We started working with one of the first biometric startup companies in the mid-2000s. This was before biometrics became a part of daily life, and when the fintech industry was still defining itself. In those years, technology for improving the world of finance, which provided added security and prevent fraud, wasn’t considered as crucial as it is today.
The company had developed the hardware and software for an optical, multi-modal fingerprint reader design to verify users’ identity that also incorporated voice and facial recognition. In the early years of development, the potential application for these incredible features wasn’t fully explored, and moreover, their potential wasn’t known.
Now, those same technologies are fully accepted in financial institutions around the world, as well as in, educational, government, military, transportation, media, , and other venues requiring high security. But at the time, we were starting from the beginning.
Understanding Market Entry
For startups, the timing of market entry is critical, as is the price point. If the timing is too early, or the tech isn’t quite ready, or the cost isn’t yet feasible, then that solution might be left unexplored in place of one that seems more attractive at the time.
After developing the brand for our biometric technology client – including name, logo, and marketing materials, our role was to help them validate the market. Only there was no market at the time. Before official market entry, we guided them through product demos, orchestrated partnership development, and conducted key market research, interviewing 5,000 consumers to ask, “Are you ready for biometric fingerprint readers?”
Completing certain research and assessments was a prerequisite before appointments with banks and credit card companies could even be made. Proof of concept was key, which we delivered through the results of our research, product demos, market demos, price point exploration, and networking with both corporations and startups to determine starting points.
From there we blazed trails and made connections with many different companies who could benefit from the application of this technology. We met with credit card companies like MasterCard for fraud prevention, large defense contractors for security purposes, and online educators for identity verification. With a technology that could validate a person’s identity, the potential was limitless. And we were at ground zero for all of it.
Once security and fraud prevention became the crucial points that they are now, interest skyrocketed in biometric technology.
One of the defining features of the recent rise in fintech is how it seeks to put the control back into the hands of the users. Accustomed to traditional, inflexible banking where the customer has very little control or say, many fintech moves have been geared toward showing prospective customers that there is another, better way.
And the more innovative the product and services that they offer, the more creative they have come to be in how they advertise that offering.
We have helped with product demos and worked in the trenches with any number of players in the industry, so we know that it is not just the tech that’s important, but also that the acquisition cost matters, that the presentation must make the benefits and improvements of the solution indisputable.
While we now understand a whole lot more about market entry, with that has come significantly more competition. Because of course once there is a market within which to frame your solution, there are numerous other players also competing to answer those same problems.
That’s where an experienced agency team with knowledge of all the intersecting industries and essential prerequisites can make all the difference. True experts can help you define what it is that sets your company apart, decide how best to distinguish yourself among the many, and what key factors make yours the best solution.
Preparing for the Next Steps
The exciting thing about being so deeply involved in the fintech space from the very beginning is that we have accumulated in-depth, highly specific knowledge about where the industry started, how it has evolved, and what it will do next.
This year has seen a huge increase in banks and financial companies embracing fintech and using technology to improve their services. Fintech is more mainstream now than outsider, but still must be able to hold a conversation as both identities. The increase in competition means that companies must answer specific questions about improved security, ease of use, and what differentiates their business from another. Who is making decisions within the company or involved with its growth is another big question, as key names can influence the perception of future success.
Biometrics is no longer a novelty, but an expectation. In fact, American financial provider USAA now offers three different biometric login options for mobile customers. Innovations that were disruptive and even doubted only a few years ago are standard now. And this next stage of innovative growth and new perspectives will only add to what is possible.
ARTÉMIA has always played a major role in assessing and influencing the trends affecting financial and technology industries – as well as those that intersect with both. Working to make the market entry of these disruptive players more effective, we provided evidence that the industry is ready for the innovation they have to offer – or recommend changes. Time and again we’ve seen what limitations are imposed on new trends and how to circumvent the traditional expectations of what finance, technology, or fintech should look and act like.
Once you’re ready to make sure your startup is part of the ongoing conversation, connect with us for more information and to guarantee your startup is poised to make a splash in the fintech industry.