“All money is a matter of belief,” said Adam Smith, the great Scottish economist. It’s a quote that rings particularly true in the wake of the FTX and Silicon Valley Bank collapses. In both cases, a sudden drop in audience trust contributed to their downfall. People want to know that they can rely on financial organizations to handle their hard-earned cash with care. And that holds doubly true for fintech startups whose unique and disruptive offerings haven’t yet gone mainstream.
With that said, how can innovative financial companies speak to audiences in a way that builds confidence, even in a climate of uncertainty? Here are five strategies that go a long way to engendering trust in your readers—and faith in your fintech.
Take a contrarian point of view.
It’s hard to gain credibility when you sound like everyone else, especially in an industry with trust issues. But if you have the courage to call out what’s not working in a field—and actually do something about it—well, then you’ve got a shot at turning a browser into a believer.
Insurance innovator Lemonade does a good job of this. “Forget everything you know about insurance,” reads their homepage headline. Okay, I’m listening. Tell me more. The copy goes on to explain how Lemonade is an “insurance company for the 21st century,” and how it’s turning insurance from a “necessary evil into a social good.” How, exactly?
The site explains that Lemonade takes a flat fee from the premiums you pay, uses what’s left to pay claims, and donates the remainder to a cause you care about. It all sounds fairly new and exciting—and that’s precisely the point. Go against the grain and increase your credibility.
Speak to an emotional truth.
At the end of the day, we’re all looking for understanding. To create this connection with readers, you have to get past the logical brain to the emotional brain, where all decisions take place. If you can do that successfully, you have a good chance of building rapport.
Let’s look at the mobile payment service CashApp’s copy as an example. “Tiptoe or dive in,” reads one headline enticing readers to use the app to invest in the stock market. “Believe you can Bitcoin” reads another line discussing the ability to buy and sell cryptocurrency. Another headline charmingly addresses the mundane: “Save on everyday spending.”
The brilliance in each of these chestnuts is that they speak to deep psychological and emotional truths about money. Money is complicated, so CashApp makes it simple. It’s scary, so they assuage your fears. It’s sexy, so they lean into the fun. CashApp’s copy says, “We understand you.” And we, in turn, trust them.
Invite your audience into an experience.
“Show me the money,” as the famous Jerry McGuire line goes. Finance comes down to dollars and cents—and no amount of clever marketing messaging can change that. But is there a way for you to actually demonstrate how your service will improve your readers’ financial situation?
Acorns is a micro-investing platform that rounds up your debit or credit card purchases to the nearest dollar and then invests that extra money on your behalf. One clever move on their website is to provide a compound interest calculator that shows how much money you could earn by investing with the company over time.
The headline speaks to the aspirational part in all of us: “See your potential.” By combining a hands-on tool with a bit of well-placed emotional copy, Acorns draws audiences into an engaging experience that delivers immediate value and builds confidence.
Make it easy to understand
The human brain loves simplicity and abhors complexity. Unfortunately, fintech is complicated—which means the onus is on fintech brands to distill their messages into easy-to-digest nuggets of information that can easily be processed by busy and often skeptical audiences.
Binance is an online cryptocurrency exchange that enables users to buy, sell, and trade more than 600 varieties of crypto coins and tokens. They do a great job of explaining in simple terms how someone can get started trading on their platform. The headline leads with a benefit: “Build your crypto portfolio,” followed by a call to action: “Start your first trade with these easy steps.”
The steps do indeed sound painless: 1) Verify your identity, 2) Fund your account, 3) Start trading. Underneath each step is a bit of micro-copy gently addressing objections and encouraging the reader in a friendly, but direct tone. It all sounds pretty straightforward and simple—and that’s precisely the point.
A lending platform got timely blog posts
LendingFront is an end-to-end lending platform that helps regional banks, credit unions, and alternative lenders close more small business loans with confidence and ease. In 2019, the fintech startup tapped MarketSmiths to launch their blog with articles that compelled lenders to use its software to simplify loan applications. But soon, the message shifted, and MarketSmiths helped LendingFront craft posts that supported small business owners amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Through our copywriting and content support, LendingFront has generated organic leads and revenue through its high SEO ranking, thus boosting its credibility and authority.
Be super transparent.
We’re used to banks charging hidden fees left and right. So we tend to assume there’s always something sneaky going on behind the scenes. Which makes transparency as a strategy all the more powerful. To quote Bill Bernbach: “A small admission gains a large acceptance.”
Affirm, the popular “buy now, pay later” platform, does this well on their website. After the company has explained the benefits of its service, the copy poses a rhetorical question: “Okay, so how do we make money then?” It’s disarming—charming, even.
The copy continues: “We earn a commission from businesses and shoppers pay interest on some items. Unlike credit card companies though, we don’t depend on shoppers paying late or staying in debt. Instead, we try to give them a great experience so they come back and use Affirm again.” It feels genuine—like they have nothing to hide. And when you have nothing to hide, there’s no reason not to trust you.
Want fintech copywriting that turns fear into faith? Get in touch.