Fintech apps and solutions are becoming increasingly popular as financial institutions look to create fully digital experiences for their users. Fintech apps have become essential for businesses and customers, enabling contactless, convenient, and secure digital payments. This trend is only accelerating, with the value of the global fintech market expected to reach around $305 billion by 2025.
Considering this dynamic, which is disrupting the traditional financial ecosystem, how can brands further improve digital offerings to effectively retain and engage their customer base on their mobile apps? To begin, financial brands should start by focusing on app store downloads, user onboarding, marketing tactics, and unique features to demonstrate their capabilities and staying power to their customers.
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1. Driving Downloads from the App Store
The first way fintech apps can generate new users (or lure back old ones) is to capture their attention on the app stores. Both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store are highly competitive markets with millions of apps competing for user screen time. With plenty of competitor offerings, financial apps have their work cut out for them when it comes to capturing user attention. However, there are several strategies that have proven to be effective.
One of the best ways to entice users to download an app is to incentivize them. Smart brands will engage prospective users with perks or benefits, like rewards for downloading, referral programs, or an industry news feed. This strategy allows brands to provide value to users immediately, and gives users a reason to download an app.
Another way to attract user attention and encourage app downloads is through creative branding. Cash App, for example, uses a dedicated landing page (featuring the story of the presumed creator of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto) to educate users on Bitcoin and its origins. The interesting and thought provoking story combined with a vibrant color palette is an effective way to educate users and stimulate brand loyalty.
Brands can also secure app store downloads by developing a promotional video outlining an app’s features. Brands should show off exciting app features and entice users with promotional content, rather than relying solely on a basic app listing to garner attention. Modern consumers will be wary of downloading a seemingly random app and may be more likely to engage once they understand exactly what they’re getting.
These strategies are all effective ways to guide users toward your app store listing.
2. Nail the Onboarding Process
Getting users to download an app can be tricky, but getting them to actually use an app consistently is significantly harder. In fact, 73 percent of new users churn (delete the app) within one week of downloading. Therefore, creating a user-friendly, stand-out onboarding experience is key to winning over new fintech app users and retaining them for the long haul. Retaining current app users has proven to be a savvy business strategy, as it costs 25 times more to acquire a new user than it does to retain one.
To hold onto current users, fintech apps need to perfect the onboarding process. In fintech specifically, it’s important to establish a sense of trust and security with users as quickly as possible. This can be accomplished by letting users use an app on a “demo” basis before asking them to register for an account. By letting fintech app users test the waters before committing to your app, you both prove your app’s value and signal to users that you care deeply about their experience. It’s also imperative that users trust the security and privacy of fintech apps, so be sure to integrate safety precautions wherever possible (i.g. two factor authentication) and always offer explanations when requesting users’ personal information.
Of course, the work doesn’t stop once users have been successfully onboarded. Fintech brands and apps must continue to engage users and keep them coming back to the app. This means consistently showing value in every aspect of the app’s UX. Brands should be continuously updating and scaling their apps to meet modern trends and needs.
Venmo, for example, leveraged industry trends around QR Codes during the Covid-19 pandemic to create touch-free payment technology in CVS stores. It is estimated that contactless payment is now being used by nearly 80 percent of consumers worldwide, according to a survey by Mastercard. Originally launched as a fairly basic peer-to-peer payment app, Venmo has continued to evolve over the years and introduce new service offerings. By capitalizing on industry trends (spurred by a societal shift towards contactless payments), Venmo successfully demonstrated its commitment to continuously evolving and providing more value to users.
Fintech apps that are able to nail the end-to-end customer experience from onboarding to a continued value exchange will have tremendous success engaging and retaining users.
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3. Keep Users Coming Back for More
What can financial institutions do if users stop using an app after downloading, or even delete the app altogether?
First, brands need to dig deep and try to understand user behavior. Why did users abandon or delete the app? What does their behavior say about them? Did they get frustrated with the registration form? Is there one particular area or page on the app where users frequently get stuck? These are all questions brands can use to better understand their users’ behavior and identify areas for UX improvement.
Once brands have a more complete understanding of user behavior, and users’ explicit permission to send them messages, financial brands can use strategic messaging to engage customers. Leveraging a user’s behavioral data, brands can send messages to users at times when they are most likely to engage, and with content that is most likely to resonate with them. Not only is this an effective way to retain users who may have stopped using an app, but it’s also a powerful way to continuously stay top-of-mind with users and keep generating value.
4. Be Transparent, Forward-thinking, and Unique
Finally, you need to make your fintech app standout. This can mean developing unique features, providing access to exclusive offerings, or even contributing to ongoing education.
For example, cryptocurrency app Voyager includes comprehensive educational resources for its users – from beginners to intermediate traders – and offers various tools to advance their knowledge and understanding of trading, investing, and cryptocurrency. Incorporating educational content is an effective strategy for fintech apps to make themselves valuable and develop a rapport with their users.
Another strategy to supercharge app engagement is to listen to feedback from customers (and non-customers) about their financial plans and gather input that helps inform their progress. What kinds of financial goals do prospective customers have? What are they saving for? How much of their income do they typically invest? This approach to customer service allows the bank to confidently roll out app features of genuine interest to its audience.
By being unique, forward thinking, and memorable, fintech apps can create truly special relationships with their users.
As the fintech industry becomes more crowded, brands can’t merely exist. They must serve as a strong foundation for customers — existing and prospective — to ensure that the customer experience is memorable and valuable. All the crucial elements of a good fintech app – new downloads, onboarding, retention strategies, and unique features – add up to long-lasting success.
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