The adoption of design thinking techniques is not an option for financial services, it is a must. The landscape is changing rapidly, and design thinking is affecting everything we do and use, hence the business case for it is indubitable.
Design thinking has been applied with tremendous impact in many industries, including consumer products, education, financial services, healthcare, NGOs, and transport. It is because of design thinking that Apple went from a near defunct company to what it is today. Governments are also paying attention and adopting the approach in many countries.
In retail financial services, companies such as PayPal, WoldRemit, WeChat, FWD, and Uber continue to challenge traditional thinking, while in the wholesale financial market, companies such as Ripple may give Swift a run for their money. iRX is changing the wholesale insurance paradigm and companies such as Aquan/Zilliqa are providing platforms, reaching $1bln market capitalizations.
The history of these fintech companies is one of being outrageously disruptive and, in particular, design thinking focused. Traditional financial services organizations are, therefore, endorsing the approach in order to be part of their clients’ life as opposed to an unloved necessity. Examples include:
- A Singapore bank re-imagines their process of explaining products to clients, resulting in increased sales of its new investment product by 150 percent.
- A CIO of a global European bank defines innovation as a change in process and deploys design thinking to reduce costs by over 30 percent.
- An Australian insurance company increases profits by 35 percent by enabling interaction with clients to complete necessary tasks within 60 seconds.
- DBS builds a digital bank in India in nine months; it has over a million customers.