How financial services in Ukraine are changing with the increasing share of fintech projects?

The new business season can become the most interesting one of many years. New authority, new quickly adopted laws that one way or another make changes to the rules of the «big game». I won’t criticize or praise the new members of the Cabinet of Ministers — other people have been written more than enough on this subject without me. I can only say one thing: transactional business in general is nnot particularly outraged with the shifts in high offices. And this is the best scenario for the authority changing.

At the same time, there is an ever-growing number of digital-first projects that continue to redraw the map of the financial market. What is happening right now and what will happen next is much more interesting to talk about.

Key figures

I found interesting statistics from Fortunly media, the key figures of which clearly illustrate, how close Ukraine is to the global pace of fintech development over the past 5 years. So here is what we have:

  • 85% of banks have made digital transformation a priority for their business. For Ukraine this is about 50%, but these are banks covering at least 90% of the Ukrainian audience;
  • 75% of consumers use fintech services to transfer money. Absolutely fair for Ukraine. The remaining 25% or don’t transfer money, or do it through offline cash boxes;
  • 77% of financial institutions want to introduce more innovation. A strange figure, I believe, everyone has such a desire, however concrete actions are much more important.
  • 60% of traditional banks will merge with fintech startups, and 82% expect these partnerships to expand over the next 5 years. This figure is also relevant for Ukraine, given the massive launches / improvements in mobile banking that we could see over the past 12 months.

Omnichannel customer experience

As digital already dominates in the ways customers interact with the payment process, banks have gradually shifted from the traditional form of distribution of financial services at the branch level to online services.

At the same time, you shouldn’t think that creating your own mobile banking by copying other successful projects is the only way to have an actual offer on the financial services market. Payments must be “packed” in different formats of communication with the audience, and the application here is the most obvious, but not the only way.

Fintech startups are rapidly developing in accordance with this trend, because they have the necessary expertise to implement automation to optimize communication between business and client.

Now the examples. Do you want to get an active young audience of messengers? Pack transfers and accepting payments in a chat bot for Telegram or FB Messenger. We did this with LeoBot, and it works. Low conversion on card payment in the app to website? Of course, because the customer must input his/her card data. Here you will need Masterpass or GooglePay / ApplePay — it depends on your type of business. Do you work offline? So it’s time to implement QR payments so that the customer’s always-active camera can do not only Instagram stories, but also can be a payment tool for goods or services.

The bottom line is that your financial proposal must be in all places your customer already are — because the business goes to the audience, not vice versa, no matter whoever tells you.

Expansion of cashless infrastructure

Automation and digitalization are the best anti-corruption tools. For me, this is not a political slogan, but a fact. And if 3–4 years ago the injection of non-cash payments in the consumer chain caused a storm of discussion among the residents of the big cities, now payment with a card / smartphone / QR code is perceived as the basic requirement of the customer.

The main requests of users are already covered by market leaders — it’s difficult and expensive to compete with them. The most relevant activity of the fintech business is not extensive growth, but targeting to those payment actions that are not yet involved in non-cash infrastructure. And, of course, expanding the capabilities of already “occupied” sites.

The mere fact of a cashless payment is no longer surprising or attracting. Financial services have changed from the chaotic capture of niches to their quality development. Partly because of the primary saturation of the market, but mostly — because the customer requires quality. And the customer, as you know, is always right.

CEO of the international payment system LEO, the shareholder of IBOX Bank