Financial technologies are changing the world in their own way, slowly becoming a part of our lives. However, people don’t yet have a complete understanding of how they can make profits from those benefits fintech provides to their business. This is the reason why we wrote this article!
MassMedia Group often creates custom fintech applications and thus we decided to share with you tips on fintech apps monetization.
So let’s begin with no extra word being said!
Wait, what is fintech exactly?
If it is too obvious for you, then rewind for 2 minutes, we’d say if we were on Youtube. But if you want to understand the concept in more detail, let’s figure out what fintech is.
The “Fintech” is a pretty simple term, if you’d split it into two components, you’d get “finances + technologies”. Somewhen fintech was a word for specialized programs and banking tools for offline banking. Thus, for example, in the 1950s cards from American Express and the first ATMs were considered to be a fintech.
Today’s fintech is something completely different, not necessarily a physical thing, and exists as an independent industry in the Information Technology area.
The one thing we also need to cover is what actually can be considered a fintech. So let’s do this now and never come back to it later, huh?
What are the fintech industry branches?
- Financial planning and management: probably one of the most popular branches of fintech as for today. Some applications (Personal Capital, goHenry, ROI) can help to save funds and maintain track of the spendings, others (Dozens, Centralway Numbrs), offer the possibility of withdrawing funds from the account, making online payments, and more.
- Crowdfunding: the platforms like Kickstarter and Patreon allow all the newbie-startupers, influencers, and other public figures to attract investors and public interests to their projects.
- Cryptocurrency exchange platforms that can build a connection between customers for bitcoin and its branches exchange. Some companies on this branch of fintech even offer wallets based entirely on bitcoin.
- Insurance. Today insurance companies create their own custom fintech applications to complete a long insurance procedure in record time.
- Loans that already have become as popular as the integration of digital payment instruments into the application. Today you can get a loan in the banking app you’re registered in, or in a specialized app for lendings.
- Digital payments and e-wallets as PayPal and Venmo everyone knows about. These are the tools that allow customers to pay for any service or item from anywhere.
- Robo-advising which you may count as an innovative one. You can buy and sell assets, track its growth and fall. And you can allow these actions to your users if you’ll decide to start a fintech startup.
The infographics below show the most popular startups that got the biggest funding in 2020. It’ll help you to understand better how unstoppably the fintech market is growing.
You can clearly see that the biggest funding in fintech in 2020 belongs to Grab – an e-wallet startup (they grabbed it, right!..). The second place belongs to Stripe (payments processing) and the third one got Robinhood, an investing platform (they have the right name after all, don’t you think). You don’t have to choose the same vector as them but at least you know that the industry is continuously growing.
But not only investments will provide a bright future for your startup. When launching a startup in Fintech and developing a custom software solution for it you need to understand your potential to make it profitable.
So let’s finally look at ways of fintech application monetization.
Fintech app monetization via fees and subscriptions
The easiest and totally most proven monetization strategy you could ever think of. Once a month/year (depending on what subscription plan you’ve got) the user needs to pay for the services your app provides them. To perfect this strategy you may offer your clients a free-trial and they may want to actually buy a subscription for a month or a year.
Remember, if you choose such a strategy, you have to warm up the users’ interests towards the application. Try to provide your users with top-notch customers’ service, research the market, follow the latest trends, and improve the customer experience. This way you’ll be able to ensure that customers are interested in your app and this is the only right way to monetize your software via subscription.
You can also try to set a fixed fee for each money transfer. The most important thing here is not to overdo it; make a commission within 1-3% under certain conditions (for example, on money transfer abroad or to accounts of competitive banks). If your application is too expensive, users will find another one to work with. And it’s important for you as a financial startup, to focus on growth because the more users you have, the more profits you’ll make.
In addition, you can introduce different types of subscriptions, how most fintech startups do. For example, give your clients an option to use a limited set of features for free. And the more the client will pay for their subscription, the more features they’ll get.
For what types of fintech apps this monetization strategy may be useful: for all types. However, for a digital payments platform, we’d recommend you use transaction fees. This includes:
- electronic wallets,
And for financial management, you better use the month subscriptions instead. This includes applications for
- investment planning,
- insurance, robotics
- cryptocurrency exchange.
Fintech app monetization via ads and bonuses
This is the ultimate monetization strategy if you want to make profits and don’t become way too expensive for your customers on the go. You may implement advertisements into your app or introduce bonuses such as cashback, partnership programs, bonuses for new customers, etc.
But beware: you mustn’t advertise something that your customers have no interest in. Good examples of ads in the fintech app are banks, e-wallets, tourism applications, real-estate solutions, and others. This way you will get from your clients more clicks on build-in ads, hence your partners will be interested in having their commercial advertisements in your app.
There are 2 types of ads you may use: banner and rich media. In reality, there are a lot more ads you could’ve seen. But right now we’ll talk about 2 most popular ones.
