The financial industry has seen a dramatic wave of changes throughout the past decade. Financial technology, or fintech, has revolutionized data sharing, personal finance management, payments proliferation and more to create a new space for reporters to cover.
Fintech has seen a shift in power from banks and financial institutions, like United Federal Credit Union and Charles Schwab, to startups and third-party vendors. Gone are the days of the struggling startup fintech fighting for a place alongside finance giants. Today, experienced and well-respected companies such as Cash App and Stripe are challenging powerful financial institutions.
But where will fintech go from here? The next big advancement for banks — new startups sparking innovation or consumers looking for ways to achieve financial stability — is right around the corner.
It’s imperative for your fintech business to reach the media at the right time to ensure your groundbreaking solution receives the recognition it deserves. As a public relations agency dedicated to scoping out trends for our tech clients, Treble can help your business effectively promote its revolutionary ideas and pitch the most compelling stories to journalists. Here are some fintech innovations we see as trending topics that will nab any business reporter.
Open banking is transforming the financial landscape. Reporters are searching for entrepreneurs innovating in this arena. Open banking enables third-party payment and financial service providers to access consumer banking information such as transactions and payment history through application programming interfaces (APIs).
Think Venmo. Every time an individual uses its app, he is participating in open banking. Third-party vendors, like Venmo, have access to your bank account but allow you to make transactions without directly drawing money from your account. Your transactions instead come straight from your Venmo balance.
The pandemic helped third-party vendors expedite their goals and allow consumers to take control of their expenses, such as utility bills and streaming services. This enables consumers who are most in need of credit to begin building a financial profile even without having been approved for a credit card. With consumers, banks, and regulatory data institutions becoming more attuned to the benefits of open banking, it is a matter of time before every consumer can reap the benefits fintech provides.
Access to Credit
About 132 million Americans have no or poor credit, according to the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC). This number comprises a disproportionate number of low-income, young and minority consumers, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Minority and low-income communities have historically been at a disadvantage when it comes to financial literacy and access to credit. According to data from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, about 45% of adults in low-income neighborhoods are credit invisible or have unscored credit records. Reporters are looking for stories about fintech companies aiming to provide everyone with access to credit.
Consumers are looking for new ways to become financially literate and independent by improving their credit scores. Fintech companies and nonprofits like the NFCC are bridging the gap between the slowly adapting credit bureaus and hungry consumers by providing access to credit and financial counseling services. This creates a need for fintech startups to provide consumers with creative ways to build their credit to achieve their financial goals.
For the credit bureaus, it’s in their favor to support these startups because it gives them access to a younger generation eager to find financial success. Rising fintech startups offer consumers the ability to use transactions –– much like ones made through open banking –– to build credit by reporting directly to the main credit bureaus and better qualify for life-changing loans and mortgages.
With fintech gaining greater momentum and an ability to hold its own against major financial institutions, it will continue to look for ways to hold onto consumers. In a digitally connected world, reporters want to know how businesses will help consumers improve their personal-finance situations and increase their financial literacy.
The adaption to a more personalized model through services — like Bank of America’s virtual financial assistant, Erica — has been accelerated, much like open banking, because of the pandemic. Geographic location and the ability to travel to banks no longer pose barriers to consumers. Consumers expect financial services, like check deposits, to be instantaneously available to them. It’s now the responsibility of fintech to provide immediate, virtual services, such as reviewing weekly updates on monthly spending, to better enhance credit building for their customers.
Communication with consumers, anytime and anywhere, will also bolster a movement to unlock financial education for many who have faced barriers for decades, which is another hot topic for reporters. It’s a win-win for both fintech and consumers. Fintech companies can expand their target audience network, and consumers can receive valuable information to further improve their financial literacy and ability to build credit.
There are many more future fintech trends, but the above will help your business land meaningful media opportunities with reporters. Emerging fintech startups with innovative ideas about open banking, access to credit and consumer connections will be trendsetters in a developing industry. Those who follow the trends and continue to scout out new ones going forward will find the most success in their pitching and media relations efforts.
Whether you’re a hopeful fintech entrepreneur or a seasoned veteran in the industry, be sure to remain watchful of trends in the fintech industry to land your business in top publications.