How FinTech companies can improve their brands and increase customer retention

By Caroline Wren, Managing Director, MTM

FinTech has disrupted the banking world – the industry will never be the same. Digital natives such as Wise, Monzo, Revolut and Starling Bank have achieved this disruption by steadfastly focusing on solving category pain points, creating customer experiences that are better than what’s gone before and helping customers achieve their goals, whatever those might be:  transferring money to a friend, splitting restaurant bills, sending money abroad, investing in crypto, etc.

But, now that they’ve achieved this level of success and disruption, how can they stay on top, continue to build their brands and customer bases…and what can the industry’s legacy players learn from them?

The answer starts with an understanding of what we call brand experience drivers – the factors that determine how customers or potential customers feel about a particular brand, relative to others in the category.  Insight and strategy consultancy MTM has a proprietary brand health framework called HEART, involving seven brand experience drivers that provide actionable insights on which strategies to focus on and who to be inspired by, so brands can take swift action to drive growth. The seven drivers are: getting the basics right, building your presence, being easy to do business with, personalising relationships, innovating, providing value for money and acting with integrity.

FinTech is one of the top-performing market categories in the HEART framework, owing to these brands challenging the prevailing norms from legacy financial services brands, and creating new experiences that surpass previous benchmarks.

FinTech brands that want to build their brand, acquire new customers – and more importantly retain them – should focus on three key areas: 

  • Identifying and addressing unmet needs: The insights from HEART underscore the strategic positioning of FinTech brands in the minds of customers: skilfully understanding the customer’s ‘jobs to be done’, addressing unmet needs and resolving pain points.
  • Mastering the fundamentals: In an industry where trust is crucial, getting the basics right is the first hurdle. Leading FinTech brands are doing this through intuitive digital interfaces, new features, easy onboarding processes and high-quality user experiences.
  • Innovating the experience: In contrast to traditional banks, FinTech brands are perceived as modern.  In MTM’s data, Starling Bank, Wise, Monzo, and Revolut are very closely associated with innovation and, importantly, innovation in areas that deliver enhanced value for users. This sense of momentum and leadership has created a powerful market presence.  Wise’s unique, specialised money transfer services and Monzo’s expertise in solving daily needs, coupled with impactful advertising, position them as top performers. In contrast, NatWest and PayPal are still recognised for their transactional simplicity, integrity, and essential services, but they lag in popularity compared to newer brands.

Modern FinTech brands are also highly trusted, despite their newness, because they exhibit greater authenticity in their brand voice and positioning. They are making the experience of managing money seem less daunting and have successfully created a more welcoming paradigm, which are crucial drivers for customer acquisition and retention.

To navigate the dynamic landscape of FinTech, mastering fundamental elements such as having a clear purpose, deep customer understanding, and effectively addressing pain points, emerge as crucial factors that drive customer perception and sustained commercial success.


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