Connections Beyond Transactions: Unleashing the Potential of Fintech Communities

March 4, 2024


We hear a lot about building communities and fostering connections, but there’s a big difference between talking the talk and walking the walk. So when Henry Barton – Head of Community and Brand at Uncapped – shared community-building strategies on a recent episode of our FML Podcast, we tuned in to to see what fintech founders, leaders and marketers can learn and leverage. 

Read on, prepare to put your best foot forward with actionable insights and real-world examples, and discover how to bring people together around your brand. 

Strategy #1: Consider community from the start

Deep dive into customer research rather than scraping the surface. As Henry said, you need to know what keeps your target audience up at night, what market conditions are challenging them and where they hang out – basically – everything! Laying the foundations for a thriving community from the start ensures a customer-centric approach and encourages openness and transparency from the beginning.

Walking the walk: Demonstrating they understand who their customers are, Financielle’s socials speak their users’ language. As founder Laura Pomfret says: “One of our selling points is that we help people to increase their net worth by £16k – but we’ve learned that our customers don’t use the phrase ‘net worth’. So we have to find another way to get the message across in a way they connect with.” The result is resource-rich content that accompanies customers on their financial wellness journey. The tone is relatable, reassuring and realistic – like the suggestion people have a f**k off fund. For more quick-fire tips, check out these 17 key community-building takeaways from a recent Growth Gorilla event. 

Strategy #2: Use online and IRL to educate and empower

Digital tools provide go-to areas for education, connection and advice, while events facilitate connections and are particularly effective when it comes to increasing visibility in new markets and bringing target audiences together. That’s why subject matter experts and resource hubs are a great way of building trust and improving customer loyalty.

Walking the walk: Providing educational content, such as blog posts, webinars and tutorials, can help build a community around a fintech product or service. Just look at GoCardless, from its University – an online library containing curated sets of training videos – to its easy-to-search Knowledge Base that’s packed with user guides. The payment processing platform also uses social to shout about its community – profiling customers and sharing success stories – and builds credibility by lending its expertise to IRL events, like a recent Women in Fintech panel. 

Strategy #3: Celebrate brand ambassadors 

“When you are operating with your customer in mind – as opposed to operating in a vacuum – brand ambassadors can emerge quite organically,” says Henry. With this key takeaway in mind, think about how you can incentivise community participation and reward advocacy by providing exclusive benefits to users. These benefits could include access to premium features and early product releases or exclusive discounts and personalised support. 

Walking the walk: Making community members feel special and encouraging active involvement, Revolut focuses on people becoming real-world promoters through its referral programme. That’s in addition to establishing long-term relationships with influencers. Like this paid partnership with fitness entrepreneur Grace Beverley that’s all about scams and safety. Remember, being transparent about security measures and talking about how user data is handled can help create a community environment where users feel seen and supported. Connect with your customers authentically with our guide to unleashing the power of fintech influencer marketing.

Strategy #4: Invite feedback and keep iterating 

Another reason why it’s important to build a community from the beginning is because it enables quicker iteration and adaptation, potentially helping to avoid mistakes. The solution? Constantly ask questions and be ready to implement changes.

Walking the walk: Making the most of feedback loops, Monzo is always listening – involving users in the product development process to uncover their preferences and incorporate their suggestions into updates. Like using its community forum to ask for ideas to improve its app, resulting in a ‘mega thread’ that continues to evolve. With product managers responding to questions and queries, it makes users feel valued and ensures Monzo introduces features people want. Create some community spirit with customer surveys, in-app feedback, forums, social media listening and beta testing programmes. And remember, you can keep your customers coming back for more when you understand how to improve your retention rates.

Strategy #5: Bring people together

It sounds like a no-brainer, but if you aren’t giving people a place to get together, then how can you hope to create a community? We’re talking about meetups, conferences or workshops that facilitate networking among users and create a sense of belonging to a community of like-minded individuals.

Walking the walk: Square Unboxed is an initiative designed to empower entrepreneurs through panel discussions on the topics facing the financial services industry. Taking place IRL and available to watch on the website, it demonstrates thought leadership. In addition, Square’s Almost Xmas event presented another knowledge-sharing opportunity among its small business customers in the lead-up to a crucial time of the year. It’s all about creating a supportive ecosystem where users can thrive, like the Communities on social investing app Shares. Whether someone is interested in ethical investing or crypto, they’ll find a place where they can exchange knowledge with their peers and learn from more experienced investors. 

Strategy #6: Pick out the perfect partner

Our community-building podcast discussed the importance of developing and leveraging a partnership ecosystem, because partnerships play a vital role in creating a sense of community and providing additional support. So explore how you could collaborate with a complementary partner to enhance brand recognition and credibility. 

Walking the walk: Aiming to have a positive impact, Varo’s initiatives involve partnering with community-focused individuals and organisations to address financial inequality. Like a recent collaboration with restaurateur Pinky Cole that set out to empower communities of colour by giving small business owners access to professional mentorship. Meanwhile, Klarna taps into an eclectic range of audiences who might not have otherwise interacted with the brand through its retail partnerships that provide flexible payment options – from iconic British department store Liberty to accommodation business Airbnb. 

One final piece of advice: be in it for the long haul. While the ROI of community-building may not always be easy to measure, forward-thinking fintech owners and marketers know it’s a key component of their growth strategy with long-term brand plays potentially resulting in massively beneficial results later down the line.

Want to talk to your community? At Growth Gorilla, we’re experts in all things social so get in touch with us to see how we can help.

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