by Hitarth Saini
Over the past five years, the number of fintech brands in India has grown rapidly. Competition is fierce, yet fintech companies offering unique products and services with superior expertise are already starting to make a splash. The Covid-19 pandemic has spurred the digitization of the financial sector, and the entire industry is now undergoing a mini-renaissance. But we have only scratched the surface – the sheer number of people who need better services in India’s financial sector is enormous. Consumer behavior is changing rapidly with extremely low interest periods and digital formats of media consumption. All of this has been and will continue to drive brands to innovate in consumer engagement to make a lasting impression and reap long-term benefits.
The consumer first approach is to provide fintech brands with an edge
Instead of the customer going to the branch, fintech companies bring the experience to their mobile phones, homes, and offices. Instead of relying on physical processes that cause delays in resolving customer issues, fintech companies offer automated chat flows and targeted content (videos and gifs) to help with faster solutions. Banks’ decade-old, one-size-fits-all approach no longer applies to today’s demanding clients. Fintechs is transforming things with its agility and better understanding of customers by curating personalized experiences at scale. They even talk to customers in the language that connects them (meme marketing, story format content, thematic content, etc.), which helps them build brand equity.
Fintechs promotes engagement by revealing hidden opportunities
Whether it is a financial transaction, insurance payments, expense reports, investment review, or any other financial service, fintech companies are finding white spaces in customer experiences and filling these gaps. Whether it’s setting up automated reminders for customers to pay their bills, giving them a monthly overview of their credit card spending, growing their investment or improving their credit score, fintechs deliver value by analyzing customer usage data and communicating these insights in an easy-to-understand, visual reporting/ graphical on their mobile phone, thus elevating the overall experience.
Fintechs is seeding opportunities to participate in customer journeys
Fintechs are trying to change existing customer journeys, and the amount they do with experimentation and analysis of consumer behavior is unbelievable. Many fintech companies have successfully used and implemented gamification in their experiment, taking advantage of a potentially difficult situation to their advantage. If the process is taking longer than usual, offer a mini game or show a related blog to keep the customer engaged. Providing user reviews that build trust or the success rate of a particular channel on payment pages goes a long way. Moreover, fintech companies are implanting “magic moments” in their app experiences where the user is more likely to rate the service, refer a friend or spread the word on social media.
Fintechs removes friction points and makes sure customers see relevant messages
Fintechs has been at the forefront of delivering digital journeys and providing an in-house paperless service to customers by implementing eKYC, video-KYC and chat-based customer customized onboarding flows. But embracing these for the masses is a challenge, and here fintech companies are helping even a few large banks and institutions with their digital banking initiatives. By implementing automated marketing communications across channels (mobile push notifications, SMS, email, interactive voice recordings, Whatsapp messages) and providing content tailored to the customer’s financial history, thus offering a seamless experience, fintech companies have outpaced traditional players .
Fintechs resolves customer concerns with a content-based approach
Funding has generally been difficult to comprehend, and thus intimidating to many. The customer has to go through an information load full of jargon before making a decision. Traditionally, banks and financial institutions have solved this by having account managers or customer representatives who assisted with customer journeys. After Covid-19, brands are fighting this battle head-on by creating simple yet powerful content such as short story format videos, long format explainer videos and miscellaneous videos/collections by talking to Millennials and Gen-Z customer segments in a way they understand. More and more fintech brands are enabling their apps and websites to support local languages.
Hard-earned and hard-to-maintain trust for fintech companies
With all the technology that fintech companies are bringing to the table, this is the most difficult challenge for them. Fintech companies have to work harder than their banking counterparts to deliver a trustworthy offering and branding. With the rise of cybercrime, the need right now is to ensure robust systems are in place. Fintechs is proactively working on this front by generating awareness of how customers stay safe and why their brand deserves customers’ trust. Over time, fintech companies will raise the bar for service and build a strong fortress, but even then, consistently providing good service can help build loyalty.
India is on the cusp of a financial revolution, and FinTech companies are the catalysts that will lead to the transformation of the banking and finance industry. This in turn will empower customers and thus the nation. Only by embracing the changes and innovations unleashed by FinTech companies can the Indian banking industry become customer centric, on a par with global leaders, and truly revolutionary.
(The author is Head of Marketing, Freo. Opinions expressed are subjective.)