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Financial Services

The Think Forward Initiative – To help ING to understand the deep psychological themes that underpin a consumer’s relationship with non-cash payments.

The Challenge

As adoption of new cashless payment technologies takes off, understanding how consumers feel about using contactless cards, online payment systems like PayPal, phones via Apple Pay and Android Pay and even voice activated purchases via devices such as Amazon Echo is of increasing importance to both the established financial institutions and the growing fintech sector.

The Approach

The first technique, Mind Metaphor Interview (MMI) methodology, is grounded in various disciplines, including verbal and non-verbal communication, visual sociology, visual anthropology, semiotics, mental imagery, and cognitive neuroscience. The principles behind the approach are that thoughts often occur in patterns and pictures, not always as words, as most human meaning is exchanged nonverbally, and emotion and reason are equally important.

We then used Implicit Response Test (IRT) methodology to quantify the strength of associations consumers have with control for both cashless and cash payments. The IRT is an online test that measures automatically evoked associations and attitudes by measuring changes in reaction times in a word sorting task when participants are ‘primed’ by exposure to images.

The Outcome

The research suggests that financial institutions and fintech companies could develop interactions and experiences for customers to help them feel more in control of their finances. Using the four dimensions of control that consumers are most concerned with, we believe these institutions and companies can help with introducing spending limit notifications through apps, better highlighting of security measures, creating easier, frictionless payments and offering a greater level of data transparency and how it is being used.

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