Financial Services Market Research

Financial Services Market Research


Have you ever wondered what keeps the financial services industry ready to adapt to changing economic tides and customer preferences? It leverages financial services market research and guides financial institutions through the ever-shifting terrain of their industry.

What Is Financial Services Market Research?

In the intricate world of banking, investment, and insurance, understanding the behavior of both businesses and consumers is crucial. This research offers profound insights into the multi-layered financial services industry, enabling entities to make data-driven decisions, cater to their clients more effectively, and forecast future trends.

Therefore, by engaging in financial services market research, financial institutions are positioned to better understand their customer base, gauge the success of their product offerings, and forecast market movements.

Why Is It Vital for Businesses?

One of the most compelling reasons to prioritize this research is the evolving nature of consumer expectations. Today’s consumers demand innovation and personalized services. For this reason, without in-depth financial services market research, institutions cannot tailor their services effectively to the needs and expectations of their clientele. 

Moreover, the global financial landscape is perpetually shifting. To navigate these shifts successfully and to ensure sustained growth, institutions are expected to use comprehensive and up-to-date market insights In particular, this research provides strategic advantages such as:

• Data-Driven Decision-Making: Financial services market research empowers businesses with data-driven insights, ensuring that every decision, from product development to marketing strategy, is rooted in solid evidence.

• Tailored Product Offerings: Through understanding consumer preferences and behaviors, institutions can design products and services that cater directly to the needs of their clientele. 

• Competitive Edge: Being aware of market trends, emerging technologies, and competitor strategies allows businesses to stay ahead of the curve, positioning themselves as pioneers rather than mere followers.

• Risk Mitigation: Comprehensive research offers a clearer picture of potential pitfalls, market volatilities, and areas of concern, enabling businesses to take preemptive actions.

• Enhanced Customer Engagement: Through feedback loops and sentiment analysis, businesses can enhance their customer engagement strategies, fostering stronger relationships and building brand loyalty.

Banks and insurance companies are the main players in the Financial Services industry.

Other players include credit and lending companies and their service providers. Large multinational brands lead the industry. These brands use Consumer and B2B market research to build and sustain competitive advantage.

Across the globe, the Financial Services industry is adopting digital technology. From Mobile Payments to FinTech, new opportunities exist for growth.  Companies are using technology to trade securities and financial planning. This integration of technology with business practices improves Customer Experience. It also drives better quality and minimizes costs. Financial Services Market Research allows companies to adapt and integrate emerging trends. 

Retail Banking Market Research

The retail banking market has seen more emphasis on delivering accessible banking services. Companies are also paying more attention to customer relationship management. Also driving growth is the introduction of mobile and Internet banking services.

Mobile Payments

Mobile payments first came into demand in 2014 with the introduction of Apple Pay on iPhones. Competitors lost no time in rolling out mobile wallet platforms of their own. The growth of mobile payments has shown considerable and consistent annual growth.  Issuers must now provide these new forms of payment in a challenging marketplace. The stakes are also higher. Security and trust are important. The average data breach now costs around $4 million. Consumer research can help identify ways to instill trust in customers.

Who Uses Financial Services Market Research

Banks, investment firms, insurance companies, and fintech startups represent the primary users of financial services market research. These entities rely on the insights garnered from market research to make informed decisions that align with their business objectives and regulatory requirements. For banks and investment firms, understanding the evolving needs of their customers, from retail banking preferences to investment trends, is crucial for developing products and services that meet and exceed expectations. Insurance companies, on the other hand, utilize market research to gauge risk, understand demographic shifts, and tailor their policies to the changing needs of their clientele.

Fintech startups, with their focus on innovation and disruption, use financial services market research to identify gaps in the market, understand competitive landscapes, and craft value propositions that resonate with a digitally savvy customer base. Moreover, regulatory bodies and policymakers also benefit from insights provided by market research, enabling them to assess the effectiveness of regulations and their impact on market stability and consumer protection.

Some Key Players in Financial Services Market

Financial services market research highlights a competitive landscape dotted with industry giants, fintech startups, and innovative disruptors – and understanding these players is crucial for any business looking to navigate this intricate sector.

• JPMorgan Chase & Co.: As one of the world’s leading multinational banks, it commands a significant presence in the financial services sector. Financial services market research often identifies JPMorgan as a benchmark for best practices, innovative solutions, and market leadership.

• Goldman Sachs: Renowned for its prowess in investment banking and financial services, Goldman Sachs shapes the industry’s trajectory. By keeping an eye on their movements through market research, competitors can glean insights into potential market shifts.

• Fintech like Stripe and Square: These digital-first companies are redefining the financial services sector with their agile, customer-centric solutions. Financial services market research reveals the growing influence of such fintech firms as they bridge technological advancements with financial operations.

• Visa & MasterCard: These global payment networks are pillars in the transactional sphere of financial services. Their innovations, partnerships, and business models are critical data points within financial services market research, indicating the direction of cashless transactions and digital payments.

