3 lessons from the leading FinTechs: How to embed scale into your business?

Good businesses scale by growing operational capacity and employing marketing tactics, but great businesses embed scale as part of their business model. Platforms are a great example of this, where network effects kick in once you have gained a critical mass of users, and your users become your greatest assets and self-appointed marketers. But what if you are not a platform business?

Below I will outline some nifty ways used by the stars of the Fintech community (platforms or not) to help them scale their ventures:

Beyond the launch idea

After launching an initial idea, many scale ups struggle to come up with the next big idea to keep the company growing. Monzo provides online-only current account services, with over 400,000 customers since its launch in 2015. They got there by keeping ideas fresh and allowing users to contribute and vote for these on their Extraordinary Ideas Trello board. The tactic helps Monzo to deepen engagement with their user community while prioritising new developments and adapting to the needs of the early majority.

Beyond friends and family, and the geeks

What happens after you’ve captured the early adopters? TransferWise, a popular money transfer & currency exchange platform that matches peers requiring currency exchange in the opposite direction, decided to capitalise on what they do best and reach beyond their B2C business. By providing a payment APIs for businesses looking for the service, Payouts, TransferWise managed to effectively lock in B2B clients and leveraging their channels to gain visibility.

Existing operations with inbuilt scale

If you launch a venture it is likely that the initial operations will be designed to accommodate only small groups of users, and scaling later on will start hitting the bottom line pretty hard. Compte Nickel, the first online only debit card company in France, had an unusual approach from the start helping them to secure over 800,000 customers since their birth in 2012. The company formed strategic partnerships with over 2900 corner shops (buralistes), so that anyone with an ID and a mobile phone could get a debit card within 5 minutes, allowing Compte Nickel to turbocharge their national expansion.

By designing business models that leverage customer and supplier engagement, companies can drive scale beyond traditional marketing and overcome operational, user acquisition and innovation challenges.