Some experts fear that the sharing economy will destroy a traditional capitalism with its global corporations, banks, and supply chain. For instance, Uber — a simple service to search private drivers — that practically destroyed the licensed taxi labor market and led to mass taxi drivers’ strikes in New York, Chicago, San Francisco and London.
Sharing economy is also known as a peer-to-peer economy, mesh, the collaborative economy, collaborative consumption — a socio-economic system, built around the sharing of human and physical resources.
However, this trending concept of sharing economy is not only about consumer behavior changing, it`s about mind transformation. Thousands of years ago it was necessary to find a local marketplace and get some goods through the barter deals. Later it became all about money, but nowadays new solutions appear to bring back a «hand to hand» model on a global scale.
How can it change our reality? Let’s take, for example, music industry. On one side, hyper-distribution leads to a significant drop in profits from the classic forms of purchasing music content. On the other side, brilliant indie projects can appear on the market freely. Besides, market studies show that revenues from live performances increased significantly.
Actually we are talking about the fall of market barriers. It’s never been easier to start your desired business, even if you don’t have enough resources. It means we have to find solutions that will fit a free market needs. New models to develop business at the age of sharing economy, because the economy which was held on resources deficiency disappearing. Instead of dictating terms to the client we must learn to predict his wishes.
Even the banking monopoly is forced to take into consideration technological progress. Peer-to-peer loans from ordinary people, non-bank wire transfers, and crowd funding invade the inner sanctum. Bitcoin experiment went even further, in order to prove the possibility of an independent e-currency existence which entirely based on blockchain technology.
Lots of latest technology startups rocketed on sharing economy concept. For example, AirBNB started offering peer-to-peer property rental in 2008 and evaluated at a 10B dollars six years later. Sharing platforms are all around us: Uber for taxi, GitHab for coding, eBay for selling, Alibaba for wholesaling, TaskRabbit for helping, DogVacay for pets, GetAround for car rent, Parking Panda for parking, Postmates for delivery, Zopa for loans, Kickstarter for crowd-funding, Bitcoin for currency, Skillshare for education, Vayable for travel, 3DHubs for 3D printing and so on.
All of them are only marketplaces, they did not create and do not own the products they sell.
Why do they succeed? Because they offer simple and clear solutions comparing with traditional competitors. To achieve that they have to understand consumers, find out consumers needs and behavior and put those insights in the framework of business model. Other words they using technology to provide an excellent user experience. Their design is literally disrupting industries.
For financial service providers the conclusion is obvious — in a human-centered economy your service has to be user-centered. So, a complete UX audit and user-centered design will be a great milestone to include in your strategy. Let's share happiness with your customers!
Thank you for your time and attention.
Founder of UX Design Agency
UX Architect & Strategist