In late 2016, Cognizant and ReD Associates embarked upon the most comprehensive anthropological study undertaken in recent times on the future of money. The study closely followed the lives of people in the US, UK and Germany, uncovering hidden truths about their behaviours, emotions and habits around dealing with finance and financial institutions. We also conducted a survey of 3,000 consumers and multiple interviews with academics, financial services execs and fintech industry players.
Our uber finding: People’s relationship with money is broken. Over half of the study respondents said money and finances are a big stressor in their lives today, and well over one-third (37%) said money was the biggest source of stress in their lives. In addition to practical concerns (managing spending habits, planning for retirement), they revealed a persistent sense of anxiety. Money pervades almost everything people value in life, and they don’t feel in control of it.
Our report reveals an opportunity – and challenge – for financial services providers: understanding more about consumers’ relationship with money and, in particular, their differing attitudes between what we call ‘fast’ and ‘slow’ money.