Last week was an exciting one – heading to London to talk about all things fintech and where we’re headed in a new decade. The UK Fintech Week was in full swing, and the Innovate Finance Global Summit at Guildhall showcased the best this industry has to offer.
The session I spoke in, held by the Department of International Trade (DIT), focused on international growth, and how leveraging partnerships is really valuable for that.
The concept of partnerships has changed a lot over the five to ten years. It has moved from trying to be the one provider to a client – doing everything and being a jack of all trades – to clients realising that no one provider can actually really do that.
A greater emphasis on synergies has emerged among the market leaders. Businesses now are investing far more into wider partnerships, beyond product capability and actually with a greater focus on brand awareness and market entry.
Partnerships require trust
With every partnership, you want to be introducing your clients to a company you would trust as much as your own. It’s crucial to ensure that their experience is as great with your partner as it is for you. It’s no use selecting a cutting-edge technology solution to work alongside you if their customer experience is awful.
Firms need to pick the right partner – one that aligns with both technology and on values. This also means trying not to focus on picking the biggest names. Disruptors and start-ups can also be a fantastic option – they are easy to contact, dedicated, and reactive.
Partnerships should be just that – partnerships. Our panel asked what would be a “red flag” when looking for new partners in the market. A major problem occurs when a partner begins to treat you like a client, or when suddenly you find yourself paying the same fees a customer would. True partnerships work both ways.
One thing which was great to see at IFGS and Fintech Week, in general, was the representation of Latin American businesses. For Pismo, this was exciting since as a Brazilian company we successfully expanded into Europe and South-East Asia. It’s always good to see others succeeding.
Breaking into new markets
Something I learned from the panel and the show was that when businesses are looking to break into new markets there are a few unknowns, especially when it comes to business culture.
A lot of the discussion at the event revolved around approaching these boundaries in a proactive way. Recognising the needs of different peoples and cultures, and drilling that down to even the way you communicate and approach meetings.
Another major takeaway is one that can’t be stressed enough: partnerships are driven by people. We all want to work with people we get on with. As black and white as it sounds, this is the crux of building relationships. Get to know your clients, and showcase your passion for your company in a way that gets them on board.