Fintech is still far from mainstream, but one player is finally showing how to get there

Despite a decade of hype and billions in funding, fintech is still only used by early adopters. But one startup has finally got the right strategy to crossover to the mainstream — by not trying to be for everyone.

Fintech funding moves into the growth stage

CB Insights recently reported that total fintech funding has hit $77.6bn with 26 ‘unicorn’ companies each valued at over a billion.

Nearly all fintechs are targeting the same early adopters

I’m an early adopter. I have Monzo, Tide and Revolut accounts. Partly becasue I’m curious and am trying them out, and partly because they do different jobs: current account, business invoicing, travel/crypto card.

The technology adoption lifecycle
  • Revolut have c.2m ‘customers’ with c.250k daily active and c.900k monthly active users, but spread across 6 European markets. So that’s, on average 330k users per market. They’re launching loads of products, picking off the low hanging fruit in lots of market, rather than going deep in any of them.
  • There are forecast to be 3.2m new entrant current accounts in the UK by 2020, which would be 4% total market share.

Crossing the chasm

In his seminal 1991 book, Geoffrey Moore set out the challenge of ‘crossing the chasm’ from early adopters to mainstream consumers, and suggested techniques to successfully cross it including “choosing a target market, understanding the whole product concept, positioning the product, building a marketing strategy, choosing the most appropriate distribution channel and pricing.” (Wikipedia)

  • Uber focussed first on town car customers in big US cities (not all taxi users)
  • With Skype we consciously appealed first to international students (and by proxy their families back home)

The end of being for everyone

Banks used to have to be for everyone, because they were regionally based; because we used to live local, physical lives. The Midland Bank. The Royal Bank of Scotland. Alliance & Leicester. They had to be able to serve all types of people in their region, through their general purpose branches.

  • Yolt is a great money manager app. It sets the standard for all money manager apps. But it’s general purpose, it could work for anyone.

The first fintech that’s being for someone?

This new campaign for Transferwise’s borderless account declares that they are for “more than one passport people, bilingual kids people, one way ticket people”.

Leading a customer-led transformation at a PE-backed #SMEtech. Previously CSO at Albion, a business innovation consultancy.