How online finance companies can use technology to differentiate themselves

How can you use modern technology to make an impact? We take a look at some modern ways.

In the competitive and saturated world of online finance, business owners and entrepreneurs are looking for ways to stand out from the crowd and gain market share. But when you are all vying for the same customers, how can you use modern technology to make an impact? We take a look at some modern ways that online finance brands can differentiate themselves.


We are all used to the chat boxes that pop up when we are on a website, asking if we have any questions. For some support and customer service businesses like GoDaddy and 123 Reg, this is absolutely crucial. But for some consumers, these pesky pop-ups are getting tired and annoying.

Using AI, there are new apps such as MEOKAY that use previous data to answer questions automatically and remove the need for your customer service team to answer.

There is also Botsify which takes the conversation into a Facebook chat or whatsapp chat to make the experience more personal and keep the engagement going. Plus, it can be handled by their in-house team as part of a subscription service.

Machine learning

Another way to beat the competition is to use machine learning techniques that can give you better insight and understanding into your customers behaviour and want they want. It can help you to steer customers in the right direction by having an offer pop up on screen, or suggest an appropriate alternative if the designated machine learning algorithm suggest that the customer may be navigating from your website.

In the simplest form, Amazon have been said to do this by ‘suggesting products that you may like’ and ‘people that viewed this, also viewed.’ With some financial products being so specific such as business insurance and property loans, the ability to help people find their search quicker and learn from how others interact is something that will set companies apart.

Give answers instantly

In an era of instant gratification, people are less willing than ever to wait days, even just a few hours, for a quote from a finance company about a loan, or credit card application, which means you could lose business.

Make your company more attractive to customers by giving them the option of being able to type their car registration number or postcode for example and enabling to receive an instantaneous quote based on these details for car insurance, or a valuation. This is something which has slowly been adopted by the likes of We Buy Any Car and home insurance providers – and is using big data to achieve this.

Offering real-time results

Presented by Wonga in the early days, applicants could see how long their funds could be in their account before even applying e.g “Funds can be in your account by 14:31pm today.”

There are other industries and products where this might apply, such as insurance products and how long it can take to get a quote or for your insurance policy to be approved. Provided that you have sufficient data to back it up, it is certainly something that can increase conversion.

Listing competitor prices

If you are looking for other alternatives to stand out from other online finance companies, it could be worth listing competitors prices on your website, so customers can see that you provide the best rates that are available on the market, and so do not need to go to the effort themselves of comparing your website with other businesses. Especially if you are a specific comparison website for things like personal loans, credit cards and payday loans, making this information clear and transparent is crucial, but not every company does it effectively.

However, you need to do this ethically by keeping in line with the Financial Conduct Authority’s regulations and meeting their standards. For example, information provided on financial products should be accurate and any comparisons with other companies product should not be misleading. For example, you are not enabling a customer to make an informed decision if you are suggesting that your product is cheaper than an apparently the exact same product offered by someone else, by not explaining additional information such as the credit criteria, differentiating excess levels or the amount of cover provided.

Transact in Bitcoin

To really stand out from the crowd, you can look at operating in cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, both providing funds in this form and accepting payment. Since it is an unregulated industry, it may require some compliance work to be integrated into a regulated environment of loans and insurance. Whilst now this might seem like a huge way to differentiate yourself, if the ethereums and ripples of the world continue to gather momentum, it may be something that you eventually have to offer.

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