Tips from a FinTech CEO

clockicon 4 minute read

 

While tech as a whole has been consistently hot for job seekers and investors, a new subsection of tech has been stealing the spotlight lately – FinTech. Short for Financial Technology, FinTech is roughly described as any type of software or technology that provides financial services. From modern banking apps to new payment methods to enterprise accounting software, technology is helping both consumers and businesses. But as a new and developing industry, working in FinTech is not for the faint-hearted.

 

Whether you prefer analogies to the Wild West or the Dot-Com Boom, FinTech is a rapidly growing, constantly evolving new sector and shares both the hype and the stress of any fast-paced industry. So what’s it like to lead the charge in FinTech? The best way to find out is to ask someone working in the trenches like FuturePay CEO, Bobbi Leach. With decades of ecommerce and high tech experience, Bobbi has held leadership roles with several startups and is one of the founders of FuturePay, an alternative payment option that provides shoppers with instant credit at the point of purchase. As the CEO, Bobbi interacts with every aspect of the company, which gives her a holistic view of what it’s like to work in FinTech across all departments. Today, she’s sharing her top three tips for anyone looking to join us in the FinTech revolution.

 

#1 – Don’t Underestimate How Hard it is to Gain Traction

 

The beginning of a business is always an exciting time. You’ve got a great new product and you can’t wait to share it with the world. But just because your company is exactly what your customers are looking for doesn’t mean that gaining traction is going to be easy.

 

Because it’s a relatively new industry, advancements in FinTech often require a lot of education. The financial industry has been historically slow moving, so many people remain satisfied with the norm without truly understanding the impact new technology can have. It’s not uncommon that your new product solves a problem your target market doesn’t even know they have. Because of this, you have to be sure that your product makes things better, faster, or easier for the end user.

 

“When we first started, we thought pre-integrating with popular ecommerce platforms to make it easy to add FuturePay to an online store would help us growth hack our retailer acquisition,” Bobbi shares. “But we didn’t get the quick retailer adoption we had originally hoped for and had to adjust our go-to-market strategy to focus on educating retailers about the value of non-credit card payment options like FuturePay.”

By shifting our strategy and communicating directly with retailers, FuturePay was able to help businesses capture revenue they didn’t even know they were missing. Now with nearly a thousand merchants and growing, it’s a reminder that most new businesses have to learn and adjust to see success.

 

#2 – Data is King

 

In an industry that changes daily, your business also needs to embrace change. User expectations of technology and software are maturing and what worked last year may not be what will work next year. However, changing for the sake of change is just as bad as remaining stagnant. Instead, your business needs to use data-based decision making to intelligently adapt and remain competitive.

 

There are plenty of examples where two people had the same business idea, yet only one was successful. Why? The victor was able to see something that the other missed. Bobbi adds, “Gut feelings are great, but data is the best way to really target the most impactful improvements.” And she’s right – you can learn a lot from your data, but you don’t always know where to look.

 

“When you first launch your business, you don’t necessarily know where you’ll find the most meaningful insights so you have to cast a wide net. Keeping a close watch over every aspect of the user experience will help you identify how to make your product better for your customers.” After a while, you’ll be able to pinpoint the areas that matter the most to your customers so you can focus on improving those elements.

 

#3 – Compliance Adds Complexity

 

One of the most exciting, yet challenging aspects of working in FinTech is doing things that have never been done before. And while it’s a lot of fun, it isn’t without risk. The financial industry hasn’t advanced as quickly as other tech industries because it is subject to a number of regulations. Although compliance isn’t necessarily a sexy part of FinTech, it’s perhaps one of the most important elements.

 

What makes FinTech so complex is that no matter what your product is, you are handling people’s money. So whether it’s a business’ transactional revenue or a Millennial’s first investment, people need to feel confident that you’re treating their money at the same level as traditional financial institutions. In order to do that, compliance needs to be systemically integrated into your business, from customer support reps to your executive team.

 

“In the financial world, compliance is a given,” says Bobbi. “However, many people in tech have never had to deal with such stringent regulations and underestimate the significance of compliance. The reality is, not adhering to the intricacies of the regulations can cost you your business. No matter what department you’re in, your work will be impacted by compliance.”

