The communications tipping point as fintech matures

In the last decade, we’ve seen the rapid digitisation of financial services from banking and remittance to payments and investments. While there was a boom in new fintech companies in the aftermath of the banking crisis, the goldrush of new disruptors has been in decline since 2017.

With darling disruptors of the fintech world from Starling Bank to RateSetter reaching a maturity tipping point, what are the implications for how they evolve their story, while remaining true to their purpose to continue winning hearts and minds? More importantly, when can we start banning the liberal use of the words ‘disruptor’, ‘banking innovator’ and ‘neobank’ when so many have grown into sophisticated competitors?

The rise of online banking and mobile-first solutions is driving concrete growth in adoption rates. A study in 2019 by accounting firm, EY, showed that 96% of consumers were aware of fintech services, and 75% of people had used them. This trend will keep growing as digital natives continue to become more dominant in the workplace and in social settings.

In the next decade, we will also see the intensification of existing trends – all shaped by the fallout of Covid-19 and behaviours brought to the surface by this disruption. In this environment, mission and purpose will drive future success in fintech.

With the democratisation of finance as one of the key fundamentals and promise of fintech players, this health pandemic has shown just how resilient the sector is. Research from tech database, Beauhurst, reveals that only 1% of fintechs have been critically affected with only 2% of jobs immediately under threat.

Global lockdowns have increased our reliance on electronic payments and banking systems – and during the crisis fintech companies have shown how well-equipped they are to meet our financial needs. According to financial advisory firm, deVere Group, the crisis has prompted a 72% rise in the use of fintech apps in Europe as people adapted to life in lockdown.

As the sector continues to mature, building trust and showing an understanding of people’s behaviours and concerns will be key – especially when the lack of human contact in a fully digital process can be an unnerving one. In communicating with policymakers, consumers or the broader finance sector, trust and empathy need to be inherent and transcend in all communications and channels.

By Joey Ng, Purpose and Campaigns Director, Grayling UK