The Indian BFSI sector has witnessed exponential growth in recent years as the sector has been valued at over INR 81 Trillion and it is going to be the third largest sector in the world by 2025. It has shown a massive increase of 27% already this year. From merely serving as a basic banking service to processing different financial products, the BFSI sector creates more opportunities for everyone. As the Indian population has grown younger in numbers, the BFSI sector has created and provided multiple financial investment options for them. Indian consumerism has also become more adept at newer spending options. They are utilizing consumer, housing, personal, and other loans to fulfil their lifestyle necessities. In turn, Housing finance players have shown a steady growth in loan portfolio of 8-10% in the current financial year 2022. While utilizing debit and credit cards, consumers have also adapted to new digital payment avenues, such as UPI, which is also encouraged by the government of India.
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Financial liberalization has allowed immense competition between banking institutions such as savings and loans, commercial banks, and credit unions and non-banking institutions such as securities and insurance companies. With increasing competition and a milieu of parity products, many in the finance sector have given importance to impactful advertising to promote financial products to their targeted consumers. The massive flow of information is creating more and more awareness in the minds of consumers regarding the financial sector.
Although there is a rise in the BFSI industry in India, it brings many challenges when it comes to communicating with Indian consumers. The following are the ways advertisers address the trust deficit for BFSI brands:
1) Targeting audiences:
Social media is used by Gen Z to engage with brands, track trends, and follow current events. Social media advertising gives one the chance to reach customers where they are most active. Finance companies can take advantage of the fact that social media is more of a fun and interesting experience for individuals by utilizing this fun component. A true game changer might be financial services marketing that incorporates fun and creative features. Ads that are entertaining and unique will not only grab viewers’ attention but also effortlessly convey the characteristics and advantages of services, ultimately fostering consumer confidence and enticing involvement. Finance is typically a dull subject, but entertaining social media advertisements can raise awareness of numerous financial services.
2) Understanding the communication gap:
Consumers are now powerful influencers, upsetting the conventional path to purchase thanks to the growth of digital, social, and mobile platforms. People rely on their friends, relatives, and coworkers for reliable knowledge, as well as, in some situations, the collective wisdom of the populace. As a result, there is now a discrepancy between what customers anticipate from a firm and what it can actually deliver. Advertisers can become a bridge and create awareness in the minds of customers so they can understand the message the financial company wants to convey.
3) Awareness of digital services:
In terms of the effects of technology advancements, it would be an understatement to suggest that there is a paradox at the core of the Indian BFSI sector. For instance, despite banking being as old as the Indian Republic, the Indian BFSI sector has only just begun to embrace technology in a significant way. As a result, it made sure that its technological capabilities were on par with those of developed nations, with the added benefit that India’s IT (Information Technology) sector was leading the way in the adoption of technology in banking and finance.
Having said that, the paradox is that while a small minority (some would say microscopic) transacts via mobile and web channels with cutting-edge technology, the majority of Indians remain essentially in the tech wilderness in terms of their capacity to utilise technology. The majority of Indians are not accustomed to using tech-enabled banking and payment channels, which is one of the reasons why Demonetization and the accompanying push toward digital banking failed to take off. This is where advertisers can help consumers to understand digital services and how they operate, which can help the consumers to avail different financial services.
4) Awareness about fraudulent activity:
Customers benefit from unmatched convenience and access to banking services because of digitization. Along with these benefits, there are several risks of cyber fraud. Artists are always on the lookout for unsuspecting clients. It is imperative to always be vigilant and aware of chit-chatting and small-talk with strangers. Customers must abide by strict hygiene regulations in order to safeguard their assets and investments. Advertisers can create awareness videos about fraudulent activities and educate consumers about how these activities take place and how consumers can take precautions to avoid fraud with their finances.
As the BFSI sector spreads its wings in the Indian market, more complexities come to the surface. Consumers are getting a massive flow of information from the right, left, and center. They have so much curiosity as well as doubts about the BFSI industry. These doubts can be removed with the help of an impactful advertisement. Financial advertisements raise awareness of numerous financial services; help consumers to understand the message clearly so they can check whether their expectations and needs are being fulfilled by the respective financial company; and raise awareness about digital services and fraudulent activities that occur in financial services.
(Arun Fernandes, Founder-CEO, Hotstuff Medialabs)