CRH Key Points Blog

Canada’s lagging in digital adoption—why?

By January 24, 2018 No Comments

Big report just out from Ernst & Young took a hard look at Canada’s adoption rates for FinTech products—where the real estate industry is surely headed.

So OK: why care?

Here’s why: how many apps have you downloaded and used but once?

I know, I know: me too.

Consumers are skeptical and have sky-high expectations for user experience, not least because we equate tech with perfection. ‘If it ain’t perfect, I’m not using it.’

FinTech in Canada may not be blowing the doors off adoption rates but the big banks and insurance companies have certainly raised awareness, EY says.

But Canadians are adopting FinTech at almost half the rate of global adoption of digital financial user experiences. So we’re…not really trying—why?

There’s reasons major and minor but the core issue is brutally simple: most user experiences are good but not great. I have two banking apps, which, when they work, are fantastic. But both banks have had more than a couple of service outages in the past six months, including really annoying log/in issues on my iPhone touch ID.

Which is precisely the point: we’ve become unconscious perfectionists, we consumers. So winning attention (momentary) is way different from real live user base (daily use). And it’s lethal to think that “if we build it, they’ll use it”—that’s a line from the movies.

Dig deeper: daily use means a part of your life. That’s precious attention span.

So what’s missing?

The human factor.

And that’s almost always related to the story we tell ourselves in our heads. The real revolution in FinTech, in that sense, is still brewing: a user experience as storytelling.

WealthSimple is a perfect example: their website looks and feels like a lifestyle experience…like AirBnB. Yes, the underlying product is groundbreaking (AI as portfolio manager, low fees, terrific reporting platform) but it’s not other-worldly.

What makes the user experience go?

It’s grounded in people’s lives. It’s not a game, not a contest, not a come-on. The experience of exploring the site—and thus converting me/you to contributing our hard-earned cash to WealthSimple’s care—is all about the people whom you want not to just use the thing…but to make it part of their lives.

That’s a privilege, to be that engrained in a person’s life.

Trust is trust and valuable because folks don’t give it away.

Canadian FinTech is exploding on the investment side: Toronto is rapidly becoming a world-class FinTech development player. All the pieces are in place for some really cool stuff to incite a much better way to move money around.

And the final piece is the human touch.

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