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COVID-19 key driver to reinvent fintech businesses, says GlobalData

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As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to create economic uncertainty, several fintechs have started to realign their growth strategies. While some fintechs have been at the forefront to grab new opportunities, others need to reinstate their efforts to stay relevant to the market, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

Ayushi Tandon, Senior Fintech Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “The fintechs that have invested in digital across operations such as claims processing, online trading, aggregator models, personal finance and mobile apps are likely to have gained customer confidence, which is the way forward. Such companies have provided customers more convenience through the click of a button from home in availing loans, investment planning, account opening and managing finances.”

A recent study from the Fintech Landscape Analytics database of GlobalData’s Disruptor Intelligence Center reveals how various fintechs have taken advantage of the pandemic to build their brand.

United Services Automobile Association (USAA)

American banking and insurance provider USAA understood the general mandate going forward, which was to simplify and digitize. It invested the most in customer-centric digital transformation and used the crisis to accelerate those efforts. The company digitized the processing of claims to bring photos and images into the equation, and then use those images to calculate the cost of damage rather than having a human effort.

Plaid

US-based API infrastructure provider Plaid is helping lenders to quicken the emergency government loan approvals for small businesses looking to survive the COVID-19 slowdown. It helps lenders to quickly pull payroll data of customers, who are new to a particular bank, reducing the time taken to disburse the loan from days to minutes.

Robinhood

US stock trading online app Robinhood witnessed a significant spike in the number of new stay-at-home investors, thanks to its intuitive user interface that quickly captured the interest of millennials, who are mostly first-time investors. This helped it to gain popularity within no time and set a new way for commission-free trading. The company saw three million new accounts in the first quarter of 2020.

Thought Machine

The cloud banking platform Vault of UK-based fintech Thought Machine is being adopted by various banks and fintech companies to build new products, improve the onboarding and overall customer experience. For instance, London’s neobank Monese adopted Thought Machine’s Vault as a part of its infrastructure digitalization strategy to unlock new features and capabilities for its customers to enrich their experiences.

Ms Tandon concludes: “The current requirement in the financial services industry is to navigate through the uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. New fintech models will evolve because of the changing customer banking needs. This evolution has the potential to slowly transform traditional players in financial services into new age fintechs that have gained customer trust. Companies that respond well in terms of increased investments, partnerships and acquisitions promoting digitization can see better success in the new normal.”