Marketing fintech is as much about compliance as sales

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Promoting fintech products is the most challenging job I've faced in 13 years as a marketing professional. Every area has its nuances, which are typically due to the characteristics of a specific target audience defined by its habits, behavior patterns, social status and other factors.

Whether to take every aspect into account is a matter of courage, professionalism and, in a sense, luck. It's usually up to marketers to choose the solutions or proven approaches they feel are most suitable for a particular audience. But that's not how it works in the fintech world. After all, this is a world of regulation and restrictions.

The struggle for user conversions is very complex within fintech services. All hypotheses and ideas go through a tough and uncompromising examiner — the compliance service.

Compliance determines almost all aspects of a financial institution's activities and monitors that they comply with the requirements of the regulator. Otherwise, fintechs may have serious problems, including the potential revocation of the license and a ban on activities.

To find a balance between the requirements of the regulator and the tasks of promoting and growing the product, the marketer has to understand the intricacies of compliance and all of the in and outs, almost like an experienced lawyer. Striking this balance is difficult, but possible. Moreover, at some point it will give you a great market advantage.

Here are some examples of when compliance seriously affects the capabilities and tools for promoting a fintech product:

Censorship of communication and marketing materials. Fintechs are very limited in the choice of concepts and terms that can be used in marketing materials. Therefore, by the word "censorship," I mean quite tangible monitoring by the regulatory bodies. For example, even if a company is a neobank, but it does not have a banking license, as with Revolut, you cannot use the word “bank” or the expression “banking services” in communications. You have to balance on the edge and use something like, "We are better than your bank account but we ourselves are not an account, and not a bank."

Last year, Aximetria also had to promptly change the slogan in all marketing materials after the regulator pointed out its “ambiguity." We have abandoned the phrase "banking service," with Aximetria now described as a “Swiss crypto account.”

Fulfillment of KYC requirements for onboarding. Let’s say the communication was compelling enough to make people want to use the service. However, in fintech, this right still needs to be earned by the fintech proving to the compliance service that a person is not involved in money laundering or organizations prohibited from accessing financial services. The user verification process is called KYC (know your customer) and it is the "biggest killer" of conversions in a fintech product.

Not all people are ready to undergo KYC procedures when onboarding. One person might be worried about the security of their data, another is simply not used to this practice, while the third does not have the necessary document at hand. In each case, the marketer will need to work hard to convince the user to take another step toward the fintech product in question. As an example, the Aximetria team completely changed the onboarding process three times, in addition to numerous intermediate changes. Five more releases were necessary just to teach mobile users to take good-quality document photos with even the simplest smartphones, in order to meet the sufficient KYC data recognition requirements.

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Fintech Cryptocurrencies Digital payments