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Market like a fintech: Digital banking and the use of referrals in fintech with Jonathan Nyst

Hosted by Araminta Robertson, 'Market like a fintech' is the new podcast for fintech marketing professionals and enthusiasts who want to stay up-to-date with the latest trends in the industry, and level up their marketing knowledge. Subscribe here to never miss an episode.

Market Like a Fintech with Jonathan Nyst

When no one’s heard about your product and it’s the first of a kind, how do you describe it to a cold audience? How do you educate and reach them?

When BigPay, a consumer-facing neobank based in Malaysia, launched 4 years ago, no one knew what a neobank was. At that time, digital banks were still a very new thing.

The first marketing play BigPay relied on was referrals. And as you’ll hear from Jonathan Nyst, Head of Marketing at BigPay, referrals worked very well. Especially, when certain travel bloggers realised they could make money referring readers to BigPay. One blogger referred over 8,000 people. Jon says himself, these bloggers did a lot of the heavy lifting to get BigPay off the ground and acquire customers. When no one’s heard of your product type, it seems referrals are still the way to go.

In today’s episode, Araminta chats with Jon about how BigPay implemented referrals when they first started, the recurring payday campaigns they implemented and why he thinks content marketing is so difficult and why BigPay has struggled with it as an acquisition strategy.


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Listen to Jonathan's complete interview below.

I think generally referrals are a 'no brainer'. It's something that almost every fintech, even if you’re a B2B fintech, should look into and should think about. But you should also do it in a smart way.


Key takeaways:

The power of referrals - Generally, referrals are a 'no brainer'. It's something that

almost every fintech, even if you're a B2B fintech, should look into and should think about. But you should also do it in a smart way. In the sense that you optimise the referral action that you're asking people to complete. This will depend on the stage of your business you're at.

If you're a fintech who just launched and you just want to get in, you want to show user growth, for instance, for your investors, because you want to do round...then use a referral action like a very, very low hanging fruit. For instance, for BigPay, when we started out, it was like you give someone your code, if they sign up and activate their card, they'll get a10. So, activating the card for us was the key action because this was a really important metric for our investors, for example. But as you move down in the lifecycle of your own fintech, for instance, if you have enough users and you want to focus more on the quality of users, you can start gamifying, that referral process as well.

I still think that referrals take a really important place for fintechs. But they require a little bit of thinking and a bit of data... a bit of understanding of consumer insight.

Leverage referrals and influencer marketing - If you're in a market, where you're building something completely new as a B2C and you know your audience is gonna love it, then you should definitely leverage the opportunity of referrals and influencer marketing.

Why use recurring payment campaigns - I'm sure that if you ask someone from, like TransferWise, they will probably say that 40% of their transaction volume comes from a 10-day period at the end of the month. And that's just normal. You get your salary, you send money home, you send money to your friends, etc.

So, every month, we focus on trying to partner up with merchants to push our messages at the right time for users...when they've just gotten the money into their bank account and we're in their mind at that moment, when they have the money to make that purchase decision. This can take a lot of different shapes.


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The challenges of doing content marketing in fintech - I think [content marketing] is tough in the sense that you. almost need to hire an editorial team, a team of writers, and then you have. to really plan out your content, not just for the next week, but for the next year. And need to be really focused in terms of like personas. The content that you're going to create needs to be, really attractive, and easy to digest. And I think it's still tough for fintech companies to really think about content marketing like that. I'm so sick of like, listicles, like, '4 ways you can save money this Christmas'. These are not useful. It's not financial education at all.

I'm a firm believer that if you crossed content personas, and you work on creating content for the life stage that these personas are at and provide content that brings really good value from experts in the field, then you'd really have a big organic play. That's eventually going to drive massive brand awareness.

How to attract the best talent - If you want to hire the best talent, then you need to increase or improve your package. I think people are much more mindful now of health, mental health, because of lockdowns, and of work-life balance, because of having worked from home for so long, where there's so little barrier between, you know, your bedroom and your home office, which is sometimes the same room. So, being able, as an employer to show that you care about this is probably going to be key in the future for attracting talent.

For more interesting insights, listen to Jonathan's complete interview below.


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