If 2016 has been an interesting year in our sector, 2017 is set to be no different.
With the threat of terrorism and political unsettlement, countries like Egypt, Turkey and even Thailand stay off the vacation list for another year. Brexit, two big elections for both France and Germany and Trump taking office the levels of consumer uncertainty will be high in 2017.
There has probably never been a more challenging time in terms of monitoring external forces and re-balancing your strategy as a result. So here are 5 tactics that might help you navigate this unchartered territory.
1. Is it time to rethink your strategy for prepaid cards?
In our bi-annual Travel Money Survey, only 8% of those interviewed bought their foreign currency in the form of a prepaid card suggesting that they are still not resonating with consumers. So 2017 could be the time to carry out some consumer research to find out what’s hampering adoption and rethink your product proposition as a result.
2. Don’t be UK centric
Think beyond the UK in terms of target customers. From Easter through to October the UK receives high numbers of overseas tourists and students all looking for foreign currency services. Understand the foreign tourist needs and what you can do to support them. If you have a branch network incorporate this into your strategy for them. Convenience and high street presence are key influencers for this target audience.
3. Make travel money part of the holiday shopping journey
In our October Travel Money Survey 41% of those interviewed bought their currency just a few days before departure. Travel Money is a vital part of the holiday preparation for all travelers but for many is still a last minute consideration.
4. Build customer trust
With Brexit and two big elections in France and Germany, and Trump taking office consumer uncertainty will be high – when is a good time to buy and where can I get the best rates? Our recent survey showed that only 5% of consumers asked their currency provider for advice. Being the customer champion in 2017 is a chance to win consumer trust and build long term loyalty in our view.
5. Don’t let the uncertainty derail your digital strategy
This year over 30% ordered their currency online, then picking it up in store or having it delivered. 34% used price comparison websites to do some research before they ordered with another 28% doing some general online research. Digital is already part of the customer journey. You need a relevant digital proposition that meets consumer needs or else run the risk of becoming redundant.
Travel money: how Britain buys travel money
Consumer Intelligence’s biannual travel money survey reveals a detailed picture of the UK travel money market. Our last survey involved 1,096 online interviews in October 2017. Here are some highlights.