Data Intelligence for a Competitive Edge in Financial Services

A research report for the Hong Kong Market

Real-world intelligence can often lead to interesting tales of audiences across industries. The Banking and Financial Services Industry is a great example of how consumer behavior patterns in the real world can provide actionable signals on intent and buying journey to help businesses strategize and optimize their engagement efforts. 

At Near, we analyze real-world data to give actionable intelligence to our customers across verticals. This time we observed some key consumer behavior trends in Hong Kong’s Financial Services industry. 

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world, the physical realities of everyday life changed to a huge extent and the Banking and Financial Services industry felt the tremors sooner than many other industries. People were suddenly visiting branches less, using ATMs less, and using digital banking more- online banking was one of the saviors in keeping people sustained while they were indoors. This is an interesting time to observe trends in footfall and visitation because these behavioral changes observed during the global pandemic could give key insights to Financial Institutions to formulate the right strategies and navigate the evolving landscape better. 

We observed how footfall trends changed across places of importance in the city of Hong Kong to help businesses with more informed decisions. 

We analyzed major Financial Services brands such as HSBC, Standard Chartered Bank, Citibank, DBS, and Bank of China to understand how footfall trends changed during the pandemic both in expensive and mid-level neighborhoods.   

Here are some interesting insights that we observed-

1. The phase of life is a factor of spending for the affluent

The place affinity reflects a strong link between the kind of places visited and fiscal requirements in a consumer’s current phase of life. For example, 25-44-year-old visitors to banks and insurance companies form the highest share of visitors to luxury retail and new show flats. 45+ visitors, on the other hand, dominate the place categories like Luxury Auto, Gambling, and Golf Courses.

2. Mid income level youngsters plan ahead

Within the mid-income level neighborhoods, young and middle-aged adults were observed to be conscious planners. 35-44-year-old visitors to banks and insurance companies form the smallest share of visitors to mid-level auto dealerships. This indicates the generation would like to save up for the future as most of them already own a vehicle. 

3. Risk appetite drives actions

Footfall to banks and insurance companies have dropped since March 2020, however, affluents between the age group of 25-44 from expensive neighborhoods have a higher appetite of risk and visited banks when compared to the other age groups. This could be attributed to their risk-taking appetite- since middle-aged people are not as prone to infections as other age groups, they are more likely to take the risk of stepping out and visiting their bank branches. 

Similarly, middle-aged people form the highest share of footfall to banks from mid-level neighborhoods.

Embrace change with data intelligence

In a market like Hong Kong with a plethora of both mature and innovative banking products and a highly sophisticated regulatory framework, banks and insurance companies need an edge to thrive in the future laden with changes. Understanding consumers well can go a long way when FIs plan their next strategic moves to stay ahead in this highly competitive market and real-world intelligence can be a huge differentiator in that regard. 

Read the full report here