Fintech Trends and Opportunities in 2021 and Beyond
Fintech is one of the fastest-growing sectors in the UK. The country is currently home to more than 1,600 fintech firms, with that number expected to double by 20301.
Scotland is a world-leading destination for fintech businesses, having been voted the best place in Europe to start a tech company2.
The sector represents many opportunities for both start-ups and long-established institutions. But with heating competition, a savvy approach to fintech marketing is required.
We’ll discuss how an inbound marketing approach can support fintech businesses of every size. But first, let’s examine the latest fintech trends.
Innovations and social changes come with both risks and rewards. Here’s a look at developing consumer demands and how they're impacting the fintech sector.
Fintech Trends: Cashless Society
While we're reluctant to part with our hard-earned money, a whole branch of fintech is devoted to making payments that extra bit easier.
As a recent UK Finance report explains: “innovations such as contactless payments, mobile wallets, online banking and mobile banking have had a significant impact on the way that we now choose to pay for goods and services."3
Contactless payments increased from £30 to £45 during the pandemic to counter virus transmission from notes and coins. That's set to increase further, with limits soon rising to £100.4
Some see this as the nail in the coffin for good old-fashioned cash, but the change is also raising concerns for people who fear a cashless society would have terrible consequences for “older, abused and unbanked people”.5
On the whole, there is resistance to exclusive card or mobile payments, with fewer than 30% of Brits stating a preference for a cashless society.6
Fintech Trends: Digitisation
It’s not just payments that are going digital. Cloud-based computing is cementing its position in the world of finance, with financial businesses embracing SaaS solutions to perform the majority of their business processes.7
Covid-19 is considered responsible for the accelerated adoption of digital services amongst financial businesses of every size, which Deloitte now describes as being in “hyperdrive”.8
Fintech Trends: Sustainable and Ethical Services
Following pledges from prominent nations to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, there is an increasing rise in sustainable initiatives within the financial industry.
The UK government recently announced further investment in its 10 green finance hubs, designed to help businesses improve their decision-making surrounding sustainability matters.
The initiative aims to provide “world-class data and analytics to financial institutions and services such as banks, lenders, investors and insurers”.9 The government says this will "unlock brand-new opportunities for Britain to lead internationally in greening global finance" while also "protecting the UK economy and society from climate and environmental risks."10
Some commentators, like Mobiquity’s Matthew Williamson, believe that an increased consumer appetite for ethical services will spur change: “The pandemic has placed CSR centre stage, and we’ll see more corporations continue to innovate and collaborate in 2021 to create a positive impact across the world.”11
Fintech Trends: Security
Cybersecurity remains one of the primary areas of concern for financial businesses and their customers. 69% of financial services CEOs report concerns about cyber-threats to their business,12 while only 25% of consumers believe most companies handle their sensitive personal data responsibly.13
Constant developments in fintech, such as third-party cloud services, data exchanges and increased use of mobile technology, have seen financial businesses struggle to keep up with their security implications.
With the complete transition to digital banking well underway, we are also experiencing a continued threat from banking fraud, which caused £200m of losses in the first half of 2020 alone.14
While the issue of security threatens financial business, it also reveals a high reward potential. Innovative fintech security solutions are in demand for business customers, while B2C companies demonstrating robust security measures will appeal to everyday consumers.
Clearly, there are plenty of opportunities out there for fintech companies. In an increasingly saturated market, inbound marketing is one of the best ways for fintech firms to reach prospective investors and customers.
Fintech Marketing: Differentiation
Let’s face it, while those of us with an interest in fintech might get excited about new services and innovations, they're unlikely to thrill the ordinary consumer.
Take online banking as an example: while it certainly makes life easier, banking still falls into the category of something that consumers have to do, rather than something they want to.
That’s why differentiation is key for financial products and services: standing out is the only way to spark interest from customers and investors alike.
Inbound marketing techniques are a great way to achieve differentiation. By producing informative content that offers the guidance that prospective customers are actively searching for, fintech businesses stand to generate interest.
As Inbound Fintech notes: “You should use language that’s suitable and accessible for your audience, whilst utilising creative visuals, to bring technical and more hard-to-understand subjects to life.”15
Monzo is an example of a brand doing great work in this area. Their use of clear, user-friendly language with a non-intimidating, conversational tone16 sets them apart. You can learn more about Monzo's approach by reading their tone of voice guidelines.
Fintech Marketing: Build Customer Trust
People don’t like to be sold to. While we’re certainly still influenced by marketing and advertising, today’s consumers prefer a more subtle approach.
Inbound marketing avoids the hard sell. Instead, it aims to engage users at a point when they're already interested in topics or solutions that relate to your business.
A financial customer might be looking online for money-saving tips, for example. A financial business could provide valuable guidance on the subject, later encouraging readers to download its budgeting app.
As Adam Bell, Technical Director at Moment puts it: "Providing audiences with valuable information helps businesses get a foot in the door with prospective customers at a time when they're likely to be most receptive."17
However, when it comes to adopting new products and services, we're primarily influenced by our peers. 92% of consumers trust peer recommendations more than any other form of advertising.18
Financial businesses' ultimate goal, then, should be to make their current customers the ambassadors of their brand.
Moment's Adam Bell again: "Inbound marketing isn't just about acquiring new customers. It's also important to maintain existing customers' trust by routinely engaging them with support and guidance that's relevant to them. That way, they're more likely to remain a loyal customer, and to encourage others to embrace your business.”
Fintech Marketing: More Leads at a Reduced Cost
Outbound marketing methods like selling and cold calling are challenging at the best of times, but GDPR limitations make them even less effective. Incomplete customer data sets and restricted access to contact information renders targeting financial customers or prospective investors in this manner practically impossible.
There are several ways to use an inbound marketing approach. Blogging, for example, is known to benefit companies by generating "55% more website visitors, 97% more inbound links, and 67% more leads" than companies that don't blog.19
By investing in an inbound marketing approach, financial businesses are much more likely to generate leads at a cheaper rate than alternative techniques. In fact, inbound marketing costs 62% less per lead than traditional methods.20
If your fintech business could benefit from inbound marketing support, contact Moment.
With strong links to Scotland’s fintech community, we’re well-placed to support you with specialist fintech marketing.
- UK FinTech
- The Guardian
- PWC: Financial Services Technology 2020 and Beyond
- The Energy Advice Hub
- PWC: Financial Services Technology 2020 and Beyond
- PWC: Consumer intelligence series
- Inbound Fintech
- HubSpot: The Little Book of Inbound for Finance Marketers