What FinTechs really need… And why it helps to ask them

Fintech…the realm of Open Banking, Data Sets, IOT, VR & AR Platforms, Data science, WCDI, sandboxes, Secure IT…..

All very Tech orientated, as the name suggests! So, when global Digital Transformation and IT service providers Sopra Steria teamed up with sector growth enabler FinTech Scotland to support the FinTech community, they made a fair assumption that the most valuable help they could offer would be access to UK banking systems as a development and testing environment.

Seemed logical, so the project to prepare this infrastructure entered the planning phase. However, before moving into build, the team took a step back and decided to present the initial concepts to a selection of Fintech MDs and CEOs.

Good job they did.

25% of Scotland’s FinTechs were interviewed, with only two of them giving the idea the thumbs up, and only one saying it was something they’d value enough to pay for. (note: it wasn’t necessarily going to charged for, but the question was a great indicator of value)

So, the main assumption had been wrong….a discovery that has saved a lot of time and money being invested in something that wasn’t necessarily needed by the customer. Not that it can’t be offered at some point, it’s just not the priority or part of the MVP.

However, the in-depth interviews also unearthed some even more surprising information. When asked about the main issues and challenges facing their businesses, the feedback had a lot in common with start-ups and innovators in other sectors:

Finding the right people, especially IT specialists

Lacking a support network, experienced Execs and mentors who had “been there and done that”

Knowing how to scale operationally


The verdict…?

FinTechs are just like any other business and they face the same challenges. They are founded by entrepreneurs, not necessarily “Tech” experts.

The conclusion….?

Genuine, unbiased customer insight and feedback is vital at the very start of any innovation process, whether it’s starting a new business or developing a new product or service. Under-rated and rarely done properly, it doesn’t have to be an expensive or lengthy process.

In today’s agile world it can done in a matter of weeks, but can save months of wasted time and resource, and £000’s of investment.