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How to Prepare your Fintech Company for International Expansion Post COVID-19

How to approach fintech innovation in a saturated market

From fundraising to cash management and marketing, there’s no area in the Fintech industry that hasn’t suffered due to the changes imposed by COVID-19 and the limitations on mobility that came with it. However, the world will move on, and, in the post-Coronavirus era, the global market may create excellent conditions for growth for fintech companies.

According to a report by Finch Capital, the crisis in the fintech industry will last until Q3 2020, which will be followed by 12 to 18 months of recovery. The research also revealed that digital-only is likely to become the new industry norm.

We’re entering an era of no more physical borders for financial services. You get more opportunities to reach and engage with customers worldwide, which means it’s the right time for fintech companies to plan an international expansion.

How can you do that? Besides AI, IoT, and software updates, you should add one more ingredient to the recipe of your success: languages that your target clients are comfortable using.

Why Languages Are Essential to The Success of Fintech Companies

English may be the official language in fintech, but worldwide, only 20% of the population speaks this language. That is to say, eight people out of ten don’t understand English. If you’re an English-only company, it’s most probable that most people aren’t aware of your existence. Moreover, even if they find out about you, odds are they won’t trust you with their money because your product is available only in a language that they aren’t comfortable with.

When you target multilingual clients, you need to make financial inclusion as easy as possible. In this context, you want to provide the public with information in their native languages. From your app or platform to contracts and marketing materials, everything should be made accessible in a language that your target audience is familiar with.

This way, people understand how you can help them and see the benefits of using your service. This strategy helps you to build trust among potential clients, which will help you not only to increase the number of users but also build brand loyalty in the long run.

Getting Ready to Go Global

You’ve poured many resources into your financial product, and, now, you need to make it appealing to multilingual clients. So, where do you start? Before you can jump into translation and localization, you need to put your product through internationalization.

It’s a long word, but things are less complicated than they seem. Internationalization is a process that makes your financial product more flexible. This way, you make sure that it will support the changes necessary when you design a product to meet the needs of an international audience.

Think of displaying dates, for example–which is essential for fintech products. In the US, your platform or app shows days following the model “May 2” or 05/02. However, in the UK, the same date should be displayed as “2 May” or 02/05. If you used the American standard, a transaction performed on May 2nd would be registered in the UK on February 5th.

It can become confusing for your end-users and local partners and could keep you from complying with the local rules. The same is true for all variables, from currencies to expressing the time and calculating VAT or other taxes.

Internationalization means making a series of technical changes to allow your software to adapt to new requests every time you expand to a new country.

Choosing the Right Languages to Localize for

Once your product is ready to be localized, you may be tempted to start translating into as many languages as possible. Unfortunately, things aren’t always that simple. Even if predictions say that fintech companies will grow in the post-COVID-19 era, you shouldn’t dive into the localization head first.

We’re living uncertain times, so you should update your market research before investing in a localization project. For many people, the virus has turned their world upside down. Many workers have lost their jobs, and analysts still can’t predict how and when the domino effect will hit every market.

The research you bought last year could have lost accuracy in the meantime. So, you should analyze the local market again and see how potential competitors are still doing or whether the locals still have an appetite for trying new fintech products.

The Importance of Having the Right Localization Partner

Last but not least, you should find a reliable partner to help you with your international expansion. Here are the main two reasons why you can’t cut corners with localization: regulations and people’s trust. If you’re selling financial technologies, you can’t gamble with any of these two.

As you know, fintech products are objects of rigid regulations that vary around the globe. If you can’t find a legal framework for you to operate in a country or fail to comply with the rules, all the money invested in localization is lost.

You need a professional translation company that knows this industry inside out and is aware of the legal implications of launching a fintech product in a new country. Moreover, you should choose a partner that follows rigid protocols to protect the data of your employees and end-users. Cybersecurity helps you to meet compliance and to gain the trust of potential clients.

Make sure you work with a team of linguists and legal experts to convince both end-users and the local regulators to trust you with their money. Only then you’re ready to start international expansion.


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