 

Enjoyed the post? Check out Let’s talk Payments Exclusive Interview with Bobbi Leach

clockicon 4 minute read

 

While tech as a whole has been consistently hot for job seekers and investors, a new subsection of tech has been stealing the spotlight lately – FinTech. Short for Financial Technology, FinTech is roughly described as any type of software or technology that provides financial services. From modern banking apps to new payment methods to enterprise accounting software, technology is helping both consumers and businesses. But as a new and developing industry, working in FinTech is not for the faint-hearted.

 

Whether you prefer analogies to the Wild West or the Dot-Com Boom, FinTech is a rapidly growing, constantly evolving new sector and shares both the hype and the stress of any fast-paced industry. So what’s it like to lead the charge in FinTech? The best way to find out is to ask someone working in the trenches like FuturePay CEO, Bobbi Leach. With decades of ecommerce and high tech experience, Bobbi has held leadership roles with several startups and is one of the founders of FuturePay, an alternative payment option that provides shoppers with instant credit at the point of purchase. As the CEO, Bobbi interacts with every aspect of the company, which gives her a holistic view of what it’s like to work in FinTech across all departments. Today, she’s sharing her top three tips for anyone looking to join us in the FinTech revolution.

 

#1 – Don’t Underestimate How Hard it is to Gain Traction

 

The beginning of a business is always an exciting time. You’ve got a great new product and you can’t wait to share it with the world. But just because your company is exactly what your customers are looking for doesn’t mean that gaining traction is going to be easy.

 

Because it’s a relatively new industry, advancements in FinTech often require a lot of education. The financial industry has been historically slow moving, so many people remain satisfied with the norm without truly understanding the impact new technology can have. It’s not uncommon that your new product solves a problem your target market doesn’t even know they have. Because of this, you have to be sure that your product makes things better, faster, or easier for the end user.

 

“When we first started, we thought pre-integrating with popular ecommerce platforms to make it easy to add FuturePay to an online store would help us growth hack our retailer acquisition,” Bobbi shares. “But we didn’t get the quick retailer adoption we had originally hoped for and had to adjust our go-to-market strategy to focus on educating retailers about the value of non-credit card payment options like FuturePay.”

By shifting our strategy and communicating directly with retailers, FuturePay was able to help businesses capture revenue they didn’t even know they were missing. Now with nearly a thousand merchants and growing, it’s a reminder that most new businesses have to learn and adjust to see success.

 

#2 – Data is King

 

In an industry that changes daily, your business also needs to embrace change. User expectations of technology and software are maturing and what worked last year may not be what will work next year. However, changing for the sake of change is just as bad as remaining stagnant. Instead, your business needs to use data-based decision making to intelligently adapt and remain competitive.

 

There are plenty of examples where two people had the same business idea, yet only one was successful. Why? The victor was able to see something that the other missed. Bobbi adds, “Gut feelings are great, but data is the best way to really target the most impactful improvements.” And she’s right – you can learn a lot from your data, but you don’t always know where to look.

 

“When you first launch your business, you don’t necessarily know where you’ll find the most meaningful insights so you have to cast a wide net. Keeping a close watch over every aspect of the user experience will help you identify how to make your product better for your customers.” After a while, you’ll be able to pinpoint the areas that matter the most to your customers so you can focus on improving those elements.

 

#3 – Compliance Adds Complexity

 

One of the most exciting, yet challenging aspects of working in FinTech is doing things that have never been done before. And while it’s a lot of fun, it isn’t without risk. The financial industry hasn’t advanced as quickly as other tech industries because it is subject to a number of regulations. Although compliance isn’t necessarily a sexy part of FinTech, it’s perhaps one of the most important elements.

 

What makes FinTech so complex is that no matter what your product is, you are handling people’s money. So whether it’s a business’ transactional revenue or a Millennial’s first investment, people need to feel confident that you’re treating their money at the same level as traditional financial institutions. In order to do that, compliance needs to be systemically integrated into your business, from customer support reps to your executive team.

 

“In the financial world, compliance is a given,” says Bobbi. “However, many people in tech have never had to deal with such stringent regulations and underestimate the significance of compliance. The reality is, not adhering to the intricacies of the regulations can cost you your business. No matter what department you’re in, your work will be impacted by compliance.”

 

Enjoyed the post? Check out Let’s talk Payments Exclusive Interview with Bobbi Leach