Published in Sep-Oct 2022
Financial technology companies are revolutionising the way people manage their money and payments, and thanks to advancements in digital technology, they are adding more and more features to their offerings, and playing a key role in accelerating financial inclusion. And of course, propelling all these offerings is the increased ease, simplicity and convenience in accessing financial services. The issue, however, is that although fintechs have their own set of challenges – including a limited talent supply and an unswerving trust about cash among the population – their marketing propositions do not seem to go beyond the notions of ease, simplicity and convenience – something people are growing tired of hearing about.
1. Dissecting the Proposition: It seems that when it comes to advertising these services, fintechs are stuck in an endless loop of repeatedly communicating the virtues of ease, convenience and simplicity. For example, when Easypaisa rebranded itself, it did so by communicating ‘Baby, take it easy’ as its core proposition and that is what has stayed top of mind over and above any other communication they developed since. Therefore, in a world where the benefits of fintech are expanding at a remarkable speed, the potential of what gets communicated to audiences when marketing these products still remains unrealised. These are services that build on the financial needs of a broad range of users, from consumers to businesses, increase their efficiency in operations, improve service quality and reduce transaction costs. These are all propositions which can make a big impact if communicated correctly while moving away from the simple message of convenience.
2. Exploring New Insights: Fintechs have from time to time explored new territories of communication, such as the ‘Phata Note’ campaign by Easypaisa, which poked fun at people’s dislike of torn or soiled notes. In India, the PhonePe campaign tackled the issue of how the public does not think of digital payments as a default mode of payment. Instead of going for run-of-the-mill consumer pain points relating to convenience (they are not even pain points anymore), fintechs must explore the other benefits digital payments can bring to a consumer’s life.
3. Don’t Communicate. Educate: Fintechs need to evolve their messaging to include the possibilities they can bring to consumers, while also communicating how seamlessly their services can replace cash transactions. This requires well-thought out strategies that don’t just speak to consumers but educate them about the product itself – going further than just showing consumption of the service, to explaining how fintech actually helps change people’s lifestyles. By working on campaigns that have ‘demand creation’ as an objective, fintechs must focus on fostering strategic partnerships with merchants and businesses where such payments are accepted and followed by communicating the scale at which these networks exist. People need to know that if they make a digital payment, they will be facilitated by their receivers. Integrating examples of this in the communication and positioning these payments as being even more secure than cash will boost confidence and lead to customer adoption.
4. More Than Just an App: When marketing fintech, a value proposition that often seems to go unnoticed is customer service. People who entrust you with their money need to be constantly reminded that they are dealing with real people who understand and care about their money; in other words, that a fintech company is more than just an app on their phone and they can always talk to a real human.
By giving people more reasons to replace their cash with digital wallets, fintechs can evolve their core proposition beyond ‘simple’ communication.
Muhammad Ali Khan is Associate Director, Strategy and Creative, Synergy Dentsu.