When to Conduct Financial Services Market Research

The timing of conducting financial services market research is critical for maximizing its effectiveness and ensuring that the insights generated are both relevant and actionable.

Before Launching New Products or Services

Before introducing new products or services to the market, it’s essential to understand the needs and preferences of the target audience. Financial services market research provides valuable insights into consumer behavior, potential demand, and competitive landscape, ensuring that new offerings are well-positioned for success.

When Entering New Markets

Expanding into new geographical markets or customer segments requires a deep understanding of local regulations, cultural nuances, and market dynamics. Conducting market research in this context helps firms tailor their strategies to meet the specific needs of new markets, reducing the risk of costly missteps.

During Strategic Planning Cycles

Strategic planning is an ongoing process that benefits greatly from up-to-date market intelligence. Financial services market research conducted during these cycles provides the data needed to make informed decisions about market positioning, investment priorities, and resource allocation.

In Response to Regulatory Changes

The financial services industry is heavily regulated, and changes in legislation can have a profound impact on operations. Market research helps firms assess the implications of regulatory changes, enabling them to adjust their strategies to maintain compliance and competitive advantage.

To Stay Ahead of Technological Trends

With the rapid pace of technological innovation, financial institutions must continuously evolve to remain competitive. Financial services market research provides insights into emerging technologies, customer adoption rates, and potential impacts on existing business models, guiding firms in their technology investment decisions.

Key Success Factors

In the competitive and fast-paced world of financial services, conducting effective market research is key for achieving strategic goals and maintaining a competitive edge. Here are the key success factors that underpin successful financial services market research:

• Comprehensive Regulatory Understanding: Financial services market research must navigate complex legal frameworks that vary by jurisdiction. This comprehensive regulatory understanding ensures not only compliance but also the identification of opportunities within these constraints.

• Customer-centric Approach: This approach involves understanding the customer’s needs, preferences, and pain points, particularly as financial products and services become more personalized and customer expectations evolve.

• Strategic Vision: Successful financial services market research is driven by a strategic vision that aligns with the organization’s broader objectives. It should not only address immediate market questions but also anticipate future trends and challenges, guiding long-term strategic planning.

• Stakeholder Engagement: Engaging with a broad range of stakeholders, including customers, employees, regulatory bodies, and industry experts, enriches the research process. This engagement ensures a holistic view of the market landscape and fosters alignment between research outcomes and business strategy.

• Flexibility and Adaptability: The ability to adapt research methodologies in response to emerging trends, regulatory changes, and new technologies is a hallmark of effective market research in the financial services sector. Flexibility ensures that research remains relevant and actionable in a rapidly changing environment.

Market Landscape Market Research

The modern world has several challenges. These challenges include terrorism, cybercrime, geopolitical shocks, and extreme climate events. Significant upheavals are taking place in business too. Size, experience, and scale are no longer the only predictors of a company’s success.  Market Landscape research provides a thorough understanding of a market’s size, opportunities, and risks.  

Rising Digital Trends in Finance

Artificial intelligence (AI) and the Blockchain continue to disrupt the Financial Services industry. These trends will impact the marketing, sales, wealth management, investment, and compliance sectors.  Many Financial organizations see AI as a way to manage the complexities of compliance and changes in tax legislation.

FinTech provides an alluring appeal for new efficiencies and opportunities.  Financial institutions are increasingly looking to Blockchain technology for its innovative, efficient management of financial transactions.  Companies are exploring opportunities for real growth through cognitive computing, predictive analytics, and other innovative technologies.

Credit Card Market Research

In recent times the market has seen the launch of several brand-issued credit cards. Retailers often view a branded card as a way to capitalize on customer loyalty. Soon, analysts expect more brands will launch their cards.  We often conduct Credit Card Market Research across the US with consumers regarding their attitudes and opinions toward getting new credit cards.  We can access High Net Worth Individuals (HNWIs) and affluent consumers.

Financial Advisors, Investors Market Research

The entire financial advisor industry is becoming more complex. Retirement plans are moving away from the defined benefit model. Defined contribution plans to fund workers’ retirement are now standard. Financial planners must plan for the individual, and his or her spouse. They also have to deal with financial planning for their clients’ college-age students.

Investors may see faster growth in the US economy due to the recent cuts in taxes and public spending. These measures can also halt the economic expansion if it does not come with gains in productivity.

Technologies and Tools Leveraged in Financial Services Market Research

The industry has seen a significant transformation in recent years, driven by advancements in technology. Here’s an overview of the key technologies and tools leveraged in financial services market research:

Big Data Analytics

Tools and platforms that facilitate big data analytics can identify trends, predict consumer behavior, and uncover insights that traditional analysis methods might miss. Technologies such as Hadoop and Spark are commonly used for processing large datasets, while analytics platforms like IBM Watson and Tableau provide sophisticated data visualization and analysis capabilities.

