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Transaction Enrichment Reveals Emerging Tech Adoption Trends

Mark Leher

Transaction Enrichment Driven Analysis of Consumer Engagement with Nascent Technology

While cutting-edge innovations such as artificial intelligence and virtual reality may have become more common in everyday parlance, true understanding, application and use of these technologies remains a question. But having a sense of how consumers are engaging with these kinds of technologies can actually be very useful for financial institutions (FIs) – insight into consumer adoption of emerging technology trends can help FIs understand their account holders’ behavior and better anticipate future needs. 

With this in mind, Alkami leveraged transaction enrichment to take a closer look at the data and explore the extent to which account holders are adopting emerging technologies. 

Exploring ChatGPT Subscriber Trends 

Since its paid launch, ChatGPT has taken the world by storm, with a wide range of use cases for consumers and organizations already apparent. As FIs explore whether, or how, to incorporate generative AI tools into their operations, a thorough understanding of consumer adoption may help align planning with market trends. 

The generative AI (GenAI)-driven chatbot is available for use with both free and paid tier access to the general public. Preceded by DALL-E, a GenAI image creation tool, in 2021, ChatGPT’s introduction spurred the majority of creator OpenAI’s consumer usage. Data indicates the launch of ChatGPT spurred 5.5x more paid subscribers for OpenAI starting in the spring of 2023. Notably, usage has consistently increased month over month ever since, demonstrating a perceived utility among consumers willing to pay for enhanced access to the service.

This image shows a chart titled “Paid ChatGPT Usage on the Rise”.

Key Takeaway

ChatGPT’s preliminary usage data indicates retention of early adopters with no signs of slowing user acquisition. As Alkami continues to monitor these trends, FIs could benefit from exploring how generative AI tools may enhance the account holder experience or create greater operational efficiencies.

Evaluating VR Adoption

Virtual reality (VR) technology has been a concept of science fiction and experimentation since the 1960s, if not earlier. VR headsets are an emerging tech category, making an entrance through platform gaming and quickly growing to encompass devices designed to augment spatial reality. Sony’s PlayStation VR2 headset, Apple’s recently released Vision Pro, and Meta’s Meta Quest suite of products strive to disrupt how gamers and creators are interacting with the world.

While gaming remains a primary use case for VR headsets, brands are pushing practical applications including productivity and communication. Meta Quest, previously known as Oculus VR, has been a trailblazer in the space. With purchasing data tracking back to early 2019, Alkami observed growing Oculus VR/Meta Quest adoption year over year before declining in 2022 and 2023.  The decline may be attributed to a more competitive market rather than flagging interest in VR as a whole. 

This image shows a chart titled “Virtual Reality Headsets is a Tech Category to Watch”.

Key Takeaway

As new players enter the market, VR is an emerging tech category for FIs to watch.  As the segment grows, consumers may come to expect further integration of VR into more practical aspects of their lives including, one day, an immersive VR app experience for digital banking.

Monitoring Cryptocurrency Payment Activity

Cryptocurrency has been a part of the financial conversation since the introduction of Bitcoin in early 2009, as it has both matured and experienced turmoil.

Alkami’s 2023 Telemetry Report, using data through 2022, observed that consumer investment in cryptocurrencies increased when the price of Bitcoin rose and decreased when the price of Bitcoin fell.  Updated analysis examining transactions through the end of 2023 suggests that the relationship between payments to cryptocurrency exchanges and the price of Bitcoin is no longer linked. 

A number of market impacts may have caused this change, especially among the retail crypto investors included in the Alkami data panel. Price declines, the collapse of FTX in late 2022, and additional U.S. regulatory actions may have impacted these outcomes. Further, in January 2024, the first spot bitcoin ETFs were introduced, allowing investors to speculate on Bitcoin’s price without the need to own it.  

This image shows a chart titled “Total Payments Sent to Cryptocurrency has Declined”

Key Takeaway

With the availability of spot Bitcoin ETFs, FIs, particularly regional and community financial institutions (RCFIs), will see fewer transactions and dollars going to specialized cryptocurrency exchanges. However, FIs should continue to remain educated regarding activity around cryptocurrency, payments and investment trends.  Cryptocurrency remains an investment option for some account holders that can compete for a bank or credit union’s deposits.

Understanding EV Charging Usage

The market for electric vehicles (EVs) in the U.S. is projected to reach $82.8 billion in revenue in 2024. With an annual growth rate of 18.20% for the market, EVs are becoming increasingly popular across dedicated brands like Tesla and Rivian as well as more mainstream auto manufacturers. To support this, the EV charging infrastructure is developing too with investments in  public charging station networks such as Chargepoint, EVGO, Electrify America and Tesla Superchargers.

Alkami evaluated payments to EV charging providers  transactions in the reviewed panel were lower than expected overall but grew sharply 2022 through 2023. There was a110% increase in transactions year over year from July 2022 to July 2023, demonstrating clear growth in the EV sector. 

This image shows a chart titled “Public Electric Vehicles (EV) charger usage, while still nascent, grew significantly in 2022 and 2023”

Key Takeaways

While EV charging station transactions have climbed, they are still lower than one might expect, given thatEVs comprised 7.9% of auto sales in the U.S. in Q3 of 2023. One reason may be that 80% of EV owners continue to charge their vehicles predominantly at home due to convenience, affordability and efficiency. FIs should continue to monitor the EV landscape as trends in usage and adoption may impact auto lending strategies. As EV owners continue to prefer charging at home, they could also become candidates for a Home Equity Line of Credit to finance add-on purchases such as at-home charging stations.

Reviewing At-Home DNA Testing Popularity

Brands like 23andMe and MyHeritage have provided consumers with insights about their ancestry and genealogy since the mid-2000s. More recent advances in the area of personal genomics have opened additional services, and scrutiny, for these companies as they have expanded to include options for DNA testing that can reveal genetic risks for certain diseases. 

Alkami Research explored transaction enrichment trends over a five-year period for two popular at-home DNA testing services. While the kits appear to spike in interest during the holiday season, the overall trend is that purchases have continued to decline as a  whole since 2020.

This decline may be because early adopters have already purchased tests and, unless purchasing new analysis for a specific condition, there is no need to be a repeat customer.  Privacy concerns also prevail as DNA testing companies have experienced their own share of data breaches.

This image shows a chart titled “At-home DNA Testing Slowly on the Decline”

Key Takeaways

Financial institutions can uncover the financial health and spend patterns of their account holders using transaction enrichment. This cleansed data can serve as the intel financial institutions need to drive relevant messaging and outreach through digital channels.

Transaction enrichment can support a variety of business use cases for your bank or credit union.
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