There's a paradox at the heart of fintech innovation. To gain credibility, you need users. To gain users, you need credibility.
If someone came to you on the street and offered to hold all your money in their new high-dividend digital account, you’d laugh them off.
Why? Because trust isn't instantly granted, it’s earned—and, when it comes to financial products, that earning takes a lot of effort.
Even with our familiarity and reliance on digital devices and services, consumers are still hesitant when it comes to money. Americans have a deep-seated trust in the traditional banking system, with 70% still believing they will "do what is right," despite recent closures and crashes.
Only 44% say they trust digital banks, and while that group does skew toward a younger generation, there's no guarantee trust will rise significantly without conscious effort from fintech companies.
The power of branding in fintech (or any industry for that matter) is crucial in building that elusive trust, forming a bridge between innovative technology and skeptical users.
Many companies, particularly startups racing to bring revolutionary products to market, fall prey to a critical misunderstanding about branding. They pour resources into crafting a polished logo or a sleek website, mistaking these branding elements as the be-all and end-all of their identity.
But a logo doesn’t build trust on its own.
A brand is far more than that. It embodies the heart and soul of a company—it’s how people feel about you when they interact with your products, hear your name, or see your advertisements.
Think about Apple as an example. What immediately comes to mind isn't the bitten fruit logo. Instead, it's the experience of unwrapping a new iPhone, the sleek design of a MacBook, or the convenience and innovation packed into an iPad.
It's the comprehensive ecosystem and the unparalleled attention to detail that defines their brand. It’s years of delivering on promises with excellent product design and groundbreaking operations.
Ask someone why they use an iPhone over some competitors, and they’ll often respond, “It just works.” That’s Apple’s brand.
In fintech, one of the most competitive sectors in the world, where products are complex, and the stakes are high, companies need to embody their brand in every action and decision. The brand should permeate through each touchpoint—whether a customer is navigating the app, calling customer service, or recommending the service to a friend.
When each of these experiences aligns with the company’s core values and promises, trust is forged and strengthened.
Here are the things to focus on:
In any technologically forward industry, having a clear and compelling long-range vision is mission-critical for building trust and brand loyalty. Users need to know that you're not just here for the quick win—you're playing the long game.
A brand that demonstrates foresight shows customers that it considers their future needs and is prepared to evolve with them.
For instance, a brand that emphasizes its commitment to security may highlight its investment in emerging encryption technologies. Or, one focused on financial inclusion could showcase its roadmap for reaching underbanked communities with new products or services.
This future-focused approach encourages customers to invest their trust and financial well-being in the brand, confident that it will grow and adapt effectively over time.
Trust grows in clear soil—not in the murky waters of uncertain intentions and opaque operations.
Fintech companies must articulate their values and ensure that these are not just words on a website but principles woven into the fabric of their operations.
Whether it's a commitment to customer privacy, a stance on ethical investment, or strategies for data protection, these values must be transparent and reflected in every customer interaction.
Transparency also extends to how fintech companies deal with problems. Inevitably, things won't always go as planned. How a company addresses issues, communicates with users, and rectifies problems tells customers a great deal about its integrity.
A strong visual identity is crucial for a fintech brand, but expanding beyond the logo and color scheme is what really creates a memorable brand experience.
The visual brand elements should tell a cohesive story that resonates with the target audience, provides reassurance, and communicates key facets of the brand ethos.
For example, a fintech company focusing on the user-friendly aspect of its platform may use warm, approachable colors and imagery, infographics to explain complex financial concepts, or a bright and inviting app design.
Striking the balance between building a profitable business and maintaining consumer trust is like walking a tightrope 30 stories above the Grand Canyon. It’s a long drop if you make a mistake.
Customers are attracted to the promise of better returns, lower fees, or more efficient services than traditional banking. But they are simultaneously watchful for any signs that a deal might be too good to be true (especially in the wake of high-profile scams within the crypto space).
A fintech brand must showcase the viability and reliability of its financial products without overpromising or indulging in hyperbole. This makes the difference between a user seeing a fintech service as a valuable asset rather than a risky gamble.
Remember, trust isn't a box to check. It doesn't come with flashy taglines or high-resolution logos; it's nurtured over time and solidified through consistent, positive interactions.
Trust isn't built by chance.
Creating a brand that balances the excitement of innovation with the reassurances of stability and transparency is an art. Authenticity in messaging, clarity in values, and consistency in delivery are the cornerstones of trust.
If you're ready to elevate your fintech brand and build credibility with your target audience, check out the nuances of Lunour’s brand-building process. We appreciate the nuances of trust and design thoughtful strategies tailored to your company’s vision.
Or if you'd prefer, we'd love to hop on a quick, free discovery call to explore how you can use your brand to build trust. Book your call here.