One of the major drivers of fintechs' success over the past decade has been their ability to provide their clients with innovative and quality products, but customers still feel that there is room for improvement in some areas.
Our survey of 900 consumers in 14 emerging markets highlights the top areas where fintechs need to improve to better satisfy their consumers’ demands. We also study these gaps at the country level.
Four areas where consumers want fintechs to improve most
Our survey highlights four key areas of improvement for fintechs. Some of these are already on fintechs’ radar (such as convenience) but customers demand further improvement. In other areas (for example, security), fintechs currently lag behind competitors, such as incumbent firms.
Convenience: Consumers acknowledge that fintechs offer much more convenience than banks. Nevertheless, they want further improvements; this item is top of their wish-list.
Transaction execution. Seamless and swift execution of transactions is a key requirement for customers. Fintechs do not yet meet this goal. There is also a mismatch between customers’ and fintechs’ perceptions; seamless execution is one of the most important items fintechs think they deliver, but customers rank their provision of it much lower.
Customer education. Lack of awareness and low financial literacy is a key problem in many emerging markets. Customers are often not aware of the benefits of using fintech products or the consequences of misuse. We think it is also to the advantage of fintechs to invest in this area as it would help develop strong and sustainable relationships with customers.
Security. Our earlier study indicated that security is one of two major areas where fintechs score worse than banks (the other one is brand recognition). Security is one of the key elements needed to build trust in fintech platforms. It is, therefore, not a surprise that consumers demand more focus on this area from fintechs.
Survey results by country
Studying our results on a country-by-country level, transaction execution appears to be the key issue for users in Russia, Nigeria, Pakistan and China; they demand more seamless and swifter execution. Regarding convenience, Indian and Chinese fintechs, despite being in the largest EM fintech markets, need to improve most.
Customer education efforts need to be increased most in Kenya, Indonesia and South Africa. With the growing importance of cybersecurity, consumers in Russia, Brazil, China and Indonesia want fintechs to improve their security protocols.
Another key area of potential improvement is around the customer sign-up process – Saudi Arabia, Mexico and Indian fintechs need to work most on this.