Finance Monthly - FinTech Awards 2022

As older investors live longer and move through their laterlife stages, many will be affected by undiagnosed conditions: visual and hearing impairment, deterioration of fine motor skills and cognitive decline. By 2050, visual impairment in the UK is estimated to affect 4.1 million people, currently 2.1 million. Those aged 55 to 64-years old today, will move into the older age category over the next ten years; many already digitally connected and engaged across social media platforms. This will shift much of our future focus towards digital experience and retention of older investors. Practical approaches Despite legislation and guidelines designed to support protected characteristics, many users remain affected by accessibility challenges. Digital inclusion goes beyond a checklist and disclosure statement. Primarily, it’s about user interaction. Four core experiences that firms should empathetically build into their designs are: • Physical experience – all user movement as part of the interaction. • Cognitive experience – time to digest and understand content. • Auditory experience – sound quality, with alternative option experiences. • Visual experience – colour contrast/fonts, column structuring and logical ordering. Accessible designing involves hours of work and effort to adapt formats and channels, across language jurisdictions. Integrating universal design principles from the beginning of a project is less costly and complicated than attempting to adapt postlive products, with a blend of human and artificial intelligence, optimising the investor experience. Prototypes across all media – chatbots, websites, apps, video, print and email – should contain inclusive functionality; while wider test groups will help to capture real-life user experiences, without biased or pre-determined outcomes. Design concepts should be as much about connecting customer journeys, as they are about making individual touchpoints accessible. A single Customer Communication Management (CCM) platform, integrating multiple data sources, offers greater personalised experiences and, therefore, a higher opportunity for inclusion - from incoming-to-outgoing messages, for both digital and traditional media. While documents should be adaptable to the screen size of any device, the FCA’s newly proposed Consumer Duty principles question how digestible lengthy T&Cs are via digital devices. The most effective design solutions can still fail to address non-physical barriers. Online mistrust and investment complexity can lead to financial exclusion. Of 3.8 million cases of UK fraud, 15% were committed via digital channels, as opposed to 1% through postal correspondence. Developing secure and easy-to-use authentication, email encryption and signposting safety techniques can improve security for retail investors. Language remediation and localised translation can powerfully enhance an investor’s understanding and increase the digestion of information through a simplified or converted format. This includes the use of plain language, avoiding jargon and reducing heavily formatted content - across interactive, visual and auditory channels for communications including, Key Investor Documents (KIDs) and bereavement instructions. Conclusion Inclusive marketing and communications are about creating the right interactions at the optimal time, under an investorcentric approach. Overcoming industry barriers built around institutional practices and regulatory restrictions can lead to adaptive cultural change and harness innovation, as wider technology evolves and improves accessible functionality. Ultimately, this combination will create stronger outcomes across the diverse needs of everyday savers. Finance Monthly FinTech Awards 2022. Spec i a l Fea t ur e 99

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