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3 lessons from working with unicorns

What brings together Scalable Capital, Yapeal, Viva Wallet, and Qonto? They are among the fastest growing scaleups in Europe! But not only that: all of them are laser focused on what enables them to scale fast: a fantastic user experience.

All fintech unicorns have something in common, and require their vendors to not only provide an outstanding service, but also to allow them to focus on their core business. In order to do so, and especially for critical services like user authentication, they focus on three aspects: security, usability, and speed of execution.

Speed of execution

Let’s start with a key ingredient needed in every successful startup: speed. Speed is a paramount requirement to bring new and innovative solutions to the market. Speed is also about how quickly a company can iterate on its product, especially in competitive markets like financial services. When choosing a vendor it all starts with the initial interactions: direct access to decision-makers enables for a swift contract execution and in turn access to test and live environments to be able to design, develop and deploy new solutions as quickly as possible.

All the touchpoints need to follow the same principle: simplicity. In this way a company like Viva Wallet is able to integrate modern APIs (and in turn leverage their flexibility), without any hidden costs, but rather a well defined per-active-user pricing that does not break the bank irrespective of the scaling potential. Similarly, a cloud deployment proves to be the easiest way to start working on integration right away: well defined API interfaces, as well as a comprehensive Administrative Dashboard, allow for a go-to-market of the new solution in a matter of months.

Usability

The second pillar of every successful startup is usability. Very often optimizing the user experience is the key differentiator between success and failure. Users have been spoiled by the largest tech companies, like Apple and Netflix and they want “everything now”. Usability is not only about the core product of successful startups, but starts from the gateway to their products: user onboarding, and subsequent authentications. This rings true especially in the financial industry, where MFA and transaction confirmations are a mandatory requirement to satisfy stringent regulations.

Modern and flexible APIs and integration points, such as mobile SDKs, enable unrivalled user experience for every touch point a company has with its customers. This enables Qonto, for instance, to achieve a whooping 98% successful enrollment rate when onboarding their customers: a new industry record!

Usability is not only about the “happy cases”. Corner cases, such as when a user changes their mobile devices — either because the old one is broken, or simply because they want the latest gadgets on the market — need to be carefully thought through. This is when incumbents typically show their worst face, with cumbersome, lengthy and complex processes. Solutions like automatic account migration, which enables users to simply restore all their secure accounts in less than 6 seconds, are what companies particularly look for when integrating an authentication provider.

Security

At last, security: fintechs face exactly the same threats as traditional banks, and of course fall within the same regulatory frameworks. For instance, in Europe, every transaction above 30 Euros has to be securely authenticated by the user, as part of the PSD2/SCA regulation.

In order to achieve the highest security standards, all companies are now looking to replace outdated, insecure, and unreliable SMS-based solutions. As they look at app-based technologies, they require a solution that remains GDPR-compliant, offers the highest level of security, while at the same time not compromising on usability and user privacy.

Privacy and compliance are achieved when the authentication and transaction confirmation solutions sit on top of the customers' identities. This in turns automatically minimizes the required data shared between the fintech and the authentication provider. Not only that, but thanks to regular pentest reports shared with its customers, modern cybersecurity vendors offer the utmost transparency and security proofs.

Conclusion

Unicorns are probably the most demanding customers. They can’t afford to be slowed down by outdated, inflexible technologies that hinder their usability. That’s why they choose a security vendor, for its customer-facing touchpoints which is:

  • built with users experience and privacy in mind
  • designed for speed to market
  • offering cloud native and forward-thinking technology

To learn more about the complete Futurae offering, as well as how your company can benefit from its products and services, we look forward to hearing from you at sales@futurae.com.

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