Can we nudge innovation? Insights from the banking sector.

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While banking apps are on the rise worldwide and more and more customers manage their financial resources online, our client struggled with a considerable proportion of innovation-resistant customers who still prefer traditional touchpoints (e.g. ATM) for their day-to-day bank operations.

Internal research showed that concerns about data privacy and security, as well as the perceived complexity of the app interface were the most important barriers towards the adoption of the banking app in the segment of reluctant customers.

Previous attempts to persuade these customers to switch to digital banking focused on rational arguments, such as emphasizing the benefits of the online banking or reassuring about the data protection policies. These attempts were completely unsuccessful.

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We used a behavioral insight approach to nudge customers toward downloading and using the banking app for their day-to-day operations.

At Sapience, our assumption is human behavior is mainly driven by deep and unconscious factors. This means that to understand the real drivers and barriers we must going beyond the surface - i.e., what customers say they think and feel - and understand what customers actually think and feel.

To innovation-resistant customers, rational arguments - e.g. that the app is very easy to use, that it has several benefits, and that their money is safe - are not effective in overcoming resistance to innovation because those are not the real reasons why customers are reluctant to switch to the banking app.

By investigating the implicit motivators of innovation resistance, Sapience identified the actual barriers and drivers to innovation and developed persuasion strategies that were based on those unconscious drivers of human behavior (System 1 thinking).

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