At the first Think Forward Summit last year, participants defined three areas where people experience challenges in their financial decision-making. These challenges gave birth to five projects, which participants were busy working on throughout the past year. These videos give an impression of what went on behind the scenes. With this year’s Think Forward Summit approaching quickly, here’s an overview of what each project researched and a description of the practical solution being developed based on that research.
Savings, investment and retirement
1. Future self
Research: develop a better understanding of how people plan, envision and decide on their own future self. Make the future salient to people’s present situation.
Practical solution: develop an app that functions as a personal coach, visualising possible future narratives, to help people to plan their own life, stay on track and get financial peace of mind by showing the path towards long-term financial goals.
2. Social-norm nudge
Research: can the savings behaviour of consumers be influenced by applying a social-norm nudge to help them reach their optimal levels of saving
Practical solution: a peer comparative savings app helping people to be in control of their savings by reducing the pitfall of having short-term pleasures win over long-term needs.
Budgeting, spending and borrowing
3. Social media analysis
Research: examine the impact of emotions and social influence on borrowing behaviour through social media conversations and machine-learning predictive analytics.
Practical solution: a tool built into your browser or shopping app that helps determine whether you can afford something before you purchase it. It simply says ‘yes’ or ‘no’, with an explanation based on social media analysis. Research has proven that this is a very reliable predictor of financial delinquency.
4. Intra-household dynamics
Research: a modern typology of households, including their composition, lifecycle changes and effect on decision-making.
Practical solution: an app for managing household finance that takes the hassle away from couples and helps them focus on what’s most important: the discussion itself. It will help families understand consequences and reach their financial goals.
5. Financial capability
Research: how to support people by providing appropriate financial services as well as financial education to improve their financial capability; getting a better understanding of financial capability, and of the complex relationship between various personal characteristics, financial capability, and actual financial behaviour.
Practical solution: an app that facilitates better informed financial decision-making, helping people keep their heads above water by providing personalised tips and tricks grounded in academic research and based on their location and time. It helps break down big decisions into manageable chunks.