The battle between humans and artificial intelligence has been portrayed as pitched warfare in the media—an “either/or” battle for which there can be only one victor.
The reality is much more nuanced when it comes to interpretation and translation. If we were asked to predict who the winner will be between man and machine when it comes to language services, we would answer, “Both.”
For too many, the American Dream feels like a dream deferred.
The harsh reality is that more than half of all Americans (57 percent) struggle to manage their day-to-day financial lives, according to the Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI). That’s 138 million people who aren’t thinking about saving, investing, or retirement planning because they’re just trying to get by until their next paycheck.
In financial circles, much of the discussion around the “bank of the future” has revolved around digitization—bringing the in-branch experience to the user, wherever he or she maybe.
But for residents of North America, the future is not just digital, but also multicultural. For this reason, there seems to be a critical component that is often missing from this “bank of the future” discussion: language.
Demographic shifts tell us that financial consumers have become more culturally and ethnically diverse.
Over 65 million U.S. residents—or 21 percent of the U.S. population over the age of five—speak a language other than English at home. More than one out of every 12 people in the U.S. are limited English proficient (LEP), meaning they speak English less than very well. This group represents around nine percent of adults living in America.
These limited-English consumers have historically found it difficult to access financial products and services. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau indicates many of the challenges limited-English consumers encounter are related to language and financial literacy. There are also bilinguals who—though not limited English proficient—may prefer to conduct finance-related discussions in their native languages.
LanguageLine interpreters who work with banking clients and their limited-English banking customers are a powerful source of insight on how to communicate with these consumers. A recent survey of our interpreters offered a great reminder that clients are well served by considering the linguistic and cultural diversity of their clients.
As retail banks and other financial institutions set their sights on the future, they see a landscape filled with growing disruption. In addition to the rapid adoption of new technologies, the industry also realizes that U.S. consumers of the future are likely to be more racially and ethnically diverse. Among multicultural consumers in the United States, Hispanics are the fastest-growing group, expected to account for over half of all population growth by 2020.
Presenting financial products in a way that appeals to Hispanic-American consumers is a growth goal for many in the industry. But survey data show that banks have a long way to go in this area.
That means banks and other financial institutions looking to expand their reach have a tremendous opportunity to do so by reaching this group - provided they use the right approach. Here’s a look at the unique needs of unbanked and underbanked populations and what organizations can do to bridge the gap.
Banks, mortgage companies, consumer lenders, credit card issuers, payments networks, auto lenders and leasing entities are all staring into a future filled with disruption.
There has been much talk about the “bank of the future.” Conversation has centered on offering appropriate technology and channels, but there is one critical element that is frequently missing: language.
The potential for new revenue among multicultural consumers is significant for the financial services industry. On average, this diverse market is younger and growing faster than the “general market,” and that represents real growth for the future. Part of this diversity includes the consumer's preferred language.
To connect with all generations of multicultural consumers now, organizations must communicate in the languages those consumers understand best and that resonate with them. With language access built into all consumer touch points, financial services firms can build relationships, as well as be more successful offering financial products and services to help consumers achieve their goals.
This infographic illustrates the enormous opportunities financial services organizations have to reach multicultural consumers and how language access fits in.