FinTechs, it’s time to grow up – don’t be put off by the food chain

By Ivan Zhiznevskiy, CEO at 3S Money

It’s no secret there are plenty of B2B FinTechs successfully targeting microbusinesses and smaller enterprises. Why? Because not only is it often easier to do so, it’s also much more difficult for FinTechs to achieve cut-through with larger organisations. Primarily, this is because the bigger the business, the more complex its operations. Smaller organisations are generally more flexible and easy to work with and often have simpler challenges to address.

But this is a problem. Larger businesses are missing out on the innovative services FinTechs provide because of FinTechs’ reluctance to target them. Likewise, investors are missing out on this huge, underserved and highly lucrative portion of the market.

It’s time for FinTechs to put their reservations aside and start innovating in this space. It’s time for FinTechs to grow up.

Moving up the food chain

As organisations make their way up the food chain, business operations inevitably become more and more complex. Many FinTechs are hesitant to address such problems as it usually involves recruiting additional manpower. And, in an industry focused on scaling fast, people-heavy strategies can quell the appetite of investors, put off by increased outgoings and a perception of less disruptive business models.

This, obviously, is detrimental to the future success of any FinTech looking to make their way in an increasingly competitive sector. And if they’re a fresh face in the industry, putting off the investor community can prove harmful for business development and as a result hamper scaling efforts. It’s a cycle that needs to break.

Grow up by striking the right balance

It’s clear FinTechs need to put their reservations surrounding larger organisations aside and grow up. And there is a way it can be done both efficiently and effectively: striking the right balance between technology and people.

The clue is in the name – FinTechs’ value proposition is, more often than not, the innovative tech embedded into their services. And the power of this technology can be immense. Any issues surrounding complexity can be addressed via automation, so they should automate where they deem fit! But FinTechs must be conscious not to automate for the sake of it, as if this is applied to every part of the targeting strategy towards larger organisations, it could prove ineffective. This is because big businesses will always be more complex, so having a pure technological approach doesn’t compare with the layer of genuine support and service that real people can offer.

As such, FinTechs must consider the benefits of a human touch as part of their propositions. Maintaining the human element is essential for nurturing and growing relationships across big businesses. And this in turn will bring new opportunities. If done successfully, FinTechs can reach their targeted businesses with the effective corporate nous needed to leverage relationships for future business development.

Ultimately, it’s about striking the right balance. Chatbots, for instance, can sometimes come across as cold and unsuited to complex problems. Having a team of people that offer 24/7 personal client support and representation not only ensures you don’t automate for the sake of automation, it also means you utilise the people within your organisation wisely.

In other instances, it makes sense to automate other areas such as onerous processes of compliance, including transaction monitoring. In this case, there is no reason to designate much needed people-power on tasks that take time and energy such as these. This gives businesses time to spend on understanding complex business models and structures, while helping nullify any risk associated.

The human touch

The world of big business has naturally been slower to adopt new FinTech applications given its comfort with traditional banking. But FinTechs should remember that even the largest, most established corporations can’t survive without the new ideas that innovative FinTechs bring.

Customer service always begins and ends with people. But the benefits people provide must be harnessed appropriately in line with efficient technologies. Going forward, FinTechs should recognise that the answer to targeting the mid-higher level organisations has always been in front of them.

FinTechs need to grow up, gain some confidence and believe in their people, technology and potential. By striking the right balance between technology and people, FinTechs will be best placed to serve an underserved market, drive innovation for larger businesses and create new industry-wide opportunities.


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