Wired Money 2015: what makes a Fintech brand successful?

Only a few Fintech brands manage to scale up. The CEOs of these companies – the real game changers – shared their views on what it takes to design a disruptive financial business.

Wired Money 2015 was an exciting day where we split our time between the main stage and the startup stage to grasp as much as possible. The most interesting part was listening to CEOs of successful Fintech companies share their views on what three components it takes to reinvent finance for the digital age.

1/ Work for the customer, share what drives you

Taavet Hinrikus from Transferwise shared insights on the vision that has catapulted the Fintech company to a 2% market share. He advised being brutally honest about what you are doing for customers in order to build trust. In the case of Transferwise this means transfers that are 5 times faster and 10 times cheaper than a bank. It took 12 years for Skype to own 40% of international long distance calling. The same will happen in banking.

“Customers are driving change in Fintech but people in the street don’t care about Fintech.”

This customer focused approach has also led to valuable commercial data including the relationship between NPS and advocacy. This is something that cannot be achieved if a brand doesn’t genuinely work for the customer and with the customer to create change.

2/ Iterate, fail and learn fast to build strategic intelligence

Hiroki Takeuchi, founder of Gocardless, shared his thoughts on how design can lead to innovation. The way they work is built around focus and iterations.

“The product needs iteration to be good.”

The key is to create lots of short iterative cycles very fast, by breaking down the problem you make it more manageable. The key benefits are fast learning and reduced costs of failure

Small steps, low costs and fast learning seems to be the secret to Fintech innovation.

Fintech brands work hard to focus on a very specific product in order to gather hyper competitive intelligence on a key area. Each start-up focuses on niche entities enabling surprising, small, but constant innovations.

The small incremental improvements brought by each iteration make the difference to customers who respond well to a distinctive product.

3/ Use technology to support experience design not to plan it

Valentin Stalf, founder of Number 26, gave an excellent demonstration about Fintech’s focus on mobile experience design. An intelligent interface is an integral part of the business model.

Historically, banks have made simple issues complex, Fintech companies are challenging this legacy. The outcome? Emails designed in a way that people like to read or products that prioritise the information the customer is looking for.

“When it takes 1h30 min to become a client at a traditional German bank it takes less than 5 minutes with Number 26.”

For example, Number 26 enables users to block or unblock cards in the app so there is no need to call customer service when you lose your wallet. And even though the experience is easy for the customer, the systems running in the background are extremely complex.

Whether you’re an established bank or a start-up the key is to understand each customer touchpoint.

What makes Fintech brands successful?

  • A genuine ambition to solve a customer pain point.
  • The operational capacity to gather insights and build market intelligence to rapidly launch a better product.
  • Harnessing technology to serve the experience design – not the other way round.

At Brilliant Noise we talk about the spark for digital transformation coming from ‘instances of change’. This is a practical example of how an organisation can behave more like a disruptor than an incumbent, more like a start-up than a behemoth.

The benefits are tangible:

  • Immediate results leading to lasting change: there’s tangible value delivered by projects – not speculative thinking.
  • Ability to scale success quickly: you capture new ways of working and pass them on to colleagues elsewhere in the organisation.
  • Hitting the innovation/value sweet spot: you move faster than with consultancy thinking. Commercial relevance is clearer than with traditional marketing/digital agency approaches.
  • Efficiency savings: our pilot and scale method means that investment follows the needs of customers and you learn from experience.

We can help you:

  • Conduct an expert review of your mobile presence – it’s simple, straightforward and cost-effective, with high impact and actionable findings.
  • Arrange a social media audit – we share best practices and insights on what works for your customers, using tools and ways of thinking that create immediate value.
  • Do a resilient brand workshop – it’s an afternoon where we work together as a team, create rich personas to help uncover the common purpose of your brand – the bigger belief that can unite your communications and product.

Want to learn more? Get in touch – hello@brilliantnoise.com