There’s little doubt that we are living in a “selfie” culture. The once-mundane activities of exercising at the gym, driving to work, or simply making coffee are now social spectacles that win attention and, in some cases, profit. This impulse to share daily tasks begs us to rethink the meaning of “personal” – and now consumers have even begun to expose sensitive information like their financial behaviors.
Today's channels that bridge social connections are increasingly playing into consumers’ personal financial management tactics. Forrester’s Consumer Technographics® survey data shows that the number of US online adults logging into their financial accounts through social media has more than tripled in the past two years. In fact, more consumers are turning to both social channels and their cameras to forge closer interactions with financial services providers overall:
And financial providers are meeting customers in their selfie-ornamented worlds: India’s ICICI iWish tool allows consumers to broadcast their savings goals on Facebook. Sweden’s Tink capitalizes on the “selfie” culture more overtly by offering Tink Selfies, which let customers share financial snapshots with their peers and comment on those posted by friends.
Socializing financial behavior may seem overly revealing, but the benefits of self-tracking can lead customers to monitor their spending habits more carefully and deliberately. And customers aren’t the only parties to profit: Financial brands can facilitate social sharing to market their money management services – and, eventually, drive sustained digital brand engagement. In his recent report, my colleague Benjamin Ensor says that “by making it easy [for customers] to share progress through social media, [companies] can increase the visibility of their money management while creating a community of users who can offer advice and encouragement to one another.”