What are users looking for? Latest Trends in the Financial Sector

by Infocorp News
Digital Banking Infocorp Financial Sector
Infocorp 3 min. read

Infocorp sector financiero tendencias

Both to check certain topics that generate doubts and concerns as well as to search for information, googling has long been one of the most common practices. Therefore, one of the most effective methods that exist to know the interests of people is to explore browser searches.

In March 2021, The Financial Brand conducted research on the most important Google search trends in the banking sector by consumers and executives in the United States.

Which words and themes were the most common in searches? Were there any changes in search patterns since the COVID-19 pandemic?

The predominance of the "digital": banking, transformation, and wallets

Since 2014, the search for the term “digital transformation” has been steadily increasing and the pandemic has further accelerated interest in this process, according to the research.



Key concepts of financial behavior include savings, long-term planning, monitoring and control

Source: The Financial Brand, 2021

Infocorp sector financiero tendencias


Searches for “Fintech" had a steady annual increase, with a big jump between 2020 and 2021-reaching 100% during this year. In contrast, the research on "digital banking" is much lower, since searches hover at a level below 25%, but continue to increase.

The business of payments and digital options, driven both by the convenience they provide and by the pandemic, also appears as an aspect searched for with strong growth in recent years in options such as Venmo, Zelle, Apple Pay, Google Pay and, mainly, PayPal.


Infocorp sector financiero tendencias

Since 2019, PayPal, the dominant digital payment app in search, has remained at levels higher than 75%.

Source: The Financial Brand, 2021



These user searches are in line with McKinsey's annual Digital Payments Consumer Survey, which shows that the COVID-19 pandemic has reinforced the trend of digital adoption in payments and retail, across all payment types.



Almost 80% of Americans used some form of digital payment in 2020, compared to 72% in 2016.

Source: McKinsey Digital Payments Consumer Survey, 2020

Infocorp sector financiero tendencias


The importance of digital channels during the pandemic explains the growth of “mobile banking” searches in 2020. For branches, the highest point was in mid-2015, with a marked downward trend since then.


Infocorp sector financiero tendencias

“Mobile banking " searches reached a level close to 65% (the highest since 2005) and will soon surpass searches for "bank branches".

Source: The Financial Brand, 2021



Indeed, temporary closures or reduced hours of bank branches led many customers to download their financial institution's app: in April 2020, Fidelity National Information Services (FIS) experienced a significant increase of 200% in new mobile banking registrations and the mobile banking traffic soared an 85%.

On the other hand, the increase in searches and greater use of the online modality was that, for the same year, searches for "nearest ATM" and "nearest branch" suffered a significant drop, reflecting the reduction in retail activity and the reduced need for cash. While search volumes have recovered in recent months, they are at lower levels compared to the pre-pandemic period.



With the outbreak of the pandemic, interest in ”nearest ATM" dropped from search levels higher than 75% to 40%, and "nearest branch", went from levels above 50% to 25%.

Source: The Financial Brand, 2021

Infocorp sector financiero tendencias


Artificial intelligence (AI), data analytics and marketing

Many financial institutions have been implementing chatbots with varying degrees of sophistication, and consumers are increasingly familiar with them. In mid-2020, searches aimed at this software reached their highest point since 2014.

Since 2017, searches related to machine learning, a subset of AI, is growing in volume, becoming the most sought-after data analytics topic in 2020.

On the other hand, data shows that traditional marketing has long had a setback when it comes to searches. "TV advertising", "radio advertising “and” “OOH" have been at levels below 25% for more than 5 years. In contrast, interest in “digital marketing” (which outperformed previous ones in 2011) rose steadily and peaked in 2020.


What do Google searches say about personal finance and consumption?

Due to the reduction in some expenses because of the restrictions applied in the wake of the pandemic, it is not surprising that searches for “savings accounts” surpassed “checking accounts” in 2020. Likewise, the drop in “credit card” searches coincides with reports of lower demand, as consumers tried not to increase their debts. Several surveys show that in the last year savings were prioritized and consumption was cut back.



It is the percentage of Americans who say they've spent less money than usual since the pandemic began, mostly adults.

Source: Pew Research Center, 2021



Changes in spending patterns, for example, and preferences for streaming services instead of leisure going outside the home, were reflected in the growing interest in “debit cards”, whose search skyrocketed in 2020 when it reached its highest level that year.



54% of Americans say they have more emergency savings than credit card debt.

Fuente: Financial security survey, Bankrate 2021

Infocorp sector financiero tendencias


Economic uncertainty mobilized interest in credit ratings to levels close to 90% last year. Both millennials as Generation Z care about their rating more than previous generations, information that today is much easier and more accessible to obtain online.

In the past year, both consumers and executives in the financial sector have shown significant interest in digital trends and ways of accessing banking products and services outside traditional channels. These inquiries and concerns had their correlate in the behaviors captured by various surveys. To what extent these changes came to stay and modify the offers and consumption patterns of the sector is one of the great unknowns to follow in the coming months.

Infocorp sector financiero tendencias


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