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10
min read

How to use social features to enhance fintech app engagement

Gabriel Troiano
Gabriel Troiano
March 28, 2022
Gabriel Troiano
March 28, 2022

Most people don’t rate financial management as one of their favorite pastimes, and for good reasons. Learning how to manage your money can be exhausting if you don’t possess financial literacy and access to the necessary tools. And considering how important proper planning is to secure your financial future, the pressure of managing your wealth can grow and make the task seem insurmountable.

Education remains a key part of financial services, which is why many people still believe that traditional solutions where clients and consultants can meet face-to-face still have the upper hand. However, the generation making up the bulk of financial service customers today embraces mobile banking and digital products in a way that their predecessors did not. 

The financial services sector is well-aware of the mental barrier most customers have to overcome when dealing with money, and that’s why they put enjoyability and ease of use at the forefront of their products. To build an engaged user base that will continue to use your application, however, going social is one thing you absolutely cannot overlook.

Social+: The top trend in the financial and banking app market

Mobile applications have been revolutionary for practically every industry because they offer solutions and convenience that otherwise would not be viable. 

Financial institutions, in particular, have embraced an additional avenue to reach their customers with 77% of traditional firms intending to pursue more technology-driven methods of customer retention. The global fintech market is expected to surpass $300 billion in value by 2023, and experts predict that almost 3 in 10 banking and payment services will be disrupted. 

How can you make sure you’re one of the fintech brands capturing as much of the market share as possible? 

The answer is: surround your product with an engaged community. 

Why do fintech apps need social features?

It’s long been known that people flourish when surrounded by other like-minded people. Our biological desire to seek meaningful connections can be used as your fintech product’s greatest advantage. 

When social capabilities are built into finance apps, they immediately gain several key advantages over their non-social counterparts, including greater retention, improved app engagement, and community-driven growth. And because an engaged community isn’t easily replicated, its value is driven by long-term defensibility.

Social+ finance apps are more than a trend. Putting the spotlight on human connection is a way to meet the needs of the market and usher them into a new age of informed (and community-driven!) financial management.

Customers want to be recognized as individuals

The first step to building an integrated social experience is recognizing each user as an individual. And while there are plenty of benefits such as improved engagement and conversion, there’s another reason it should be a priority: it’s a customer expectation.

Fintech companies use technology to gather more customer data than ever. In exchange for that valuable information, customers expect to enjoy experiences crafted especially for them. 

Another thing to keep in mind is that personalization caters to instant gratification, which is something modern consumers look for in financial solutions. Elements like unique budget estimations, applicable financial solutions, and even community sub-groups meet individual needs promptly and nudge users towards action.

Customers enjoy knowledge-sharing

The internet is a massive archive of knowledge that billions of people have access to. Users continue to contribute to that knowledge base by exchanging information on a daily basis. 

If Commonstock is any indication, people love talking about the financial market. Using social capabilities to facilitate information exchange on mobile apps allows users to share insights and thoughtful analysis without having to leave the application. It also ensures conversations are centered around a common subject that everyone in the community takes interest in. 

Customers love the convenience of personalized tools

A wealth of data is gathered via social features that can be used to personalize the user experience. Since the entire premise of banking apps is to make money management more convenient, it isn’t surprising that personalized solutions can make your app stand out from all the rest. 

We can observe the power of personalized tools by looking at Acorns, one of the most popular fintech apps among millennials. By using a simple prediction algorithm to forecast each individual’s future investment potential, Acorns is able to encourage action and nurture long-term retention as users stick around to watch their money grow!

Customers are taking charge of their personal finances

This generation—and Gen Z, in particular—is much more vocal about their finances. And they aren’t content with spectating. An increasing number of financial solutions are now available to the everyday person, making it possible for them to take an active role in their wealth. 

The growth in financial inclusion and money-oriented conversations can be attributed to the fintech revolution. Using social feature-equipped mobile apps like Mint, users can learn about budgeting, investment, and financial management strategies so that they can make informed decisions for themselves.

Set the stage for financial app growth with social features

Research shows that personalization—of which social features are a crucial part—can boost mobile sales engagement for financial services. You can equip your app for growth by using SDKs to integrate capabilities like chat and groups, enabling users to connect in a more personal manner. 

Whether you’re a brand new fintech app or an existing one undergoing a facelift, community integrations can give you a competitive edge. Here are a few things to do to transform your app into a social hub:

Make every user’s experience their own

Users expect to enjoy personalized experiences on the financial apps they frequent the most. Recognizing the individual makes them feel valued and cuts down on time navigating through offers and solutions that aren’t related to their needs. 

You can personalize the user experience in a myriad of ways, but remember to begin with the integration of social elements. 

