August 11, 2016
Don’t we all wish we had the idea for PayPal or Ally Bank years ago. But those were just the beginning. The financial tech industry in 2016 is about as hot as any right now, with the traditional banks giving way to entrepreneurs who see the entire financial industry as archaic and fading. If these entrepreneurs can develop the technology to make people’s financial activities simpler, direct, cheaper, and yet still secure, then they have every chance of getting the funding and the success they want.
Indeed, the fintech industry is becoming the most disruptive tech trend of this decade. If fintech is your disruption of choice, the right niche and the perfect tech will not be enough. You will have to build your brand so that it appeals to funders of course, but also so that it is understood and trusted by your target market. Here are some tips to build a successful fintech brand.
Identify the Need You Meet and the Value You Bring
This, of course, is true of any niche, but it is critically important in the fintech industry. If you cannot differentiate yourself in some way from your competition, you really have nothing to offer. Let’s take real estate investing, for example. This is one of the biggest opportunities in fin tech today. Lots of individuals would like to get into it, but they don’t have the investment capital. Traditional banks see them as too risky. A fintech company that allows small investors to pool their small amounts of money and share in the profits or large real estate investments meets a need and provides huge value.
Keep It Simple
If you have the idea and the technology, you are good to go. But if you cannot explain what your fintech innovation is to your grandmother, then you have already lost the game. Part of building your brand means that you can connect with the average person, usually using social media, to explain your value and benefit in simple terms.
If you are disrupting the payment industry, for example, and you want the average person to understand how money can be digitally stored and moved across all of their devices through your app or tool, you have some explaining to do. People have to understand how payments and purchases can be made without the bank as a middleman.
Get the Right Tools and Apps
You may have the perfect innovative idea for a fintech startup. It’s all in your head and you are clear about how you can uniquely position yourself with the niche you have chosen. But your target market is not just compelled by your innovation. It is also compelled by efficiency, speed, and a great user experience.
As Richard Gardner, CEO of Modulusfe states, “Any entry into the world of fintech will only be as good as the apps and tools that are built for user ease. Without a perfect, streamlined, and bug-free experience, users will never get on board.”
You Have to Establish Trust
Some of this has already been done for you by the financial crisis of 2008. Individuals have lost their trust in the big banking institutions and are looking for alternatives. VC’s are also looking for fintech alternatives. The e-banking fintech niche is gathering trust, and while it began with Ally Bank, there are now opportunities for startups to offer e-bank accounts that provide higher interest rates on savings and lower interest rates on borrowing.
Garnering trust can be a challenge if this is the niche you choose. It will take time and the investment and recommendation of related fintech companies that already have a reputation. When you can get influencer support, you will win this trust game. In some instances, partnering with a traditional bank is the way to go – many of them are certainly open to this now.
You Have to Use Social Marketing
Fintech is no different than any other entrepreneurial niche, so stop thinking that it is. Consumers are savvy and social. Spreading your brand throughout social media and niche platforms is not an option. You have to build a community so that that community shares you with their tribes.
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