The fintech sector is booming.It is the UK’s largest tech investment sector. 2020 propelled the use case for many fintech innovations, exponentially accelerating consumer and business adoption. And a supportive political and regulatory environment is boosting further innovation.
Fintech is pervasive to the extent that there is no longer a distinction between the financial services industry and fintech. They are one and the same. Every new fintech entrant is either a competitor or a partner to ‘traditional’ players. Tech is just how financial services is and will operate in the future.
Whilst the ground is fertile for so-called fintechs to grow and thrive in, there are also significant reputational and communications challenges arising…
The reputation and communications challenge for fintechs
Standing out from the crowd is tougher than ever. Being a ‘fintech’ is just not a differentiator.
Access and inclusion, privacy and control, and data security remain areas of concern amongst customers, the regulator and investors. Fears and misconceptions are still prevalent, and high-profile governance, security, fraud and capitalisation issues have driven scrutiny and mistrust of the industry as a whole and are likely to accelerate new regulation.
And there have been warnings that the sector faces an “existential threat” of funding drying up due to the Covid slump. Tech Nation’s Tech Nation Report 2021 data shows a 23% drop in fintech investment to $4.5bn last year, with the majority going to later stage companies.
In this context, it is no longer enough to just be a disruptor. And to be honest, after last year, we’ve all had quite enough disruption!
Fintechs need to build authentic brands and earn credibility and trust to succeed. Focussing on what they’re enabling and improving; reassuring investors, customers and market influencers, and building confidence and winning endorsement, instead of creating shock and drama.
Fintechs with the best reputations benefit from deeper loyalty and louder support from their stakeholders, at a reduced marketing communications budget. Reputation matters for them, more than ever.
For 31 years, Lansons has been the UK’s leading financial services sector agency. As the industry has been transformed by new technologies, we have helped it navigate that change.
We have worked with the regulators and the sector’s industry bodies and associations. We have advised the leading retail and institutional banks as they’ve evolved their tech propositions and positioning. We’ve launched numerous challengers to market, scaled with them and supported some through to sale or IPO listing. We work with consumer brands and backend software providers alike. Our sector expertise spans banking, asset management, wealthtech, robo advice, regtech, insuretech, cyber security.
We know the challenge of standing out in an overcrowded marketplace, so we create brand stories, and produce beautiful content and build integrated campaigns to tell them.
We understand the importance of networks and can plug you into them. We have deep knowledge and 30+ years experience dealing in regulatory and political complexities and can help you navigate them. We advise senior management teams through reputational issues, and help companies communicate their purpose and response to societal issues.
We understand growing pains, and how to engage and motivate staff as you evolve or transform your business.
We are the best at finance media (voted no. 1 by journalists in IPSOS Mori poll for the last 19 years), and know its value, and can build your credibility and manage your reputation through it.
We are global, with an office in New York, and ability to execute on-the-ground in over 90 countries around the world through our PROI and GCP independent agency network partners.
Financial communications is arguably the most successful part of the global public relations industry. - This article was originally published in PRWeek.
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