March 1, 2018

Guest blog: Changing spending habits calls for innovation

Louise Karlander

Head of Innovation, Intrum

Consumption patterns change over time and, in the digital era, these changes are materializing more rapidly than ever. We are transitioning quickly into a cash-free society and appear to also be moving towards a society in which physical stores play smaller role in the way we consume goods.

In our 2017 European payment report we can see that shopping on credit is here to stay and are driven by shopping online, where by paying after receiving the goods is a popular approach in many countries. It is also a prerequisite for many to prefer online shopping over visiting a physical store. Pay after delivery creates the possibility to make sure that you receive the goods before you pay, but it also makes it possible to buy more than you can afford under the thought that you will return some of the items after you have tried it on or looked at it in the comforts of your own home.

Among the respondents to our survey that are parents, 33 percent have experienced social pressure to buy a product or a service for their children that they could not really afford. Among young parents, aged 18–34, the share agreeing to this rises to 41 percent, much of that pressure coming from social media channels.

Young people feel a social pressure to buy certain things even though they might not be able to afford it.

What is even more important, is how do we teach our children the value of money when they are not accustomed to handle it? Today children are given a bank card at quite a young age to take care of the money in their piggy bank. In some countries, kids rarely handle money physically which in some way makes the value of money difficult to understand. If you do a quick survey around you, most people would probably know quite close to the actual sum how much they have in their wallet but are much less accurate when it comes to the money that they have in their “spending account” with their virtual money. The barrier to spend what you have physically in your wallet is also higher than just giving out your card in the store. You don’t feel the departure of your money in the account in the same way as you traditionally had with the physical bills and coins. Now is the time to create digital services that match our changing attitudes.

Intrum has partnered up with Tieto and to run the first hackathon to create innovative digital services that improve individual consumer’s financial wellbeing and support business operations of Intrum’s clients. Project partners include Nordic Finance Innovation and Singularity University Nordic. Join the hackathon with your team to explore data-driven opportunities of the human nature. How can data, AI, blockchain, VR / AR enhance personal finance management?

Call for applications is open till March 12th 2018. Get your team together and join the hackathon to create real impact. Teams are rewarded with monetary prizes and an opportunity to pilot the concept with Intrum, reaching across 23 european countries.

Read more about the challenge and apply at  

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