The Role of Experiences in the Future of FinTech

Claudia Harris, Growth Lead at experience marketing agency George P. Johnson

Given the recent announcement that London has now officially overtaken New York “to steal the global fintech investment crown”, it’s worth exploring the city’s position as a world-leader in innovation, and the role this has played in the rise of FinTech. With leading financial services event SIBOS having just taken place in London for the first time, sector innovation is on everyone’s mind.

The FinTech market’s success brings with it high levels of competition– with start-ups, investment and contesting enterprises everywhere you look. London’s reputation for innovation, and a seemingly endless pool of world-leading creative and tech talent, has been crucial to Fintech’s success. Of course, the rise of tech in general, and mobile in particular, has had a particularly important role to play.It’s widely acknowledged huge opportunities have opened up as a result – when our recent research into the power of mobile asked C-Suite executives which sectors present the greatest opportunities for mobile innovation finance and banking came top of the rankings, cited by 56% of respondents.

Smarter investment in mobile has given all types of brands the power to fundamentally transform their profitability and enhance their reputations. New tech, that’s more widely available, has offered them greater scope to deliver highly engaging mobile experiences and campaigns to consumers. But many brands play it safe, simply creating the same kind of apps as their competitors without fully understanding the consumer behaviours they need to address.

Fintech, of course, is the exception. This sector, perhaps more than any other, has risen to these challenges and the entire banking sector is being revolutionised as a result. Our research found that 93% of C-Suite executives see mobile as a habit creator. The likes of Uber and Amazon transformed consumer expectations of brands – and Fintech success stories, from Monzo to Starling, have been built to meet these new expectations. Brands must be ready to respond to the new and interesting mobile behaviours that are emerging, just as they have done.

As seen with open banking, consumer habits quickly adapt in line with the latest technology, making what was once unthinkable an established new norm. This naturally increases expectations and means brands that fall short risk being punished by consumers as a result. Mobile-first FinTech brands are leading the way precisely because they have successfully developed and employed digital experiences and services that take advantage of core mobile operating system functionality to create near frictionless journeys. Whether shopping online, calling a cab, or paying a bill, consumers, particularly younger ones, now expect frictionless journeys. Fail to deliver and they go elsewhere.

In order to continue to succeed in this space these organisations must stand out from the crowd, and for that awareness is key. The FinTech boom means acknowledging and engaging with these brand communities has never been more important. Of course, the importance of brand communities extends beyond FinTech, and is one reason why experience marketing is also expanding so rapidly.The advantage of and reason for the rise of experiential marketing in this space is its ability to build trusted communities with users in the real world.Some people consider money to be a highly emotive topic, so they might feel safer discussing it in person rather than online. In this way brands can foster greater trust with their customers by instigating personal interactions in a live experience environment.

Experience marketing enables FinTech brands to create one-of-a-kind moments that shift perceptions and capture attention in a uniquely visual and compelling way. Running an immersive experience enables these companies to drive brand affinity, shift perceptions and establish deeper relationships with their customers. Again, all things consumers now expect from brands. And they are the ideal environment in which to deploy tech, mobile or otherwise.

To drive awareness, FinTech brands must use data-driven insights, combine them with extensive cultural research and deliver an audience acquisition strategy that targets the right people at the right time. Its ability to transcend the traditional barrier between physical and digital means experience marketing with technology at its heart can offer brands a creative way to deliver on customers’ wants and needs.

London’s experience marketing sector, also a beneficiary of that all-important creative and tech talent, is well placed to help FinTech brands meet consumers ever-evolving needs. While app culture is revolutionising consumer expectations experience marketing is on the rise because it’s better placed to meet these needs than any other marketing discipline.

At George P. Johnson Experience Marketing we’re excited by the ability of emerging tech to aid storytelling, particularly around the intangible solutions that clients in sectors such as FinTech need to bring to life for their audiences.

It all comes down to taking a consumer-first approach and driving imagination for consumers. This applies across all sectors, but nowhere more so than in FinTech.