THE TOP 5 PRIORITIES IN BRANDING A FINTECH
With fintech at the forefront of innovation in the financial services sector, Finance Monthly here benefits from an insightful outlook into the kinds of challenges fintech firms face, in the midst of growing competition and an ever-increasing customer base. Michael Quirke, Senior Strategist at Brand Union here provides the ultimate breakdown of priorities every fintech.
cial technology (fintech) investment is forecast to grow beyond $150bn over the next few years, and many new market entrants are trying to get in on the game.
The challenge as this evolves is going to be how you stand out. People have to be able to remember your name and who you are. And not everyone can become the Monzo, Xero or TransferWise of this world.
Getting to that space requires a pragmatic approach to branding that takes consideration of the limited factors you have under your control: an often small marketing budget, primarily online touchpoints and (hopefully) an excited team who are eager to spread the word about the new platform. The worries then are consistent with any other company: how do I attract and retain the best talent? How do I meet my growth targets? How do I position this company to scale?
For more technically-minded companies, this ‘softer’ side of creating the brand that people remember can be a challenge. So from our work with Sonovate, a funding platform for recruitment agencies, we wanted to share a few principles from what we’ve learned.
1. Go back to basics – why are you here?
One of the biggest challenges fintech face is explaining a complex offer. It is very easy to get caught up in industry jargon, or hooked onto a functional sales playbook that served you in a rush when first starting out. People need to understand clearly who you are, what you offer and why they should care. And they’re not waiting to get to know you, so you need to be able to show that in under 3 seconds. Work on making as simple as possible who you are, what you do and why you’re here and you have a good platform for making that creative. Talk it to yourself. It’s healthy.
2. Know your audience
Another challenge – especially again for technically-minded companies – is thinking in benefits vs product features. You need to know who exactly your customer is and how what you’re pitching fits into their lives. For instance, for Monzo they are very humble and focused about what their product does. It’s there as a pre-pay card, they make it as easy as possible to manage on mobile, and they open up their product roadmap to their community of beta testers to add in feature suggestions as they go. The actual feature set is quite small, but they make the most out of each one by being very diligent in UX design and communicating it well. For them, it is a mass audience of (currently) dedicated tech fans and students, but for you it may be B2B or more niche B2C. Think how you can quickly get a ‘map’ of your audience’s life and world, and make sure all product decisions, features and communications are guided towards fitting in easily there.
3. Make the most of your touchpoints
Monzo has bright orange debit cards that draw just the right amount of attention when flashed. TransferWise have their sharply designed ads and a pointedly anti-bank tone of voice. Citymapper (not a fintech, but useful analogy) has their “jetpack” or “catapult” ways of travelling in-app. Small touches of delight you add, on top of the basics, make your experience more memorable and, thereby, more sticky. Building stickiness or virality into the design of your products and onboarding experience has more power than any amount of content marketing.
4. Nurture your community
As more technology companies spring up, covering a wide base of offers, becoming the preferred partner in your category is essential. This means cultivating a community and partnership strategy as soon as possible in your lifecycle – deciding which apps you are going to target to integrate with (see the Slack playbook), and how you are going to reward and engage users to keep them interested. Forming a community platform like Monzo’s has the added benefit of providing regular user feedback, that can feed into the product and brand. On B2B side, the community forum can be doubly effective in helping end-users quickly and elegantly fix issues with the platform; and pass on the experience to friends or family at other businesses.
5. Communicate, communicate, communicate
Email marketing is a skill in itself, but an essential one to get right. However you contact users (whether in-app or on email), make sure that at all times you are a) putting in place a system to manage any concerns or feedback on new features, b) keeping in line with your core brand positioning and tone of voice (so as not to seem inconsistent or overly sales-y) and c) giving users the opportunity to input into the future of the platform. Whether working with B2C or B2B clients this is a huge advantage, and you can always filter and take your own opinion on responses as they come in.
Branding in the fintech age is a very different proposition from the suave logos and airport ads it used to be. But the same classic rules of knowing what you’re offering and why people should care apply. As long as you are clear enough on these things to let your teams get creative with them, you shouldn’t go far wrong. We look forward to seeing you on-stage at Finovate Europe 2018.
6 Examples of Great Fintech Brands
What makes a Fintech brand great?
It’s an essential question every Fintech marketing team asks themselves when building their brand.
As a market that is continuously pushing the boundaries of financial services and technology, getting the branding right with Fintech can be quite a challenge. Crafting together a logo, auto posting on Buffer and doing a couple of press releases here and there doesn’t work like it used to. The brands of today are literally creating blocks of ice to attract attention, starting in-depth podcasts and hosting conferences and events. The marketing budgets are getting larger and the strategies more intricate. The main reason? The business model is changing. More on this below.
Why is having a great Fintech brand important?
The old business model of “bigger numbers and more individual sales” is slowly being overtaken by a new business model: gaining a customer for life and upselling services. With big data, telematics and Open Banking, products can be more personalised than ever. The more you learn about your customer, the better and more tailored your product is: therefore the less likely she is to change provider. This means that customers are looking for brands that not only sell an excellent product, but that aligns with their values and principles. The brands they use are now part of their identity. And when it comes to something as important as personal finance, a brand is not something that’s overlooked.
