You Don’t Need Clever Technology to Succeed

Convincing new customers to use your product, especially financial products, requires a lot of trust before someone will willingly hand over their hard earned money. One of the ways that China was able to win over their customers with their mobile banking services was through making their payments platforms both simple and social, although we cannot discount other major reasons for the success being their astoundingly high smartphone penetration (71%) and account holder ownership (79%). The market in China is unique and it would be impossible to duplicate a similar ecosystem in another country, let alone a country that has neither high smartphone penetration nor a high percentage of account ownership at financial institutions. These factors do not, however, make it impossible for fintech services to flourish in those countries. For example, Africa has taken center stage when it comes to growth and economic potential. According the the GSMA, there are over 300 tech startup hubs that have emerged all over the continent and they have raised an estimated $366.8 million in investment even though internet penetration is less than 30% and 55% of the population still uses informal means of banking which, like China’s mobile banking services, is also both simple and social. To get more people onboard the formal banking system, the products offered must be simple, yet effective. What fintechs need to consider is how they fill a need or address a problem. One creative way that some fintechs are making their products known is by teaming up with existing organizations that have already built trust within the community such as agricultural organizations, women’s groups and informal savings groups. That way, the fintech companies can nurture close relationships within the groups and find gaps that need to be filled in terms of existing problems or services that are lacking in that particular community.