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Digital Alchemy. Human Experiences.

2019 is set to be an incredibly interesting year for the Fintech community globally; 50% of ICOs have unsurprisingly gone south, Bitcoin’s price has dipped considerably and GDPR has taken its toll on the collection of data in Europe.

With that said, it’s not all doom and gloom especially as the implementation of PSD2 means that banking services are more available than ever. 

With the possibility of a no-deal Brexit in the UK as well as a technical recession in South Africa, marketing is more imperative than ever to stimulate economic growth and that’s no different for the financial services sector. One of the standout companies for me in 2019 will be Starling Bank, which has effectively become a PSD2 marketplace for consumers who have different financial products but want one place for them all to live. One of the trends that Starling is capitalising on, is being a mobile-only app for banking. Lending Times reckons that 2019 will be the year in which payments and mobile banking will be worth £92 billion. A mobile-first approach to banking and advertising is definitely here to stay!

A buzzword in most industries at the moment is artificial intelligence and I feel like we’re only really scratching the surface of what can be achieved.

We’ve had our clients queueing up to try out AI chatbots with the view to automating their sales processes but as with all new technology, there’s no best practice rulebook on how to increase conversions using chatbots. So far the results globally have been underwhelming. We implemented an AI chatbot called Drift for our client Hasteepay and the promise is that Drift’s conversational marketing platform allows businesses to transform their marketing with real-time one-on-one conversations and chatbots that qualify leads and book meetings for their sales team. The only issue with this so far has been that there are only a handful of routes that you can predefine with this AI, and so it’s not fully optimised to deal with HasteePay’s user experience. We feel like the best chatbots will integrate fully into the user experience and need to be flexible enough for user experience designers to work with them. With that said, we feel like artificial intelligence will be at the centre stage of anti-money laundering, fraud detection and customer analytics in the years to come.

Asian Fintech is going crazy because of the growing middle class and a booming economy. Fintech also doing well in emerging markets – I would be remiss not to mention BitPesa in Kenya and Luno from South Africa which are the darlings of the African continent. Startupbootcamp, which has had some successes in European fintech is also starting in South Africa so there’s definitely interest. As a London mentor for Startupbootcamp, I often see really great startups coming out of South Africa and this year was no different. Our client, Aerobotics, is using drones to analyse crops and provide analytics in order for farmers to better insure their crops. They’ve had major bank interest from the likes of Nedbank and this clearly shows the trend of how traditional banks are teaming up with startups to bring innovation into their offerings. Hopefully, their marketing takes on a similar level of innovation because we’re still seeing large offline spend in emerging markets where mobile is becoming the de facto way of accessing the net.

Speaking of Insurtech, I’m seeing the on-demand economy driving massive investment in insurance startups that help consumers insure their valuables over the short term.

Two companies that I think are doing this really well are Dinghy which helps freelancers insure things like computers as well as Zego which is offering on-demand insurance for scooter drivers. One thing they’re both doing incredibly well is working their marketing messages back towards their mission which is to change the insurance sector in line with how the nature of work is changing. This is incredibly smart and is a trend worth following.

And finally, a shoutout to our client Luno which has just been voted as the UK’s fastest growing startup by PRNewsWire. Although Bitcoin’s price has stalled somewhat, there is still increased buying of both Bitcoin and Ethereum and we’re happy to have helped them make this easier online.


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