New Zealand-headquartered green fintech firm Cogo conducted a survey to uncover Japanese customer attitudes towards banks and financial apps helping them drive sustainable lifestyles. Administered in collaboration with strategic design and sustainability consultancy Fabric, the survey engaged 1,966 participants who use banking and financial apps across demographics and regions that reflect the characteristics of the Japanese population.
Consumers waking up to the need for change
The research uncovered a sense of collective responsibility in Japanese society for addressing climate and environmental challenges. This included almost 40% of respondents who indicated they would find information about their carbon footprint useful.
Upon seeing an example of a financial app showing carbon emissions associated with the user’s spending habits, 45% of participants believed this information would motivate them to reduce their environmental impact. In addition, almost 30% would consider switching banks or financial apps to access information about the environmental impact of their spending.
Julie Lindenberg, APAC CEO for Cogo, said: “Financial institutions are uniquely positioned to help their customers turn around the climate crisis. Their reach means millions of people could gain access to carbon footprint management features through a provider that they already have day-to-day interactions with.”
Ushering in the future of finance
Approximately 41% of consumers expect their banks and card providers to do more to reduce their climate and environmental impact. Green financial products such as rewards, offers and cards encouraging sustainable behaviours could serve as a differentiator for banks and credit card issuers in Japan by elevating customer experience and values alignment.
There are good indications that participants are open to making substantial changes to their lifestyles to reduce their climate and environmental impact, with 46% having already made some form of change. This is a clear opportunity for financial institutions to provide consumers with carbon tracking tools to support this transition.
According to Lindenberg, “We are only at the beginning of the rise of conscious consumerism in Japan. As consumer focus shifts, financial institutions that offer the solutions that consumers want will be able to attract and retain new customers in a saturated market.”
Commonwealth Bank, Natwest and most recently, Westpac have partnered with Cogo to capitalise on the full potential of transactional data to generate personalised insights into consumers’ finances and the carbon footprint associated with their spending. Going forward, Cogo plans to collaborate with Japanese financial institutions to encourage consumers to adopt environmentally-friendly behaviours in Japan as well.