Updated: Apr 14, 2021
What do consumers want to hear from fintech brands right now? How have their priorities changed? How should this impact B2B messaging? Data from the consumer research platform Attest reveals a number of key trends that marketers will need to know as they plan campaigns for 2021 and beyond.
People have new financial goals, new priorities, a more responsible attitude to money and are receptive to hearing from forward-thinking, proactive brands. It’s a tectonic shift in expectations and needs, and fintech brands are ideally positioned to attack and win.
Jeremy King, CEO of Attest, which works with fintech brands including Klarna, Wise (formerly TransferWise), Nutmeg, WorldRemit and many others, says consumer insight has never been more important for fintech marketers: “The pace of change over the last 6-12+ months left many marketers in a spin, and opened even wider gaps for fintech brands to fill. Having access to fresh, fast and reliable consumer data is critical in helping them move forwards and make business decisions with confidence."
“The good news is, from our own research, we can see huge ranges of opportunity out there for fintechs. People have new financial goals, new priorities, a more responsible attitude to money and are receptive to hearing from forward-thinking, proactive brands. It’s a tectonic shift in expectations and needs, and fintech brands are ideally positioned to attack and win. At the same time, consumers are adopting tech faster than ever before, with the pandemic forcing digitisation across banking and payments. Financial marketers can certainly use these trends to differentiate and expand their brands in 2021.”
1) Commit to transparency to build trust
As we eye post-pandemic recovery, helping and supporting consumers with their finances will be key for fintech brands - and this includes promoting responsible borrowing. In the UK, By Now Pay Later (BNPL) providers have come under scrutiny during the pandemic, with the Woolard Review stating that the industry represents “significant potential for consumer harm”.
Attest research shows that consumers would welcome new regulations for the industry, including credit checks and greater transparency as to affordability - in fact, 49% of BNPL users say they would actually spend more because they would feel more comfortable. This indicates that transparent communications about financial products will be vital for building consumer trust.
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2) Focus on the desire to save money
The pandemic has made us realise how important it is to put something aside for a rainy day and, as such, saving is a major focus for 2021. This represents a particular opportunity for fintechs that put the power to save into people’s hands via mobile apps. A massive 77% of US consumers who use financial apps say they want to save money this year, while 66% want to manage their money better.
In addition to straight saving, there’s an appetite for financial products offering bigger returns, and the idea of investing is becoming much more mainstream. More than half of American finance app users (51.5%) are already gearing up to invest this year, showing that consumer perception about stocks and shares is changing.
3) Make consumers feel “valued and special”
The way fintech brands make consumers feel with their marketing will be just as important as the products they’re promoting. As people grapple with the impact of coronavirus on their lives, they’re looking for more from brands than simple sales messages.
Attest asked consumers in the UK and the US how they want the brands they love to make them feel at the moment. In the UK, the top answer given was “valued and special” (25.2%) followed by “inspired and motivated” (24.7%). In the US, these priorities were reversed. Fintech marketers should look at value-adds they can give to loyal customers, as well as helping them picture a brighter future through inspirational messaging.
4) Ramp up social media presence
For fintechs looking to grow brand awareness, engaging with consumers on social media remains as important as ever. That’s because people are spending much more time there. Working from home and being unable to socialise in-person has led to a massive increase in usage. Nearly 83% of US consumers and 73% of UK consumers say they’re spending more time on social media than they did previously.
Facebook has seen the most growth in usage, and it’s also the number one platform respondents visit to interact with brands. Nearly 69% of US consumers and 49% of UK consumers say they engage with brands on Facebook. And, while usage might ease off as life returns to normal, it’s likely that consumers will have discovered new interests that keep them coming back to their favourite social networking sites.
5) Stay tuned-in to the issues people care about
The pandemic is not the only issue contributing to changing consumer attitudes and behaviour. Topics like racism, equality, poverty and climate change have also been high on the agenda and consumers feel strongly about them. Fintech brands that recognise the wider role their businesses play in the community and aim to drive the agenda on key issues can win respect and credibility. This extends to the full ecosystem of partners that brands work with, so B2B providers need to be hyper-focused here too.
Attest research finds that, in the UK, consumers are highly engaged with sustainability issues (71% of people say they are interested), while poverty is an important issue for 61%. In the US, 67% of people say they are interested in sustainability and poverty. Meanwhile, half of Americans and half of Brits say they are interested in the issues of racism, diversity & inclusion and gender equality.
6) Keep in regular contact with customers
While retail businesses are well-versed in frequent customer communications, fintech brands often fail to maintain contact as regularly as they should. Perhaps they don’t think they have anything to say or that people simply won’t be interested, but neither are true. Fintechs have a wealth of financial know-how to share and their customers are likely to want to hear it.
Both British and American consumers remain very open to receiving email communications from the brands they’re interested in. In the US, 65.2% of people say they are happy to hear from brands at least once a week. And in the UK, this figure is still more than half; 54.8%. The younger demographic (18-40) especially is receptive to regular contact from brands.