Profile pages allow users to customize their own corner of your platform not only so they can showcase their personalities to other viewers, but also store their personal information. User profiles are a staple of financial applications because they help users view past transactions, locate card information, and find other pertinent details.

Feed & timeline features make it easy for users to view interesting content without having to sift through pages and pages of announcements and promotions they don’t find valuable. 

Push notifications help to keep users informed when there is an update on a relevant post, offer, or solution. They work in tandem with profile and feed features to prompt action and deepen engagement.

Deliver stellar customer support

In 2022 and beyond, financial brands need to be accessible to clients in more than one way. Email is no longer the default customer support contact method. Mobile app users, in particular, expect prompt—even immediate—solutions to their problems. 

Automated chatbots are used by a growing number of financial service companies to assist app users in a quick and easy way—and experts predict that successful banking-related bot interactions will surge upwards by 3,150% from 2019 to 2023! 

The majority of customer inquiries do not require complex solutions, and an AI chatbot ensures reliable, 24/7 assistance without overtaxing your support team.

While bots can resolve many customer service inquiries, there are times when the expertise of a live agent is required. That’s where one-to-one chat comes in. 

One-to-one chat connects customers to service providers in real-time. This private, time-based chat acts as a secure channel to discuss specific transactions, enrolments, and issues that cannot be resolved by a bot. At the conclusion of the interaction, the chat ends and the customer (hopefully) walks away with a positive opinion of their support experience. 

Enable peer-to-peer connection

Human connection is probably the most important component of a sticky mobile app environment, and that’s because people innately seek authentic engagement. When setting the stage for human connection, though, remember that having an audience is not the same as having a community. 

Social+ products don’t just involve passive consumption. To fuel growth with your app's features, give priority to peer-to-peer connection. 

Community groups are environments where your financial app users can tell their stories, ask for advice, and interact with others based on shared interests.

While your product remains the common ground that brings them all together, it may not be the main focus of the dialogue—and it doesn’t have to be. Organic relationships can be built even as your customers discuss their latest investments, ask for insurance provider feedback, and swap budget-saving tips.

User-to-user chats are perfect for community members who have formed deeper connections. These channels can be used in a myriad of ways, from private, one-on-one conversations to group chats used to split the bill. 

Facilitate financial learning

A major difference between the financial industry of today and that of years ago is that customers are more informed than ever. Every day, people consume content that helps them learn to manage their wealth using digital solutions—banking apps, fintech apps, investment apps, and much more. 

Transforming mobile finance apps into learning hubs is an investment that will pay off greatly in the long run. Aside from publishing articles and providing customer consultations, however, there’s one important content type you can’t forget: video.

Professionally broadcasted videos can be live-streamed to your audience to reveal new products and launch exclusive events. However, they can (and should) also be used for educating users. The financial landscape is always changing, and your audience needs to stay up to date. If your app becomes a primary source of information, they’ll become invested members of your community.

Full-length webinars will always have a place in finance apps, but we can’t deny that end-users love instant solutions. It’s worth complimenting longer streams with short-form content.

Short-form video is one of the best types of content you could produce today, thanks to its ability to yield high interaction and engagement rates. You can use it to deliver quick wealth management tips and tricks, fintech industry updates, promotions, and more. 

As one of the most sensational up-and-coming fintech apps in the United States, public.com is an excellent example of how educational content can become a core competitive advantage. Personalization takes it to the next level by delivering videos contextual to a user’s portfolio. 

How social features can increase your financial app growth

SDKs: Your quick and cost-effective solution to going social+

Whether you're building an app for credit unions, traditional banking, or micro-investment, your goal should be to become an end-to-end solution where users don’t have to leave as they grow in their wealth management journey.

But how can you integrate social+ capabilities without overtaxing your development team and spending tens of thousands of dollars on features that have already been built?

Our advice is to stop reinventing the wheel. Social integrations are expected of the vast majority of apps, and you don't have to develop from scratch to make them part of your digital offering.

Amity Social software development kits (SDKs) give you pre-built solutions that can be customized according to your needs. They allow you to save money and time that would otherwise be spent developing capabilities that aren't all that different when built from scratch.

Remember: the sooner you're able to offer social capabilities, the quicker you can begin giving your customers the ability to navigate the world of money with confidence.

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Immerse your users in a social mobile finance experience

Finance apps can draw user attention by marketing their product well and using game-like elements such as progress bars to appeal to consumers' desires to see measurable progress. But more importantly, fintech apps should integrate social capabilities that allow human relationships to be built and app engagement to grow organically.

Crafting an immersive experience with social capabilities goes a long way to improving engagement and retention. And when customer retention is prioritized during the onboarding process, new users are captivated from the get-go.

Your finance or banking app can make a positive impact on app users by going beyond general banking functions and pursuing genuine peer-to-peer connections. By making financial services a fun and social activity, you'll see user engagement soar!

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