Nailing product-market fit in any vertical is a challenge for many entrepreneurs. Doing so in fintech adds another level of complexity given the delicate balance between product functionality, user experience, regulatory environment (licensing, compliance, fraud) and above all, a strong trust element.

To tackle this challenge, Viola held a fintech forum last week where we had the privilege to host four product experts from some of the most successful fintech companies out there: Gil Sadis from Lemonade, Gal Bar Dea from Pepper, Matan Bar from Payper (ex PayPal consumer products) and Eyal Moldovan from Payoneer.

We hold a Viola Fintech Forum every couple of months and invite you to sign up and join us. For those of you who missed the last forum, here are 10 best practices for building a winning fintech product (in no particular order):

1. Tackle a big problem. Fintech products typically solve common issues with traditional financial systems, like financial exclusion, high costs, lack of speed, lack of accessibility/convenience, lack of transparency, poor user experience and/or “one size fits all”. All seven categories are sizable and valid.

2. …But use the “KISS principle”, or in other words “the main thing is to keep the main thing, the main thing”. Focus on your element/differentiator: Clear product strategy and applicable KPIs are both key for successful product execution.

3. Don’t be afraid to re-invent long-existing business models (e.g. the traditional insurance model or core banking). With that, transparency in fintech goes a long way. Add social responsibility to it and you have a winning combination.

4. Persona targeting: Know who you are selling to and target that audience in your marketing efforts. For example, the HENRY persona (millennials who are High Earners, Not Rich Yet).

5. Engage in user testing. Dedicated tools, focus groups and/or Starbucks UI demos are effective ways to learn and cater to your target audience from the ground up.

6. Focus on KPIs that actually matter, whether engagement, operational or financial related. How do you know which KPIs to choose? Focus on the ones you run your business by, then automate the process of tracking them and don’t hesitate to modify them as the business evolves.

7. Personalized UX is King: Users expect it nowadays and like it personalized – which leads to engagement and subsequently traction. Make it a positive experience (even if it’s as mundane as checking your bank account balance). Nailing the front end can have a bigger impact than adding a feature in the back end.

8. Product is a derivative of a larger vision. When you bring your product idea to life, leverage the emotional side of it – your audience will react more favorably and “connect the dots” independently.

9. Continuous product evolution is key, so aim to evolve the same way as the industry, competitive landscape, your capabilities and your customer/market understanding evolves. Start with your product value proposition, listen to your customers, and keep on building.

10. Last but not least… Trust in fintech is fundamental: Build it with your customers, don’t cut corners on licensing, and be compliant with regulatory requirements. It will take you a long way…

Check out the photos from the event on our Facebook page (and follow us while you’re at it!), and I hope to see you at one of our next Viola FinTech Forums.

Viola FinTech Forum meetup, Feb 2018 - Facebook album screenshot