Guest blog: The changing landscape of savings: Embracing innovation in the digital era

John Tilzey, Sales Director at finova, explores the significant transformation of the savings landscape in recent years.

John Tilzey, finovaThe savings landscape has undergone a significant transformation in recent years, with the emergence of new tools and platforms aimed at connecting savings providers with cost-effective technology and modern infrastructure. However, the rise of aggregators and savings platforms has added a layer of complexity to the savings ecosystem, ushering in a new era of convenience and choice for savers. And as these platforms gain momentum with consumers, they also present a unique set of opportunities and challenges for building societies that don’t yet have the right technology to join these platforms.   

The power of aggregators

Traditionally, savings providers offered their products directly to consumers, gradually adopting digital tools to streamline the process. However, aggregators like Money Supermarket and savings platforms like Raisin and Hargreaves Lansdown Active Savings are challenging this model and pushing savings providers to enhance their technology capabilities. Acting as intermediaries, these platforms offer a centralised hub for savers to access a variety of savings accounts from different providers. For example, Hargreaves Lansdown's Active Savings platform conveniently allows savers to manage their cash ISAs and other savings accounts from multiple providers in one place. This not only simplifies the process for consumers, but also provides the opportunity to take advantage of the best rates and tax advantages.

The risks of falling behind

While aggregators offer clear benefits for savers, many savings providers face a significant technological hurdle in integrating with these platforms. Without the necessary technology infrastructure, such as a seamless onboarding process, providers cannot share their products on these platforms or offer customers a smooth account opening experience. Providers reliant on outdated, paper-based processes risk missing out on expanding their customer base and diminishing their competitiveness in a crowded market.

In addition to missed collaboration opportunities, inefficient onboarding processes can result in providers resorting to alternative strategies, such as offering higher interest rates or sacrificing margins. This compromises profitability and hampers streamlined operations in a rapidly evolving landscape.

Embracing innovation

The proliferation of aggregators in the savings ecosystem is inevitable, driven by consumer demand for simplified, all-in-one solutions. To remain relevant and competitive, savings providers must prioritise investment in technology. The rise of these new players marks a pivotal moment in the evolution of the savings ecosystem, presenting both challenges and opportunities. Only by embracing innovation and adapting to changing consumer needs can providers successfully navigate this new terrain and unlock the full potential of the digital savings landscape.

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The views, opinions and positions expressed within guest blogs are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of the BSA.