to have their own HR voice.

LinkedInLifePage

There is also a separate cultural insights section that uses information from registered employees on LinkedIn to profile seniority, working location, education level, and skills. Hopefully companies choose to profile the diversity of their companies in this section, rather than use higher education as a quality goal in its own right.

Content is still king

The new design change is akin to a Facebook page, as recently published content will appear high on the page. This shows that there is still a big role for content marketing on LinkedIn, beyond publishing content on individual personal profiles. It would be good to see LinkedIn Pulse article integration in the new business page design, but perhaps this is something for later this year.

What is Microsoft’s master plan?

We know that the Microsoft and LinkedIn leadership teams have been in discussions for a few months now and there is no doubt the design change plugs into Microsoft’s plans. Some of the features it has lined up that are useful for businesses are:

  • Extending the reach of sponsored content across Microsoft properties
  • Enterprise LinkedIn Lookup powered by Active Directory and Office 365
  • Redefining social selling through the combination of Sales Navigator and Dynamics 365
  • LinkedIn notifications within the Windows action centre

Read The Verge’s full round-up here.

The new LinkedIn design is being rolled out gradually in the UK and if you are an admin of a business page, you should hopefully be given the option within the next few weeks.

My three words for 2017

Standing up

At the start of each year I share my three words, a way to guide my choices for the year ahead. It also summarises expectations of where I feel like I need to continue learning to develop personally and professionally. As this will be my sixth year of doing this (unbelievable!), I’m keen that this doesn’t become a meaningless formality.

Fancy joining in?

I joined in with Chris Brogan, an influential business blogger who began ‘three words’ in 2006. The aim is to pick three words or phrases that can either work together or separately to guide your decisions. You may want to use the words to focus on different aspects of your life. If you get stuck, pick up a dictionary!

Last year was about giving more to others

As I summarised in my three words from last year, change was a theme for 2015, therefore 2016 felt like an opportunity to give back by focusing on how to coach others, working as a member of the community, and not forgetting who I am when work gets busy. Charity and coaching will always be priorities, so this year it’s time to focus on something new.

My previous three words have been:

2016: Coaching. Charity. Adumbrate.

2015: Charity. Creativity. Insight.

2014: Balance. Contribute. Health.

2013: Stability. Growth. Decisiveness.

2012: Missed this year.

2011: Understand. Grow. Support.

My three words for 2017

Moderation – I loathe to be cliché and write ‘fitness’, so 2017 will be about moderation when it comes to food, drink, and even the amount of screen-time my eyes get. A balanced life is about moderation and knowing limits, something that is especially difficult in a modern age.

Seek – Social media is a bubble. Social sites such as Facebook are not driven by serving news that makes you think, but instead just wants you to click to fuel their goliath advertising network. So finding news and information that really challenges world views is becoming increasingly difficult and takes proactive work. This year I will seek more.

Generosity – This is about being ready to give more of something, not necessarily money but also time. It’s about approaching life showing more kindness and willingness towards others. It’s a key character trait, and not something I’ve forgotten, but at times I do need to focus on.