Where is the Service in Financial Services?

Image Courtesy of  epSos

Image Courtesy of epSos

The current state of the banking sector has caused many to lament “Where is the service in financial services?”.  Hopefully for customers this is a trend that will soon change. The design consultancy firm Continuum are synonymous with innovation. Over on the Continuum blog, Brian Gillespie discusses service design thinking and the innovation of financial services. According to Gillespie, a principal at Continuum, “in order to regain consumer trust and create financial service innovations of the future, providers need to adopt a fresh approach to the design and marketing of financial products and services”. This is a view that I wholeheartedly endorse and one which is reflected by the growing stature of design thinking and service design in the financial services sector. Indeed, ABC News Australia’s The Business programme called “Design” the latest buzzword in the financial sector.  

In Gillespie’s article, he lists a number of financial service providers who are leveraging service design and design thinking including Jyske Bank, Umpqua Bank, ING Direct. I would also add to the list Bank of America, Deutsche Bank and Fidelity Investments.   It will be interesting to see how the growing demand in service design and design thinking skills is reflected in the hiring policies of financial services companies. Joel Bailey, Director of Service Design at Capita, predicts that most companies are maturing towards embedded service design teams as opposed to the outsourcing model that is currently favoured. Accenture's recent acquisition of Fjord design illustrates that some companies may acquire smaller design firms to build on their internal design capabilities.