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How Fintech has changed customer expectations: the blurring of the physical and digital experience

Jeremy Clutton explores how constantly improving user experience and ease of access to services will be key to continued global growth for Fintechs in the ‘new norm.’

The customer is king, but it hasn’t always felt that way when interacting with the myriad of financial products and institutions that are so important for day to day banking, insurance, getting a mortgage or just making a payment safely. It’s never felt more topical either – I can’t imagine many people currently submitting holiday insurance claims feel they are receiving service fit for a king.

Fintech has been transforming the playing field for these experiences and democratising a lot of the things that historically were strongly ring fenced and heavily regulated. Regulation is still there, but the digitisation of the user experience has given people far more choice. They now take instant accessibility as a given.

A growing Fintech market

This change is reflective of the size of the global fintech market, which was valued at about $127.66 billion in 2018, and is expected to grow to $309.98 billion at an annual growth rate of 24.8% through 2022.

Growing customer expectations and ease of access

A sense of the change in my expectations on ease of access is reflective of securing a mortgage. My last mortgage was all accessed online and approved within 60 minutes. I simply uploaded the required proof of income etc., and didn’t have to talk to anyone. A far cry from my first mortgage which involved a huge paper trail and various trips back and forth from the bank.

Obviously, it isn’t just about experience but also accessibility. We can now access our information and buy these services online – it’s just what we expect. If you can’t provide this level of service, that’s you out of the game. It needs to be easy, intuitive and, ideally, quick.

Access is crucial in the new norm

Given the physical challenges we have all recently experienced, this ability to access financial services in the digital world has to be the norm. Those who can’t adapt will surely become anachronistic. I’m especially thinking of some stories I have heard of banks demanding physical in-person proof of ID for account transfer and similar, which is obviously a bit tricky in a lock down.

The Klarna buy now, pay later option is another leap in the Fintech area. Klarna is a Swedish bank better known by most shoppers at the ecommerce payment gateway. They use AI to assess the risk of the buyer to allow them to offer credit in real time, not what we would naturally associate with the role of a traditional bank. My gran used to buy from a giant mail order catalogue and pay weekly to manage her outgoings. The concept isn’t that different but the experience is light years away.

Great UX is vital for global expansion

And the fact these solutions are built on a digital experience naturally lends itself to a global footprint. Obviously it can be harder to take that great UX to new regions, but this definitely drives adoption and success.

One of our customers, eToro, saw a 427% increase in users in the first 4 months of 2020 versus the same period last year, giving them 13m registered users. We have worked with eToro for over 5 years and their growth has been built by being able to support multiple global markets, making the platform truly accessible. Establishing and embedding digital workflows has been key to the success and it has been great to play a small part in that incredible performance.

Just as our customers’ users benefit from that digital experience, we have created the same digital first approach to allow our customers to scale across multiple languages with the same lean teams.

It isn’t always easy to get there straight away, but it doesn’t have to be hard either.

My 5 takeaways for going global with Fintech:

1. Think global first

Try to plan for global from day one. It’s easy to build the approach and processes around the first language of an app (be it English, German etc.) but ideally you need to think about how the application can flex for different size and style of content. A very simple example is in the number of characters, if you translate from English to French you have more content, if you have a very tight restrictive design, this becomes a problem.

2. Think big but start small to make sure you get it right from the start

Use a couple of languages as a starter and get them right first. You want to avoid creating problems across lots of languages. Work out the challenges as early as possible and then apply the learnings to a much bigger set.

3. Iterate, iterate, iterate

If you’ve already started the process and established an approach, look at how you iterate to get content out more quickly across your sprints and reduce any lag between languages. This means reducing manual touchpoints, seeing if content can be released more quickly, maybe directly from the story and/or by using an asynchronous approach.

4. Test, test, test

Do a lot of testing. People consume content in different ways, so thinking about this is also important when mapping the user journey in a new region and the overall layout of the GUI.

5. Go for it!

Be brave. If your solution is solving real problems in the world then it will be successful wherever those problems are. You just need to make it accessible to these new markets.

Find out more about how Lingo24 is supporting global Fintechs.



Jeremy Clutton, Global Director, eCommerce & Channel Partners, Lingo24

Jeremy leads the London sales operations for Lingo24. He specialises in advising e-commerce businesses on everything related to translation, localisation and global marketing.
Jeremy has extensive experience in the translation business, working with a wide range of blue chip and SME companies on managing their language needs.

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