Consumer credit reporting agency TransUnion recently reported a boom in consumer lending, with the total amount of US consumer loans outstanding reaching a whopping $138bn, or 17% more than last year.
The UK is going through a similar growth phase and the proof of this is the proliferation of new B2B and consumer banking brands that now seem to challenge the status quo.
TransUnion says that one of the main drivers of this rapid growth is lending by upstart fintechs, which accounted for over a third (38%) of all personal loans issued, a huge leap from just five years ago when they accounted for 5%.
As The Advertist has reported frequently, this flourishing area of the financial sector also offers marketing opportunities, as more Unicorns are born here than anywhere else.
In 2007, the lending sector was turned on its head with many of the establishment that had previously catered to this demand, retrenching and clawing back their lending.
Nature, we know abhors a vacuum and the banking industry’s loss was the fintech industry’s gain and using a combination of technology, flexible underwriting models, user-friendly web and mobile-based customer experiences, and clever customer acquisition strategies, they began dividing and conquering the customer base with bespoke, vertical banking products that fit with the needs of specific business or consumer models.
With physical costs reduced to the base minimum, the fintech players are outmanoevering the big banks, who are now all playing a desperate game of ‘catch up or acquire’ or they risk losing their bread and butter business.
The biggest obstacle for fintech is the law. Fintechs find it harder to qualify to play at the same tables as the big banks. The temptation to cater to a more reckless business model can cause problems, such as their potential exposure to risk if the economy takes a serious turn for the worse. Everything appears fine as long as the economy is booming, but can the new fintech players withstand a financial Tsunami?
What has become clear is that branding, customer experience and catchy marketing is just as important in the financial sector as it is anywhere else. The opportunities to productize finance into vertical offerings and to create solutions to meet specific demands is where the big banks can learn.
And whether that is through acquisition or evolution, only time will tell but if you are looking for opportunities to sell your agency’s solutions; be it PR, branding, digital, UX, creative or experiential, the financial sector is worth exploring right now.
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