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

AI and machine learning are at the forefront of revolutionizing financial services market research. These technologies enable the automation of data analysis, offering more accurate and faster insights. AI algorithms can process complex data sets to forecast market trends, segment customers, and personalize marketing strategies. Tools like TensorFlow and PyTorch facilitate the development of machine learning models tailored to specific research needs.

Survey and Research Software

Survey and research software tools are essential for gathering primary data directly from consumers. These tools allow for the creation of surveys, distribution across multiple channels, and analysis of the results. Qualtrics and Google Forms are popular choices, offering a range of functionalities from simple questionnaires to complex research studies with advanced branching and analytics.

Blockchain Technology

Blockchain can provide a secure and immutable ledger, useful for tracking customer transactions and behaviors in a tamper-proof manner.

Cloud Computing Platforms

Cloud computing platforms such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure, enable financial institutions to store, process, and analyze large datasets without the need for extensive on-premise infrastructure. These platforms offer scalability, flexibility, and cost-efficiency, supporting various market research activities.

Opportunities in Financial Services Market Research for Businesses

Financial services market research opens up a spectrum of opportunities for businesses, ripe with potential for growth, differentiation, and capturing market share. These opportunities include:

• Digital Transformation: From AI-driven robo-advisors to blockchain-backed transactions, the financial landscape is rapidly evolving. Businesses can seize this opportunity to integrate digital solutions, enhance customer experience, and streamline operations.

• Customer-Centric Products: Through financial services market research, businesses can uncover the nuanced needs and preferences of today’s consumers. With this data, they can tailor products, whether it’s a banking service or an insurance policy, to cater specifically to evolving customer demands.

• Sustainability and Ethical Finance: A growing segment of consumers prioritizes ethical and sustainable finance options. Delving into market research can guide businesses toward ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) investments, green bonds, and sustainable lending practices.

• Compliance Solutions: As the financial sector grapples with several regulations, financial services market research underlines the rising demand for regulatory technology solutions. Businesses can tap into this need by developing or integrating tools that simplify compliance.

• Fintech Collaborations: Traditional financial institutions and fintech startups often have complementary strengths. Market research can help identify potential partnership avenues, allowing businesses to harness the agility of fintechs and the scale of established institutions.

• Financial Literacy and Education: With the increasing complexity of financial products, there’s a growing need for education. Financial services market research indicates an opportunity for businesses to position themselves as thought leaders, offering workshops, webinars, and content that demystify finance for the average consumer.

Challenges of Financial Services Market Research for Businesses

Financial services market research doesn’t come without its set of challenges – and businesses might encounter these types of challenges:

• Rapid Technological Changes: The pace at which technology is impacting the financial services sector means that findings from market research might become obsolete quickly. Businesses need to continuously update their research to remain relevant.

• Globalization vs. Localization: While financial services market research offers a global perspective, the nuances of local markets can sometimes be overlooked. Balancing global trends with local demands is crucial for businesses to cater to diverse demographics.

• Regulatory Shifts: The financial services sector is heavily regulated. Any alterations in regulations can have a ripple effect. Keeping up with these changes while conducting financial services market research demands constant vigilance.

• Consumer Behavior Unpredictability: Even with the most advanced financial services market research methodologies, predicting consumer behavior is complex. External factors, such as economic downturns or global events, can influence decisions, making forecasts challenging.

• Competitive Landscape: The financial services industry is fiercely competitive. By the time financial services market research unveils an opportunity, several players might already be capitalizing on it, making it vital for businesses to act swiftly and innovatively.

Future Outlook of Financial Services Market Research

Financial services market research is always growing and many future trends will impact this market research positively, including: 

• Hyper-personalization through Data Analytics: The use of research will shift from generalized insights to hyper-personalized solutions. Leveraging big data and AI, businesses will fine-tune their offerings, curating experiences tailored to individual needs.

• Eco-friendly Financial Solutions: As environmental consciousness gains momentum, market research will pivot towards green finance. Businesses will explore sustainable investment avenues, green bonds, and eco-friendly lending solutions.

• Enhanced Integration of Technology: While technology has permeated the financial sector, the future of financial services market research will emphasize technologies like blockchain, quantum computing, and augmented reality, reshaping financial processes and experiences.

• The Global Financial Ecosystem: As borders blur in the digital age, market research will facilitate the evolution of a global financial ecosystem. Seamless cross-border transactions, international collaborations, and unified financial platforms will become the norm.

Inclusive Financial Systems: With a focus on underbanked populations, businesses will develop solutions that cater to varied demographics, ensuring financial services for all.

Financial Market Research in London

About SIS

SIS International Research has over 40+ years’ experience in conduct Qualitative, Quantitative and Strategy Market Research in the Financial Services industry.  We conduct Focus Groups, B2B Executive Interviews, Customer Interviews, Online Communities, Mobile Ethnography and Competitive Analysis.

Our NYC Focus Group facility is located in the Flatiron District in Manhattan and is near major Financial institutions in Midtown and Wall Street.  Our office in London is located in Canary Wharf in the heart of the UK’s Financial Capital.  Learn more about our past Market Research experience in Financial Services here.