Strategy Note /

Fintech customer acquisition: What consumers want and where companies focus

  • Expanding the userbase is a key fintech goal, but efforts need to be aligned with consumer expectations

  • Fintechs match consumer needs in delivering convenient platforms, but their efforts are not well-targeted in other areas

  • Fintechs need to focus more on pricing, execution speed and branding, and less on customer onboarding processes

Fintech customer acquisition: What consumers want and where companies focus
Rohit Kumar
Rohit Kumar

Global Financials/Thematics

Rabail Adwani
Rahul Shah
Tellimer Research
27 May 2022
Published byTellimer Research

Fintechs expend a great deal of time and money attracting customers to their platforms, via promotional campaigns, improving the user experience, optimising distribution channels etc. But how well-targeted are these efforts? To address this issue, we surveyed 900 consumers and 215 fintechs in 14 emerging markets to find out whether firms efforts were matching consumers’ needs. This note summarises the key results from those surveys and highlights how fintechs could better utilise their resources as they seek to grow their operations.

Platform quality is the major attraction for consumers, and fintechs realise this

The biggest hurdle that needs to be cleared to convince consumers to start using a fintech platform is the user experience; consumers want high-quality and easy-to-use fintech applications. Fintechs do recognise this and are extremely focus on delivering in this area. Other areas where consumer and fintechs views are aligned include service reliability and the importance of promotional campaigns.

Key areas of difference include pricing and speed of delivery, where consumers needs are not being met, and customer onboarding, where fintechs are excessively focused. We look into this issue more deeply below.

Factors that convince customers to switch to fintechs

Where consumers’ and fintechs’ views differ

Comparing consumers' responses with fintechs', we highlight below some observations that could help fintechs better align their efforts with consumer expectations:

  • Pricing is of higher importance for consumers than fintechs think; this also confirms our earlier analysis that fintechs have lesser pricing power than they think.

  • Consumers want quicker execution, but fintechs are not putting enough effort into this area. Blockchain/cryptocurrency is a key example where transaction execution is slower than the end-user wants.

  • Branding is key for consumers, as it helps to promote trust. As we have highlighted in the past, brand recognition and security are two major areas where fintechs still lag traditional financial institutions.

  • Fintechs are placing high importance on easing the customer onboarding processes, but consumers appear much less sensitive to this.

Consumers vs fintechs - what attract customers to fintech platforms

Consumers' perspective by market

Looking at consumer responses by market, Brazil, Indonesia and South Africa users want competitive pricing while China, Egypt, India and Pakistan customers are more attracted by the platform convenience. Service reliability is most important for Kenyan fintech consumers and speed of execution is key for Nigerian users.

Factors that attract customers to fintech platforms