Non-cash payments share in Ukraine has increased again. What conclusions should fintech business make from this?

This week the main topic for discussion among the payment sphere is the statistics of the payment card market from the state regulator for the third quarter of 2018. The continued movement to cashless among Ukrainian users doesn’t stop — the share of non-cash transactions has increased by 5% and now stands at almost 44.3%. Every second payment — in shops, cafes, gas stations or in the malls — is made not in cash, but by card or via smartphone. Five years ago it was very difficult to believe such a figure, but then Ukraine was completely different.

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You can speak about which of Ukrainian banks is the driver of innovations again and again, or about the emergence of which bank in domestic financial market made the other participants go faster in the race for the customer — but won’t speak about it. I already wrote about this, and there are practically no “white spots” here. This driver is just a Ukrainian customer, unexpectedly grown-up, high-demanding and attentive to details. And such qualities in it were developed just by the fintech companies creating online payment services, money transfers, e-wallets and actively working with international payment systems on integrating advanced methods, like, for e.g., Masterpass. At a time, when banking services were still offline, the online segment became not only affordable, but also convenient, with a thoughtful UI/UX design giving real benefits to consumers.

At the moment, everyone — both banks and non-banking transactional business, which is actively exploring fintech services — works for one goal: to build a cashless infrastructure in Ukraine. This is one of the main courses of not only the regulator, but also the answer to the request of an active customer base. Many of us can already catch ourselves thinking that the phone and the card have become the main payment methods. Convenience, maximum mobility, variability, and available in the 24/7/365 mode have become the norm for our permanent online lifetime. This is a request that needs to be performed. Question: how?

There may be a lot of answers, but I will try to systematize the main ones into several main points. They will become part of the roadmap of LeoGaming’s development for 2019 and clearly must be taken into account by the others.

Smartphone as the main customer interaction device in future

The most obvious conclusion, given the active adoption by customers of any innovative payment technology based on a smartphone. The pace of smartphonization is growing, and with them grows the number of devices with the NFC-module. In the case of Android we’re even talking about budget models.

The emergence of shipping options in the rapidly growing Instagram, payments via instant messengers — this is not a revolution, but rather a controlled transformation. Each company that works with payments, should reconsider its approaches in the direction of creating the most seamless payment chains. Less action — more benefits.

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Emphasis on community management in product communication

Many fintech products didn’t succeed just bacause they have cashback (although not without it, of course), but because they give a feeling that using this or that product makes you “your man/woman” or “trendy” A service / application should have a stable percentage of regular users, rather than constantly new ones several months after launch. The latter means your marketing attracts a customer, but for some reasons he/she drops the product and does not return.

Feedback, high-quality service is must-have. But the communication of the modern fintech brand should be carried out not by the formal “dear customers” language, but by the words and actions people use in everyday life. Answer promptly, briefly and in the case, sometimes funny, but most often combine with simple messages. This is the atmosphere people want to stay, the main working tool of community management.

Product development, new functionality and ecosystem around user requests

Analytics, analytics and analytics again. The new functionality / service shouldn’t only be associated with the existing, but also be relevant to the customer. It sounds like “the sun rises in the East”, but no. Customer-based communication will help you learn not only what the customer needs right now, but also what he may need in the near future. Internal business interest should not impose on the customer what he/she does not need — he/she himself generates enough ideas, being in a constant information flow. It is only necessary to choose the best and realize.

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Don’t become part of the customer routine, make it easier

The conclusion, based on the three previous theses, but a bit contradictory. Paraphrasing the site of a successful Ukrainian creative agency, people have long been unresponsive to Advertising (yes, with a capital letter) of a product. They react to what they like and what will be useful. If you want to succeed — it must be your product.

The active transition to non-cash payments shows user primarily values ​​his time and freedom from routine. The trouble with fintech services is that we need to enter our daily routine (pay for a communal fare, replenish something), but don’t become it in fact. Simplify, decorate, replace with useful, beautiful and non-trivial payment solutions, for which you can find a place in the smartphone for another application and bring it to the first page.

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