1 July marked the 6th anniversary of Revolut, one of the first fintechs to offer modern payments for the B2B and B2C markets. In 2015, what Revolut offered its customers was perfectly consistent with its name – simply revolutionary. Today, however, the use of modern payments is almost a standard, as fintechs are outdoing themselves in expanding their offerings with products and services that many traditional banks would not be ashamed of. What has changed in the approach of fintechs and why, and what does it mean for the financial industry? Let’s find out.

PSD2 and greater trust for fintechs

Much has been said about the role of PSD2 in modern banking, but it is impossible to take up the topic of fintech development without setting it in a regulatory context. Because it was the implementation of the PSD2 directive that not only allowed intermediary entities such as fintechs to gain access to customer data, but also gave an impetus to traditional banks to undertake broader business cooperation with modern financial entities. Formal issues aside, however, PSD has allowed for something more – for fintechs to be treated as equal to banks and as trustworthy market players, and this has opened the way for fintechs to offer more advanced services and products.

MVP versus a wide range of financial services

As a result of these changes, we are seeing fintechs starting to move away from being a single-service provider to offering multiple payment products, dedicated to different target groups and fulfilling different business objectives. The aforementioned Revolut started with a payment card, whose main distinguishing feature was the simplification of setting up an account and payments between recipients and lowering the costs of international payments through attractive currency conversion rates. The fintech started with MVP – a single, simple solution that, on the one hand, allows to verify the business validity of the idea and inspire confidence in the market, and on the other hand, facilitates the creation of a customer base to which new products and functionalities can be offered in the future. Because today Revolut is not just a payment card – it is also a range of modern solutions, starting with savings accounts, cryptocurrency exchange, affiliate programs, and ending with credit products.

The same is true for the ZEN.COM, which in late 2020, in partnership with MasterCard, debuted its payment card offering protection for online purchases. Today, after only a few months, ZEN also already offers “zenefits” among which we find, among other things, an additional one-year guarantee when buying electronics, instant cashbacks, and the possibility to use a multi-currency account and transfer money at no additional cost.
Expanding the range of financial products allows you to build long-term customer loyalty and commitment to one entity. By choosing an application in which almost everything can be done, the customer does not need to look for alternative solutions that provide additional functionalities, because all services are available in one place, seconds after logging in. And yet, what fintechs have won from the beginning is simplicity, achieved through limited functionality, intuitiveness and ease with which customers can use the offered functionalities.

Technology that gives you a business advantage

However, these advantages would not be realised if it were not for modern technology, which forms the basis of solutions and products offered by fintechs. Every financial institution bases its operations on a transaction system, which – in the simplest terms – processes and organises data about clients, their accounts and transactions. So far, the role of transaction systems has been limited primarily to functions that enable efficient financial activity, in a manner consistent with compliance. Recently, however, the role of transaction systems in shaping fintech products and services and in supporting marketing and product development has grown significantly. Today, a transaction system is important not only from a technology perspective, but also from a business perspective, because a fintech’s advantage is also determined by its ability to implement new business functions as quickly as possible and to respond to new customer needs by efficiently expanding its already existing product offering.

INCAT, the provider of BOS, a modern transaction system dedicated to modern financial entities such as fintechs and challenger banks, knows this very well. BOS developers have noticed that fintechs need solutions which, regardless of their original application, address the requirements of a modern end client in the customer centric model. Thus, modern financial entities today need core systems whose functionalities are not only focused on the technological and product layer, but also support an innovative approach to processes addressing customer needs. Customers of fintechs today are primarily looking for services that allow them to perform various financial operations in a flexible and efficient manner, making everyday financial management easier and more attractive.

Technological solutions building the marketing advantage of fintechs

INCAT offers specific products that are ready to be used for financial activities, and these include affiliate programmes, automated cascading currency conversions or support for white labelling (multi-brand).

Affiliate Programme

BOS is used when creating a service such as an affiliate programme. Thanks to this functionality, entities offering their customers a system of collecting points, gaining discounts or fast cash refunds, can build long-term loyalty of their recipients. The system supports this solution through an extensive and flexible possibility of defining online shops linked with a financial institution, together with a set of parameters defining the conditions for the operation of loyalty programmes.

Currency Cascade
This is another example of a very interesting solution offered by BOS, which makes it easier for customers to make payments in non-standard conditions. The currency cascade allows the customer’s funds, accumulated in different currencies, to be used automatically during the execution of a single transaction, if there are no funds in the main account or the account held in the currency of the transaction.

In other words, if a customer makes a payment of EUR 40, but only has EUR 30 available in his account, the payment system automatically draws the missing funds from the customer’s other currency accounts, e.g. in USD or PLN, making an immediate currency conversion. The entire process takes no longer than a standard contactless payment and does not require any activity on the part of the customer.

Multibrand

Multibrand is a functionality which enables the separation of independent environments of several different brands and institutions, administered by a single entity, within a single instance of the BOS system. This is a great solution for institutions that decide to offer products addressed to diverse target groups and different market segments. An example of the use of this product may be offers of large loan companies which, in order to expand their customer portfolio, create several different loan brands, differing from each other in parameters and terms of obtaining financing, while still being formally a part of one large capital group or, conversely, not having any business relations.

The examples cited above are just a small sample of what can be achieved in the development of financial products with a modern transaction system, whose open architecture and adopted solutions allow for their rapid implementation. This is especially important today, in the era of open banking and huge competition on the fintech market. Fintechs already know that it is necessary to use advantages in all aspects of the business and support their offer not only with a creative approach, but also with technology that will keep up with customer expectations and trends that the market is constantly creating.