How to expand from B2C to B2B: Why Privacy.com’s Card Issuing API marks a change in fintech
Updated: Apr 14, 2021
American fintech and virtual payment card startup, Privacy.com, has recently expanded their offering by adding a new B2B product – the Card Issuing API – to their existing B2C product line. How have they navigated this change?
We interviewed Jocelyn Hu, Marketing Manager at Privacy.com, to learn more about the startup and its recent launch.
A glimpse into Privacy.com’s aim to protect user’s privacy and security
Privacy.com lets anyone generate virtual and disposable payment card numbers for free, keeping their actual card numbers safe. This gives users the ability to cut off companies from their bank accounts, giving them more control over their online subscriptions. It also protects them from data-breaches and credit card skimmers whilst keeping their information and money safe.
In July last year, Privacy.com launched a new B2B product: a developer-first programme that allows business owners to create and configure virtual cards with their own API which further enables them to lock cards to merchants, set spending limits, and get real-time payment data.
How did Privacy.com drive growth in its early days?
The first few months in a startup’s life are crucial. Getting those first couple of users, retaining customers and nurturing brand awareness are all skills that take years to master. Many fintech startups invest tremendous amounts of time and money in their initial marketing efforts. Unlike many other start-ups, Privacy relied on organic growth in their early days, focusing on the actual product and keeping their marketing strategy simple.
“The first year, Privacy.com relied heavily on organic to drive acquisition. The team tapped into friends and family, word of mouth, referrals, and posted on their own social channels.”
The company really started to see its B2C product grow, however, when it invested in influencer marketing …
Fintechs around the world are turning to non-traditional marketing campaigns and many of these strategies rest on influencers’ ability to reach customers.
“When I originally joined Privacy.com, the goal was to double down on influencer marketing for our consumer product. We’ve seen promising growth from YouTube sponsorships and have established a solid cornerstone of creators over the past year. Since then, we’ve expanded into other growth channels such as podcasts, affiliates, content, and most recently, brand partnerships.”
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So, what’s behind Privacy.com’s new Card Issuing API and its entry into the world of B2B fintech?
Privacy launched their first B2B product – the Card Issuing API – in July 2020. It is a programme “created for developers and business owners who need an accessible banking structure for their companies”. Jocelyn Hu believes that by focusing on “transparent pricing and fast integrations” their API is able to lower the main hurdles in card issuing.
The expansion proved to be quite challenging for Jocelyn and her team as they needed to juggle between both their core B2C product and their new B2B offering. Following the success of its early-day launch strategy, Privacy.com once again decided to rely on organic acquisition tactics to drive their B2B go-to-market efforts, with a particular focus on partner marketing.
Their first partnership with 1Password – a leading password manager – has been integral to their secondary product’s success so far and showcases the speed and power of their APIs. Through this partnership, 1Password users are able to create, save, and use Privacy Cards directly through their 1Password browser – thereby offering a one-stop solution for consumers’ two most important security needs.
How has Privacy responded to the COVID-19 pandemic?
“With stay-at-home orders, online shopping has become a necessity and Privacy.com offers the perfect secure payments solution. But like many companies, we scaled back on paid marketing due to the uncertainty during these times. With this change, we realised the strength of organic partnerships.”
This kind of marketing can be seen as ‘natural’, it focuses on customer satisfaction to drive growth. It may not be flashy but in the B2B business, it can be highly effective. “Collaborating with like-minded companies allows us to expand our network and share in the strengths of other services – something that we’ll continue to build upon in the new year,” said Jocelyn.
What’s next for Privacy?
Jocelyn Hu tells us that the startup’s primary focus for 2021 is to continue iterating on their API product and grow within the B2B space. They want the payment infrastructure that they’ve spent years perfecting to be passed onto other developers to use in their products.
Privacy.com believes that embedded finance is likely to be the next revolution in fintech. According to Jocelyn Hu, “More and more fintech services are leaning into infrastructure as a way to scale their business and create new revenue streams.” They believe APIs are powering the integration of financial capabilities with non-financial services and Privacy.com may have a key role in this fintech revolution.
Will API banking change the fintech world? Privacy.com certainly thinks so.
About Jocelyn Hu: Jocelyn is the Marketing Manager at Privacy.com, leading the company's brand and paid marketing efforts. She has over 7 years of experience in media buying, acquisition, and influencer strategy.