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Shaping the future of finance

Imagine if you integrated emotions with transactions

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If banking was delivered like a song, how would it feel? Would it have emotion and belief, or just be delivered as words and music by a robot?

The difference between customer engagement and customer service is pretty much the difference between delivering a stage song and being on the stage. I am a huge fan of musicals, and have seen more shows than most of you would remember. It’s another of my things. But I can see the difference between an artist delivering a song versus living a song. The artists that make me cry make me believe they are really there, in that song. Can you hear the people sing?

It is very similar to banking. How? Because some banks really understand how I am living my life, my transactions, my payments, my process … and then others don’t.

In fact, the real difference is whether I believe in this artist, this person, this emotion. In a musical, why do I sometimes cry and sometimes feel meh. It’s the singer, their delivery and whether I feel what they are feeling. In a bank, it’s whether they understand my thinking, my needs and my emotions. It’s the difference between engagement banking and meh banking.

If you think about this in more depth, when have you been engaged so far in your experience of an event that you were laughing, crying, feeling love and hate? Was it at an event with a top comedian or a song sang that related to when you met your partner? Was it a moment in theatre or something that happened when your life went wrong?

Imagine if you could include those emotions in banking, finance, transactions and payments.

Imagine? It’s hard when it comes to numbers.

Finance is transactional. It’s all about the numbers. The emotion doesn’t come into it, does it … but what if it could?

I’ve blogged so often that finance rules our lives and is the second most important thing in our lives (#1 is who we are with). So, what if finance could broker the relationship between how we live our lives and who we are with, and our emotions about money and spending. That would be truly engaging banking.

Unfortunate, most execs I meet in the leadership teams of banks purely view what they do as debits and credits. I don’t see it that way, and a lot of people developing next generation financial services don’t view it that way.

They recognise that money is emotion and emotion is money. Can we integrate that feeling and emotion and create engaged banking?

So, give me an example. What would be engaged banking in an emotional world?

I guess it’s hard to create that scenario but, for me, one example would be where I bought my wife’s engagement ring; where I invested in my first rare comic; the moment I paid for the first holiday to Disneyland for my kids; the time that I stumbled across a fantastic person creating art that was imaginary and visionary … the list goes on.

Imagine if you could search your digital financial history and find everything you were thinking and doing through that history. When was that investment in my kids? Why did I buy my partner that ring, and where was I? Which day did my parent die, and what legacy did they leave?

Imagine integrating emotion and transaction to create truly engaged banking. That would be a thing … oh, and do you hear the people sing?

Chris Skinner Author Avatar

Chris M Skinner

Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog,, as author of the bestselling book Digital Bank, and Chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club. He has been voted one of the most influential people in banking by The Financial Brand (as well as one of the best blogs), a FinTech Titan (Next Bank), one of the Fintech Leaders you need to follow (City AM, Deluxe and Jax Finance), as well as one of the Top 40 most influential people in financial technology by the Wall Street Journal's Financial News. To learn more click here...

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