I have a keen interest in fine art. When Leonardo da Vinci did silverpoint drawings, graphite was not readily available at the time so many artists would draw with silver or gold. As more tools became available, diversity in art ballooned and now a key part of measuring an artists’ success is their ability to choose the right tools out a multitude of possibilities and make it work in the best way which allows them to achieve their goal.
Sounds a lot like what banks are trying to do with fintech right now. Banks need to find the best way to meet their strategic goals using the most appropriate tools available to them. It doesn’t always need to be fintech, but the rise of fintech makes it an alluring means.
This is where the art of banking comes in- and it’s all about choices. Knowing where a fintech firm may best help is just the start. Selecting the right firm is crucial to meeting strategic requirements and creating sustainable success for the bank, clients and stakeholders.
So, if you’re a fintech solution provider or thinking about moving into this space, what are some of the things that could make it easier for banks to view you as the best mechanism for them to achieve their objectives?
Below are a few notes I’ve put together from previous conversations and common questions I get asked. It’s not extensive but will go a long way in helping banks understand your product and the value you offer better:
Training and support. I get asked this often. Does the fintech firm provide training to our employees? What technical support do they offer? Is it time zone specific? My best advice is to find the win-win situation here. If you have a complex solution, country specific support may work well. Training has the benefit of helping banks help themselves and decreasing the amount of resources needed from you - no need to be cagey.
Security, risks and regulations. Banks are, rightly, nervous that they adhere to best practice security, risk and regulatory guidelines. Probably more so after the recent ransomware attacks. Understand how your solution complies/ doesn’t in your target market and be open about it. Don’t let a lack of disclosure damage trust - potentially affecting a longer term relationship. It also opens the possibility of you finding the right organisation to help you address this.
Product pitfalls and implications. The point above covers how your solution interacts with the environment around it. This point is all about the solution itself. Have you done enough research to validate the impact of your product? Do you have an understanding on what functionality/services similar fintech firms offer? Does your product have blind spots? Answering this is easy. Sharing this knowledge appropriately takes courage but the more you can show that you proactively look after the solution you provide, the more favourable it is received and the more likely you are to get valuable input on how to make it work.
The overarching theme here is very much about clarity of communication around your product and the services you provide. Some die hard fintech founders may even go as far as to say it comes back to the organisations’ values and strength of purpose. I say it comes back to good business practice making you a valuable component in the fine art of banking.