Like many things these days, how the FinTech landscape will look like at the end of the coronavirus is rather unpredictable. Optimists argue that our confinement will boost digital usage, and give consumers time to look at their finances more closely, benefiting FinTechs that are mainly operating online. While pessimists say market conditions will be too hard for many to sustain.
In my opinion, both parties are probably right. Will all FinTechs survive COVID-19? Unlikely. Will there be increased interest from consumers to look into FinTechs? Yes, to a certain extent.
Don’t expect consumers’ inertia
In uncertain times, consumers naturally seek stability and avoid risky choices, which would see them stick with traditional banks. Unfortunately, for some, these are more desperate than uncertain times, as many have lost or face losing their jobs. And in desperate times, consumers start looking for alternatives and help. This pandemic is putting many people under financial pressure, and it’s no secret that in terms of financial products, FinTechs are (mostly) offering better deals.
I believe those in search of financial services to alleviate that pressure, will be open to help in the form of advice and recommendations and listen to what FinTechs have to offer. Open Banking—provided it isn’t postponed again—offers a perfect opportunity to do this, as consumers will seek clarifications on the regime. But if FinTechs don’t communicate, they won’t be seen.
The opportunity to fulfil the FinTech promise
In many cases, companies have put a total freeze on external communications, when these times call for re-calibrating messages and ensuring organisations bring valuable content to emotional consumers who, beyond reassurance, also seek solutions. Many publications have temporarily put down their paywalls meaning consumers looking for support and updates now read and watch news more than usual. There is an opportunity to be vocal, and to be heard.
After all, we have to remember where the FinTech industry comes from. It was born in the minds of disillusioned banking and finance professionals who, after the GFC, needed a fresh start where the industry’s initial philosophy to help customers handle their finances would be back at the centre. If FinTechs are to be true to that philosophy and fulfil their promise, there isn’t a better time to communicate.
Some resources for you
If you’re wondering if your business can talk about coronavirus, the answer is yes. Hotwire has launched a content hub to help brands navigate the challenges of communicating in a COVID-19 world. We are regularly updating the hub with new content providing best practices and guidance.
Our gurus around the world explain how authenticity is key, how brands can manage different stakeholders through the disruption, and how organisations must “Do good. Be something good. Or be quiet.”
In the end, do what your instinct dictates you. It is okay to stay silent, but you may not want to write off communication completely during coronavirus. Consumers will remember the brands that helped them through the pandemic, long when it’s only a bad memory.