The rise of fintech has reshaped the financial services and communications industries, creating the role of fintech copywriting agency. As much of the millennial population have grown up with mobile phones, they expect to manage their finances the same way they would book a flight or upload a picture. This means the language used by fintech companies will vary greatly from that of traditional banks, and the new specialised niche of fintech copywriting was created.
This surge in businesses using modern software and technology to achieve their customers’ financial requirements means that the services of a fintech copywriting agency will only continue to grow. One company pushing the boundaries of financial communications is British fintech company Revolut.
Revolut is one British fintech company making headlines recently. Aimed at the young, tech savvy generation who want to travel without the hassle of changing money, Revolut is a mobile app-based banking service making its mark in the fintech scene.
With the Revolut debit card you can withdraw cash in 120 countries and transfer money abroad in 29 currencies. On top of making holiday spending easier, Revolut allows you to convert these currencies into five different cryptocurrencies, provides overseas medical insurance and helps you budget with vaults. The latter allows you to allocate spending into a vault to help with budgeting. This money won’t be touched when spending with your Revolut card and you can withdraw money from the vault back into your Revolut account at any time and instantly.
Currently, only users in Europe can access the full range of Revolut’s services, but there are plans for it to reach Australia, North America, Singapore and Hong Kong soon.
Revolut was founded in July 2015 at the Level39 tech accelerator in Canary Wharf by Nikolay Storonsky and Vlad Yatsenko. The duo started the firm because they wanted to provide digital banking services for younger users who prefer using their smartphones over more traditional banking methods. And with more than a third of UK banks branches closing since 2015 (Which?), it’s clear that digitisation, amongst other factors, is driving consumer behaviour. This has impacted how banks interact and communicate with their customers. Those that don’t maintain consistency across all communication channels end up irritating customers, especially if they fail to acknowledge previous interactions.
Revolut wasn’t actually a bank in its early years, but last December the European Central Bank granted it an EU Banking licence. It is now valued at over $1 billion, so has already earned ‘unicorn’ status.
As well as helping its customers travel with ease, Revolut uses its blog to educate customers and keep them in the know.
It covers everything from banking to feature updates, consistently going above and beyond for its customers. One blog post titled ‘Beware scammers posing as phone support agents’ was a response to some of their customers receiving calls or SMS messages from scammers posing as Revolut support agents. Another post informed customers of how the Thomas Cook collapse will affect them. These are great examples of fintech copywriting being used to interpret current events from their customers’ point of view and translate their response to them immediately.
In February Revolut launched a Valentine’s Day ad campaign, which emphasised the number of customers who had placed a takeaway meal for one last year. Underneath the statistic, it asked, ‘You ok, hun?’ Revolut received a huge backlash on Twitter, with individuals accusing it of “shaming” singles. And its claim that 12,750 customers had ordered a single takeaway in 2018 turned out to be fabricated too.
Whilst ‘You ok, hun?’ is a colloquial phrase often used sarcastically for humorous effect by the younger generation, it clearly didn’t sit well with a wider audience. Not only did the marketing strategy remind many users that banks use their data improperly, it also made them feel patronised. This example of fintech copywriting was clearly a failed attempt to connect with consumers through mocking them. There are dangers with being too casual and trying to be clever by being ‘down with the kids’. Take a look at another one of our blogs about how one bank got it wrong.
Revolut’s website mixes a formal and conversational tone in an attempt to connect with consumers. For instance, with language such as ‘rubbish exchange rates’, ‘just kidding’, and ‘barf’- and it seems to work. What with over seven million customers, more than 350 million transactions and a total value exceeding £40 billion. This can also be seen in the text that Revolut sends out to new customers: ‘Hooray! Your identity has been successfully verified and top-up limits have been lifted. Welcome to a world beyond banking!’
Revolut has a blog post dedicated to Tone of Voice (ToV) guidelines and how it uses language as a brand. It highlights how it strives for consistency and creating positive customer experiences. For a bit of fun, it has a section titled ‘Niche jargon interlude’ accompanied by a toilet symbol. It includes a short list of specialist terms that some of the Revolut team use amongst each other but would never use in customer messaging. For instance, ‘spin up a cluster’ which means ‘to set a group of virtual machines to deploy a software program there.’
It’s interesting how Revolut has included this blog post publicly. It demonstrates that they are conscious about communicating differently with their customers; a notion that is a key part of the fintech difference.
As an expert fintech copywriting agency, we are encouraged by the success of disruptive fintech companies in changing the way they speak to customers. But with new frontiers will come missteps and mistakes, which is where support from professionals can help you navigate the rocky waters.
To see more of our fintech copywriting blogs: