Guest Blog

Nium Guest Blog: The New FinTech In a Remote World

Are you a fintech navigating your way through the pandemic business waters? Fintechs are in an excellent position to support consumers and businesses at this time: The massive increase in digital payments, which accompanies the remote-first world means your services may be more sought after now, than ever. Here we explain how issuing your own plastic or virtual debit cards can help you ride that growth wave.


Current Challenges for Fintechs

While the current business environment presents an opportunity, every fintech faces pressures when growing and scaling their business. Some pressure points include:

  • Expense Management , As revenues are still building, and the business is depleting existing funding, keeping a tight lid on expenses is crucial. Extravagant spending on real estate, office parties and top-end salaries must be avoided. The risk of over-spending is compounded by current cashflow fluctuations and new tax and accounting rules which are arising in response to the Coronavirus pandemic
  • Sales and Marketing , A potentially bottomless pit of marketing spend means that early-stage fintechs cannot afford to burn too much on this, too early. While a fintech builds and tests the product in the market, marketing investment needs to be smart
  • Customer Retention , In the competitive fintech space, it is essential to build brand loyalty and consumer trust in order to limit customer churn. This is all-the-more-crucial right now as customers look to cut down on their own expenses
  • Compliance/Regulatory Risk , Fintechs need to focus on anti-money laundering rules, fraud prevention, financial licensing requirements, data protection and many other compliance obligations. Compliance risk must be managed in order to avoid substantial fines, protect your business reputation and satisfy potential investors

Differentiate your business with physical and virtual cards.


Where Do Cards Fit In?

The fintech ecosystem is expansive. Fintechs offer a wide range of products and services including:

  • Alternative lending
  • Payments and payment systems
  • Money transfer and remittance
  • Trading platforms for stocks or other financial products
  • Robo-advice
  • Neo-banking
  • Fintech-adjacent offerings such as credit-tech and insurance-tech

Whatever the fintech product or service, custom cards, designed by you and branded for your business, will help meet the challenges that fintechs face. Plastic and virtual cards help you:

  • Manage expenses by allowing more cost-effective payment methods
  • Optimise your sales and marketing by building brand awareness
  • Retain customer loyalty through a new ‘on-brand’ product

Other benefits of cards solutions include:

  • Being an additional source of revenue
  • Allowing for straightforward customer reimbursement, such as refunds

As well as those general benefits, individual fintechs might consider how cards can support their own specific products. Possible uses include:

  • Data Analytics for Lenders , Loans disbursed via a virtual card, with that customer’s permission, can give insight into how a loan is spent
  • Adding Credibility to Payment, Money Transfer and Remittance Products , Customers expect big players to have branded cards
  • Overseas Expansion , International acceptance of major debit cards (e.g., Visa), means your customers have convenient payment options, wherever they are

The advantages of debit cards are not limited to growing your revenue, however. Fintechs can also benefit from introducing branded debit cards internally within the business. Potential benefits include:

  • Simplifying the payroll, pay-outs and disbursements processes for your remote-first workforce
  • Issuing cards for business expenses to employees to keep a tight rein on what is spent and why
  • Remittance. A remote-first workforce is also an international workforce. This means an ongoing need for remittance services which can be enabled with card options


The Benefits of the Nium Global Card Issuing Solution

Given the way card solutions can help satisfy those common fintech challenges, what are the advantages of a NIUM Global Card Issuing Solution?

  • Speed , Becoming a card issuer is a rigorous and time-consuming process. In order to retain a competitive edge, fintechs in the current environment need to roll out new solutions as quickly as possible. Using a Nium Global Card Issuing Solution is much faster than becoming an issuer yourself. You can get started in as little as four weeks
  • Compliance , To mitigate regulatory risk, you need to deal with compliance. This is one common fintech challenge that can’t be met by other card solutions: Issuing a card product has significant compliance costs that you would normally need to meet yourself for every different country and jurisdiction you operate in. Nium has you covered. We have already done the hard yards and have regulatory approval in dozens of countries and jurisdictions. Using our vetted and fully-compliant solutions substantially reduce compliance costs
  • Build , With our global R & D Fintech Hub, we can accelerate your fintech build while incorporating card offerings. By plugging into our API network, you can leverage our rails and platform to design and test your fintech service or product
  • Integration , With Nium you can integrate the card product with our SEND (55+ countries via direct ACH coverage) and RECEIVE platforms (30+ countries via direct ACH coverage). Using Nium Card Solutions means plastic and virtual cards available in multi-currency, multi-wallet and mobile payment options
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