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Which Fintechs Are Gaining Ground?

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Which types of financial technology are gaining ground with consumers — and which can actually help them do better financially?

Breaking New Ground in FinTech: A Primer on Revenue Models that Create Value and Build Trust,” a new report from Omidyar Network and Oliver Wyman, examines new practices from consumer fintech firms that are pairing their revenue strategies with value creation for consumers to gain a competitive advantage in making inroads with consumers and in future-proofing their businesses.

With 140 million American adults struggling with some aspect of their financial lives, whether it be getting their bills paid on time or putting away money for emergencies, they could definitely benefit from fintech that helps them do that — although attendant fees and interest on financial products and services, to the tune of some $175 billion, stand in their way.

But according to the study, the right combination of financial-health focused fintech products can save at least $2,000 a year for the average household with a median of $45,000 in post-tax income. However, delivering this benefit at scale means that mass-market fintechs have to come up with economically sustainable revenue models that also reinforce consumers’ trust rather than threaten it — something not easily done with consumers ranking the industry as “least trusted.”

“Being the newcomer in an industry that is often plagued by ‘gotcha’ fees and with the lowest levels of trust among consumers is not an easy task for fintechs, and is a reason why aligning incentives with consumers’ real needs is crucial for success,” Tilman Ehrbeck, partner at Omidyar Network, says in a statement.

Ehrbeck adds, “Embedding this principle early in the business culture is key to building and retaining consumer trust over time, a lesson that, if put in practice from the get-go, will avoid fixing fundamentals later.”

Breaking down revenue models into what value is created, who will pay for it and how they’ll do that, the report examines eight payment models already in use to identify what they’re doing right.

Currently, it finds, 65% of fintechs charge consumers directly for their services; about 75% of them rely on a single source of revenue, while a quarter have multiple sources of income. Not only has the latter group raised more than twice as much investor funding, but the ones that have raised the most funding to date “build a lower cost (and often better) version of an existing financial product that consumers already pay for today, not a new solution with an unfamiliar value proposition.”


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