- Banner ads appear on the application’s home page, usually displayed at the bottom and top of the screen. Their size may vary, but please note that large ads may annoy the user.
- rich media ads are the interactive advertising that may appear whenever a user interacts with something in the app. It can include demo versions of mobile games, videos, music, and all kinds of interactive things. These ads take the full screen for a limited period of time but do not interrupt the user’s session in the app. Rich media ads will allow you to earn money but they are suitable only for mobile apps and are considered aggressive.
If you think that ad can potentially push away your customer, become too annoying, try the perfected ways of monetization via ads. For example, rewards for ads (a feature that is commonly used among mobile games). Provide your clients with in-the-app bonuses for watching the ad to the end (e.g. bonus account, a discount for subscription or feature). This way your user can decide whether they want to watch an ad or not, and get a better overall experience.
One more way you can make your ads less annoying is the native advertising. It is the embedded ads that are fit into the app’s design. This will be especially useful if you have partners who are willing to work with you and pay for advertising in advance, or if you already know exactly that this monetization strategy is best for you. This way to advertise will not only encourage you to be more creative but will fit much more organically in your application. If bright and colorful ads won’t interfere with the user, they won’t be annoyed and will more likely use the app longer.
For what types of fintech apps this monetization strategy may be useful: it depends on your target audience. If your main clients are:
- big companies,
- entrepreneurs, etc,
then aggressive advertising may make you look dumb. Look more closely at native ads and bonuses in order not to lose customers.
We recommend this strategy for applications with a wide target audience:
- electronic wallets,
- insurance IT solutions.
If your potential client will more likely be satisfied with ads than with high pricing and fees, this is what you definitely should go for.
Fintech app monetization via API
Application programming interface (API) may be the thing that’ll make your fintech app beneficial if you’ll use it the right way. The API is a part of the programming code that ensures the data transmission a.k.a. communication between 2 different software products. Sometimes APIs may be used by programmers to write the code of the application itself. But all in all the API defines how one app may interact with another.
To monetize your application with API is not a standard strategy which, however, may work better than others.
The API may allow you and other companies to create collaborative products as partners. How does it work? Let’s take two fintech companies as an example: Company 1 has created a cool feature that is now constantly used in their application. This is a feature so freaking cool that Company 2 wants to integrate it into their workflow, too. And they can do it. All it takes from Company 1 is to sell the API to Company 2.
This way, your startup will be able to sell licenses and even a separate code for innovative technical solutions. You can use a quality solution that helps you attract more clients, use any other monetization strategy, and at the same time earn on selling APIs to other fintech startups. And everyone from small businesses to giant enterprises can become your customers.
This model isn’t quite widely used on the market so you have a giant space to grow. And where there is space there is monopolization. So maybe that’s your best chance to make a change to the world. There is just one “but”; you will have to create something so unique that will interest other fintech companies, big and small.
For what types of fintech apps this monetization strategy may be useful: the thing is not only about the application’s type, but in which software you chose for your project. This monetization strategy is fitting only for those who are using custom software not based on another API. To sell unique features you need to have a lawful right on it and a knowledge that it is truly unique. It is possible only if you’re working with a development company that develops custom software.
Fintech app monetization via robo-advising
This is a platform that is basically an automated consulting service aimed at helping the client to manage their finances. Robo-advisers will help your clients to work with assets rather cheaply and in more comfort. It also may become an excellent assistant for collecting an investment portfolio and its management in the future.
The fascination of these applications lies in their unique monetization strategy. You can also charge a commission not only for each transaction but from the total amount of the user’s assets. Show the client a small number, maybe around 0.1% or 0.3%, and warn them in advance that the percentage is retained the same no matter how much assets the user has. Now the better your application does its job and the more the user’s assets grow, the higher is your income from each client.
It will be possible to integrate the funds’ management function into any fintech application. And this, in turn, will attract more clients and earn more money through low monetization from each client but high overall.
For what types of fintech apps this monetization strategy may be useful: this feature implementation can’t be useful for all types of apps. If your main goal is an app for financial management, then yes, robo-editing can be what you need. But then again, if you work with an e-wallet, then obviously investment advice will not be of interest to all your clients. In general, we recommend working with robo-editing as an independent application because it can have its own target audience and the necessary set of features by itself. Moreover, it already successfully exists in the market. For example, Betterment takes payment for its services in 0.25% of all user assets.
It is easy to conclude that fintech as an industry is now gaining popularity. And although there are many more monetization strategies; and although some of them are more standard and others are riskier, the decision is still up to you. It all depends on your target audience, the set of functions, the general orientation of your application. Don’t be afraid to take risks with monetization and try new solutions to find the One that will bring you more opportunities to make profits like a pro.
If you are still in doubt about what strategy is good for you, then a technical partner with an IT consulting and custom software solution services may be a great help. It would also be nice if your future technical partner has business and technical expertise.
While you’re still thinking, your competitors are already working. Have yourself a consultation with a development company and don’t waste any more time.