TBWA’s Future of Finance Report Finds A Generational Shift and Broken Money Taboos Ushering In A New Era of Innovation in Finance

Say goodbye to money management by and for men, hello to radical transparency and more ethical measures of financial success as a new generation seeks new products, services and values from the financial services sector

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Backslash, the cultural intelligence unit of TBWA\Worldwide, has released its Future of Finance report, leveraging cultural intelligence to unlock opportunities for disruptive growth in financial services. The first in its “Future Of” series, the reports explore what will—and more importantly what should—come next in must-watch categories.

A massive transfer of wealth is expected to put U.S. women in charge of about $30 trillion of assets by 2030, roughly a $20 trillion increase from 2016 (source: McKinsey & Company) and ESG funds, which consider environmental, social and governmental factors, will experience a threefold jump in assets by 2025 (source: PwC). Broader cultural shifts, technology and changing societal norms are driving further transformation, resulting in a category primed for change.

“2021 is a year of mass reinvention, and finance is no exception. The pandemic has put money matters center stage for households, industries and institutions. With this report, we’re reimagining finance not as a standalone category—but as the foundation of our economic, social, and personal progress, said Agathe Guerrier, Chief Strategy Officer, TBWA\Worldwide.”

The Future of Finance was born from months of in-depth qualitative and quantitative research, strategic ideation, and collaboration among 29 Cultural Spotters from 18 global TBWA offices. Spotters are TBWA strategists and business leads who bring expertise from their work on a range of financial companies—including some of the world’s biggest banks, insurance companies, and fintechs.

The report leverages cultural intelligence to unlock four opportunities for disruptive growth in finance, and outlines specific ways for businesses to take action—whether that be through addressing untapped audiences, introducing new services, or investing in product innovation.

The four opportunities are as follows. 

  1. Life Outside the Lines: Money is becoming less tied to gender and life stage as modern realities upend tradition. Rising costs and a shift away from tradition are upending old money milestones, like whether to go to college or university, when to get married and having children. Opportunities for brands include Fem-Finance—a shift from money management by and for men and to products designed to meet women’s needs.

For example, what if credit card rewards could be used to offset the high cost of fertility treatments?

  1. Breaking the Money Taboo: Money has topped the do-not-discuss list for decades, alongside politics, sex and religion. A culture of taboo toppling is creating a new openness around money, and transparency will define a new era of finance. Looking forward, finance-tainment, financial therapy, and wellness solutions will help us forge a healthier relationship with money. What if financial wellness became part of our everyday health routine, just like nutrition, sleep and exercise?
  1. Rich, Redefined: Old ideas of wealth feel out of touch in a world where natural resources are dwindling and inequality is rising. More ethical measures of financial success are disrupting the system. As money and values become increasingly interlinked, we’ll see the rise of Islamic finance, ethical ROI, and built-in givebacks.

What if credit card companies structured their rewards programs based on ethical spending? The more socially responsible the company or sector, the more points you get.

  1. Bringing Back Reality: From digital currencies to virtual assets, finance is becoming increasingly intangible. But as money goes virtual, our relationship is becoming less rooted in reality. Future-focused brands can solve tomorrow’s problems with haptics, reality checks, virtual vaults, and phygital advisors. What if insurance companies offered digital asset protection?

In addition to the four opportunities, content within “Future of Finance” explores how death doulas might join forces with financial planners to facilitate proactive end-of-life planning, how financial therapy could boost brick-and-mortar foot traffic, and how haptics can help prevent overspending.

“We’re in the midst of a cultural reprioritization. As consumers ditch old approaches, finance will be forced to evolve from the dry, hush-hush, one-size-fits-all, male-dominated industry that we all know into a more positive and brighter build—one that is more candid, colorful, human-centric, values-driven, inclusive, and even fun. It’s a fresh start. And in that fresh start, there’s a huge opportunity for finance brands to help us reset, especially as we plan for life post-pandemic,” concluded Cecelia Girr, Director of Cultural Strategy for TBWA’s Backslash.

The Future of Finance report can be downloaded at https://www.backslash.com/futureof.

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