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Fintech relations in France
In 2018, French fintech companies raised a record amount of $407 million (€365 million). To put that in context two neo-banks; Revolut and N26 neobanks raised between them, about $410 million. Despite this fintech is really beginning to take off in France.
For the moment fintech is not very well known in France: only 55% of the French understand the usefulness of fintech solutions. However things are beginning to change as fintech solutions adapt to the unique needs of the French market. French consumers tend to be slow to adopt new technologies and need clear explanations as to why something is better.
However, there is no shortage of solutions. Currently, the market is moving from a vertical logic focused on the sale of products to a horizontal logic, where we start from a need to develop innovative solutions that are truly adapted to the users’ needs.
Adapt to changing expectations
With its Recharge service, Amazon now offers its customers the possibility to recharge their accounts in cash with local merchants and then make online purchases. Pay in cash for an online purchase, is that a step back?
On the contrary, it is a sign that the population’s expectations are being taken into account: 57% of French people say they intend to use cash to pay for online purchases if they are given the opportunity to do so. So, rather than sticking to its positions, Amazon preferred to adapt its offer.
Understanding the needs of small business
The first mobile payment application comes from Angers and is called Papam. The basic idea: to allow users to accept card payments without requiring them to purchase additional hardware or taking out a subscription. A free application that transforms any smartphone into a very small enterprise (VSE) was born from this vision.
Rather than promoting its application, the brand places itself on the sellers’ side by showing them the benefits of accepting credit cards: the ability to take full advantage of the business without worrying about payment and to grow the business by not missing out on sales. In short, beyond the simple expression of its offer, Papam places itself as a partner in the success of its users.
Hugo Sallé de Chou, the co-founder of Pumpkin, started from a simple observation to develop his payment platform: we rarely live alone for very long. “When you’re young, you live with your parents, then you go to school and share a flat, then you’re a couple and start a family again…” His idea was, therefore, to create a community current account to pool all current expenses. Or how empathy can anchor the technology in the daily life of its users by adapting it to their needs.
Helping people understand their money
“Banks and bankers certainly understand and care about money, but there is little evidence that they understand or care so much about people,” according to Mark Mullen, co-founder of the British neobank Atom Bank. His solution: instead of managing the clients’ money for them… help them do so, by putting them at the heart of innovations. His ambition is to transform Atom Bank in ” the world’s leading telepathic bank”. Based on the AI and data analysis, it offers, for example, the possibility of receiving the account statement for the next month.
As fintech begins to take off in France, it should not be thought that the French will adopt digital solutions immediately. it will be a slow process that will begin by taking the time to understand their needs to gain their confidence, rather than developing a product and then seeing how it can be used.
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First published in JDN, a third-party contributor translated and adapted the article from the original. In case of discrepancy, the original will prevail.
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