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The value of showing your product


This week in fintech

October 25 · Issue #119 · View online

A weekly summary of the latest news in our world of finance, design, and technology.

  • 💳 Apple credit card
  • ✅ Vipps merger approved
  • ❌ When life gives you lemons, write better error messages

🪧 The value of demos
Ten years ago, you could go into and test their online banking solution. But this is a feature that I haven’t seen anywhere else in the banking field since.
SaaS companies now realize how powerful it can be to allow website visitors to play with their products before signing up. This is also the reasoning behind products that target developers first and have free tiers - let your developers play with the product before they sell it into their organization.
At the same time, there is little “try it before you buy it” within Fintechs. It’s a massive barrier to entry: You have to go through complex onboarding flows, KYC, AML, PEP questions, etc., to see how their mobile app or online banking solution works. And sometimes, you even get a card sent to you in the process.
For banks, their user experience is what sets them apart (apart from pricing), and when you enter a bank’s website, you should feel that difference.
What if banks adapted their online presence to be more like SaaS companies, with interactive demos that show off their online banking solutions? It would be a great way to attract new customers, increase transparency and reduce the barriers to entry.
Demos are essential because they:
  • Showcase the product in the best light
  • Help the user understand the value of the product
  • Attract potential customers and increase transparency
  • Reduce the barriers to entry
Product demos have untapped potential, especially when you are a challenger to traditional banks. But the reason for banks not providing this might also be that many banks actually aren’t proud of their solution.
Cicero has written about EPSI’s newest report on which banks have the most satisfied customers. One of their key points is that they believe that the banks are too poor at making visible the benefits of switching banks for the customer other than the interest rate. I agree with them that customers aren’t too lazy to switch banks, but that many banks do not make switching banks tempting enough. Actually sharing how their products look and work might be an important step here!
💳 Apple credit card
Apple announced last week that holders of its Apple Card (the US only for now) would soon be able to:
  • get up to 2% APY on their savings
  • opt-in to automatically save their Apple Card cashback
  • track all online purchases made with Apple Pay
A couple of weeks ago, Goldman Sachs announced they’re focusing less on Marcus, their mass-market consumer play. Their partnership with Apple might be part of the reason why.
For Apple, this might be a more extended play for selling additional devices: “Use your balance to buy the newest iPhone” is an interesting parallel to BNPL.
✅ Vipps merger approved
Mobilepay and Vipps were allowed to merge by the European Commission after they had to get rid of Finnish Pivo earlier this autumn. According to Vipps, the new group is expected to become a reality from 1 November.
❌ When life gives you lemons, write better error messages
Error messages are part of our daily lives online. Every time a server is down or we don’t have internet, or we forget to add some info in a form, we get an error message. “Something went wrong” is the classic. But what went wrong? What happened? And, most importantly, how can I fix it?
About a year ago Wix, the website builder, realized that they were not giving users the answers to these questions. They found 7 643 keys with the word “error” in the key or value and did a massive job of categorizing and structuring them. Read their thorough write-up on how to create great error messages here.
That's it for this week 👋
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Marius Hauken, partner Stacc X
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