That’s the main reason branding is important. The second reason is differentiation. Fintech is now a buzzword, with new Fintech companies popping up every month. There’s more and more competition, with some Fintechs offering crazy high interest rates on savings accounts (umm Marcus), constant prize draws and much more in order to acquire customers. Branding is increasingly important in order to differentiate a company from its competitors.
For this reason, taking branding seriously can turn into a competitive advantage. With the huge demand for innovation and better products, following the crowd can actually end up being riskier.
Through my own experience helping Fintechs from around the world build their marketing strategy, I’ve come to learn that customer facing Fintech brands are made of three main things:
1. Education: most millennials and individuals find finances confusing or full of jargon, so Fintechs take on the role of educating customers.
2. Trust: bank and financial institutions don’t have great reputations, so Fintechs have even more work to do in order to build trust with their customers (education ties in well with this).
3. Customer experience: younger generations expect the same level of service they get with Uber, Google and Apple. Fintechs need to offer a personalised and intuitive user experience.
A successful Fintech brand is one which combines those three components above in a unique way. Easy? Definitely not. But rewarding and fun? Oh yes (that’s kind of why I do it!).
Bank : fintech in the banking and financial sector normally offers their services in the form of products, applications , business processes, and business models. The major target niche areas for fintech in this sector are from the consumer and commercial lending and payments space.
FINTECHS IN THE CONSUMER AND COMMERCIAL LENDING SPACE
One of the core business of banks and financial institutions is lending and borrowing money .traditional banks and financial institutions have provided variants of products and services in this area to their customers over the last several years. The technological evolution in this space has helped the banks to customize and reintroduce some of these products and services for easy consumer acceptance .however ,it has always been a challenge for new start -ups , small business firms, and a select group of individuals in availing that facility of loans and collaterals granted to them
Fintech entered this business to provide the facility of lending and borrowing money online to both individuals and businesses.
Visa Inc. (also known as Visa, stylized as VISA) is an American Multinational Financial services corporation headquartered in foster City California United States. It facilitates Electronic fund transfer throughout the world, most commonly through Visa-branded credit card ,debit card and prepaid cards .Visa does not issue cards, extend credit or set rates and fees for consumers; rather, Visa provides financial institutions with Visa-branded payment products that they then use to offer credit, debit, prepaid and cash-access programs to their customers. In 2015, the Nilson Report, a publication that tracks the credit card industry, found that Visa's global network (known as Visa Net) processed 100 billion transactions during 2014 with a total volume of US$6.8 trillion.
It was established in 1958 by Bank of America (BofA) as the Bank America card credit card program. In response to competitor Master Charge (now master card ), BofA began to license the Bank America card program to other financial institutions in 1966. By 1970, BofA gave up direct control of the Bank Ameri card program, forming a consortium with the other various Bank Ameri card issuer banks to take over its management. It was then renamed Visa in 1976.
Visa has operations across all six continents. Nearly all Visa transactions worldwide are processed through the company's directly operated Visa Net at one of four secure data centre located in Ashburn , virginia ,highlands ranch ,Colorado ,london, england These facilities are heavily secured against natural disasters, crime, and terrorism; can operate independently of each other and from external utilities if necessary; and can handle up to 30,000 simultaneous transactions and up to 100 billion computations every second.
Visa is the world's second-largest card payment organization (debit and credit cards combined), after being surpassed by china union pay in 2015, based on annual value of card payments transacted and number of issued cards.
CO BRANDING BY VISA CARD
How is Visa involved in a co-branded card program?
Visa's role is to support its co-brand partners through advertising and marketing programs that encourage the use of Visa cards. Visa will be happy to assist you in finding an issuer, but you need to contact the issuers and make your own proposal.
ADVANTAGES OF VISA CARD
While the biggest advantage of a Visa card may be its worldwide acceptance, yours may include helpful benefits such as purchase protection and travel insurance. You'll find more perks with higher-tier Visa Signature and Infinite products.
Visa cards (both Visa credit and debit cards) have wide acceptance (by merchants who accept credit cards) in most parts of the world.
· Accepted worldwide. Co-branded cards are international cards. ...
· Rewards Customer Loyalty. It is a unique way for the card issuer as well as the affiliate merchant to reward their loyal customers. ...
· Freebies for the customers. ...
· Customized to lifestyle requirements. ...
· Fee waivers.
Co-branding opportunities allow you to launch a brand new product and divide the expenses together with your partner.
With this, you’ll gain visibility, and reach a new audience. When two brands come together to form a co-branding and partnership they automatically are given the opportunity to gain the interest of each other’s market.
It can help your start up in establishing credibility . The consumers who are already in love with one brand will automatically trust the newly introduced product.
· Create financial benefits
· Provide customers with greater value
· Improve on a property’s overall image
· Strengthen an operation’s competitive position
· Create operational advantages
Brands are looking to partnerships that improve their brand descriptions and boost awareness in a cost-effective and united, combining two brand budgets and marketing channels.For partnerships to work, they must be win/win for all players. The target audiences , brand price/value insights, and level of performance must be well matched.
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