We continue our series on six megatrends for consumers in Latin America by Sabre. The fourth trend focuses on Ubitech.
Or how pervasive is technology? Latin American consumers embrace new technologies, they are open to new and exciting possibilities through connectivity and efficiency. The more intuitive technologies are, the quicker they will be integrated into people’s lives.
By 2020, it is forecasted that there will be 524 million mobile phone subscribers in South America.
Connected consumers are also informed consumers and don’t only see the positive side of this constant connectivity and availability. They are aware that the impact new technologies could have on their relationships, productivity and concentration are disruptive.
But so far, the advantages of contextual and anticipatory technologies such as facial recognition still outweigh concerns. Actually, in areas where fraud is widespread, the new technologies even embraced by the consumers. As an example fingerprint and biometric authentication are happily adopted and accepted for the improved security a customers’ experiences. In Brazil, it is already possible to verify one’s identity through a selfie tool when taking an Uber – there is no more need to take out the wallet and risk a robbery.
Consumers think about the influence of these technologies not only in terms of the social factors but also economically. Mostly they expect that processes will become even smoother and faster.
To illustrate the point, Accor Hotels, for example, uses a mobile phone based application to let guests unlock their room doors. No more need for a key that can be lost or misplaced or stolen. At the same time, the process is also faster for customers because they have their phones at the ready 24/7 and are already familiar with the device. Hence, the customer journey has just been improved.
As mentioned earlier, safety in South America is a real issue. Consumers are more than happy to turn to new technologies, online platforms, apps, and devices that increase their feeling of safety.
Based on a 2016 study by Nielsen, consumers worry primarily about ‘crime’. If solutions can be presented to reduce this fear, they are readily accepted. Latin Americans, so the study, believe more in tech start-ups than in their own governments. In the travel industry, devices that can offer tracing and security (peace of mind) are very welcome in these markets.
To read more about all trends, read here.