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  In the past three years, since I started observing the African FinTech ecosystem at Connect Nigeria, I have witnessed many Fintechs go under, while a few have stayed on top of their game. What does it mean to stay on top of your game as a FinTech? It simply means ensuring that there is no slack in any area of your startup, ranging from maintaining a solid product and an awesome customer experience as well as delivering real value to the people.
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In recent times, we have witnessed many FinTech startups go under following domination from other stronger competitors who have the financial muscle to stay afloat. The reason why many are going under is not far-fetched. They are in the industry, but they are not seen or heard.  It is not enough to develop an amazing product, employing the right techniques to stay on top of your game is what counts. In this article, I discuss four proven ways your FinTech can stay on top of the industry.
  • You Are Constantly Developing New Solutions For Your Customers

The FinTech that will stand out and stay on top of their games are those who are constantly developing new and simpler ways to make their customers enjoy their products. If you want your FinTech, you must be an evolving startup that is taking its customers on a journey that makes their financial dreams an endless possibility. Adding one or two features or remodifying the existing ones can really make you stay on top of your game. For example, Flutterwave introduced three unique features, which include IP Whitelisting For API Payouts, which gives users control over who can access their Flutterwave account to process payouts (transfers from your account to banks, mobile money or any other Flutterwave account) via the API. The second feature is the Toggle For Payout Source which enables Business accounts to process their payouts from their dashboards, API or both.
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  • Provide Real Values To Underserved People

Despite the dozens of FinTechs in the Nigerian ecosystem, there are a lot of underserved people. Many Nigerians are still excluded from the FinTech spectrum. It is quite unfortunate that many FinTechs are distracted by frivolities rather than providing real value. Establishing a FinTech goes beyond developing a product for development’s sake and gathering a team of developers who are just out to make money from software development without actually providing overarching values to a larger section of the people. To stay on top of the industry, there are a lot of Financial problems that need simple software solutions. Problems such as financial management, credit facilities, and savings are still major problems for several individuals and SMEs in Nigeria. Hence, to stand out, you must provide real solutions to people’s financial problems such as providing personal savings solutions which are available on mobile phones and are easy to use and replicated in an everyday-life manner.
  • You Are Expanding Your Service Base

Flutterwave moved from serving individuals at the beginning of their venture and moved to serve both customers and businesses on the same platform. Autocheck also moved from being an Autotech company to incorporating FinTech into its business operation. The same goes for Okra who began a savings startup but has metamorphosed into crypto, investment, trading, etc. app software. Little wonder, leading FinTechs in Nigeria is expanding their service base, reaching out to many areas of opportunities. Therefore, if you want your FinTech startup to stay on top of its game, it must reach out to underserved and blue sea areas. There are various untapped areas for FinTechs, they include devising retirement savings and investment platforms for working-class people, developing digital piggy banks for potential homeowners who can develop a periodic plan that can help them own their homes in the first ten years of their marriage, etc.
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  • Rebranding Yourself Occasionally 

Rebranding is another way to reintroduce yourself to your audience, especially after a long period of time. In recent times, we saw Flutterwave and MTN rebrand themselves as they expanded their offerings. Redesigning your logo, changing your brand colour, and introducing a new slogan can do all the magic. However, the best time to rebrand is when you are about to introduce a series of new products that your audience might find interesting. Bear in mind that too much change can be counterproductive. Stating that you are advancing to a new level of innovation, while still retaining your brand story can do all the magic in helping you stay ahead in the industry. For instance, rather than declaring overhauling change, simply state that you are introducing a new version of your brand, something like 1.0, 2.0, and so on and so forth.
  • Glitchless Product

There is nothing that excites a customer more than a glitchless product. It is very common these days for digital products to experience glitches due to poor programming or complex UI and UX design. This is why providing a glitch-free product is more than using advanced programming language and other ML and AI tools. It is about creating a product that is all-encompassing, and all embedding. The user should get all his solutions – from transactions to customer care – on one app. Also, infusing a quick service response service system as a seamless transactional process in one platform can make you stand out in the industry. Featured Image Source: InformationAge
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This article was first published on 17th December 2022


Ikenna Nwachukwu holds a bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He loves to look at the world through multiple lenses- economic, political, religious and philosophical- and to write about what he observes in a witty, yet reflective style.

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