Whether it’s a crazy hat, red lipstick, or electric blue hair dye, our physical appearance has a big impact on how much attention we get. Believe it or not, the same is said for brands.
A strong identity makes you memorable, helps you stand out, and shapes your perception. 55% of customers’ first impressions are based on your visual aspects. So, for fintech companies trying to make noise in a booming market, this is crucial.
We know it’s easier said than done, especially for startups beginning the process from scratch. This is why you might need a design agency to put you on the path leading to success and sustainability.
To help you decide if a second opinion is what your brand needs, let’s explore what they do, how you’ll benefit, and how to choose your perfect match.
What is a fintech design agency?
Generally speaking, a design agency is a specialist development company clients hire when they need help forming their brand identity.
There are many reasons why a business chooses to partner up. Some have a change of heart and want a rebrand. Others know something isn’t working and require an outside perspective to facilitate growth. There are also startups like yours who can use agencies to cement their place in the market.
You’ll collaborate with them and decide how your business will feel, sound, and look. Then, their job is to weave some magic and make it happen. But unlike wizards and warlocks, a full-service agency will do this by offering a range of solutions in different areas.
A fintech design agency works like any other, except the team will have relevant expertise and experience with financial services and products. They won’t just create assets, they’ll make sure they meet regulations and overcome unique challenges.
How does a design agency work?
Every design agency will have a unique process they know works. While you can’t expect the same from each one, below is an overview of how they’ll work with your brand.
- Arrange a consultation: Any good agency will know the importance of developing a relationship with their client. They’ll begin your partnership by seeing if you’re a good fit by learning more about your vision, challenges, and values.
- Conduct market research: By finding out everything they can about your target audience, competition, opportunities, and threats, a design agency can make decisions based on your specific situation.
- Develop brand guidelines: It can be difficult to keep your brand’s fonts, logo, messaging, and personality all on the same page. A design agency will develop clear and concise guidelines that are easy to adopt to keep them on-brand. This will also give you a competitive advantage, considering only 25% of companies stick to theirs.
- Make a plan: Here your new hires will brainstorm ideas, come up with timelines, and define the overall strategy they’ve chosen. They’ll also come up with metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) to track success.
- Produce the assets: This is where everything becomes real. You’ll start to receive prototypes and final designs ready to be launched. The design agency will also conduct user and A/B testing to make sure everything is effective.
- Help with the launch: Your strategists will carefully choose content marketing and promotion strategies to ensure the messaging aligns with the perception they’ve created. After this, they will update the assets as your business grows.
Why choose a fintech design agency instead?
With roots in the late 20th century, fintech has changed a lot. The evolving and dynamic industry has benefitted from advancements like blockchain technology, cloud computing, and artificial intelligence (AI).
While this is exciting, it also means it’s gotten more complicated. So, the last thing you need is an agency that approaches it like any other field. If you want your business to thrive, you need a tailored team that understands fintech like the back of their hands.
To put this into perspective, let’s look at the responsibilities of a fintech design agency and what else they have to do to align your brand with its fascinating industry.
As we talked about earlier, there are many fintech startups out there vying for a share in the market. In May 2023, there were around 11,600 in the USA, making it the region with the highest concentration in the world. Therefore, to draw attention to your product, you’ll need some extra help.
Fintech design agencies know what you’re up against. They keep up with the market, they know which products are successful, and maybe they’ve worked with your competition too. These advantages will significantly impact the viability of your product.
- Providing SaaS integrations and advanced technologies to improve the capabilities of your digital products.
- Brainstorming creative and innovative ideas you hadn’t previously considered.
- Conducting competitor and user research to identify customer pain points and any gaps in the market that haven’t been filled yet.
- Using their extensive branding experience to create cohesiveness between your product and identity, making it more memorable.
User experience (UX) design
UX refers to the way you provide an emotional and practical experience to your customer. The goal is to give your audience a positive encounter with your product, app, or website.
Developing a seamless UX design is especially important for fintech digital experiences because the user journey is often longer. This is due to factors like complicated products and the process of making financial decisions.
Since fintech companies handle money, there is also a need for additional security measures, like identity verification, strong passwords, and two-factor authentication.
CAPTCHA tests are another barrier some websites use, which are sometimes so confusing that they’re more of a challenge for humans than robots.
Customers need to be guided through these steps in a way carefully to avoid frustration and churn. Luckily for you, that’s what a fintech design agency is trained for.
Here are the ways they can make the process as smooth as possible:
- Conducting user research to find out what your target audience actually wants.
- Using prototypes to help your team understand the design better and provide better customer support when it’s needed.
- Designing interactive and user-friendly onboarding assets like videos and games.
- Crafting simple but compelling call-to-actions.
User interface (UI) design
UX and UI design are often confused for the same thing. However, they are different tactics that every business needs to implement.
UI focuses on the visual aspects of an interface, making it aesthetically pleasing for a better customer experience. Beyond this, it also determines how your user interacts with your mobile app or website, meaning the design has to be accessible as well.
Accessibility is a huge part of fintech products because of the broad and diverse audience they need to appeal to. Financial institutions should be available to everyone who needs them, which should be reflected in your design.
Fintech design agencies can rise to this challenge and enable a user-centric design from the very beginning by providing resources and education.
Below is a sample of tasks they’ll undertake to ensure your brand is visibly inclusive:
- Incorporating features into your web design, including large text, text-to-speech software, and braille displays.
- Enhancing your mobile app design by adding font size settings, customizable color themes, and high contrast mode.
- Reduce the page loading times for effortless usability and functionality.
- Making accessibility checklists for your team, like the one below, so that even when your partnership ends, you can keep up your efforts.
There’s a reason why things like security features and accessibility efforts are paramount to success. They foster trust between a company and its customers.
Fintech companies have many different areas of interest, including mobile banking, wealth management, healthcare, and cryptocurrency. All of these have something in common: their dependence on people’s sensitive documents. This typically includes location data, financial data, and credit information.
This means you need to spend time building up dependability, trustworthiness, and professionalism. A fintech design agency has the skills to portray these traits in the marketing materials they create for your brand.
Let’s look at examples of what they might do:
- Creating content like case studies and articles to improve your company’s reputation
- Investing in influencer marketing because 61% of consumers trust their recommendations
- Building a presence on social media where your brand can become more personable and friendly
- Using search engine optimization (SEO) to boost your rankings on the search engine results pages (SERPs), which will present you as a trusted site
What to think about before hiring a fintech design agency
We don’t blame you if you’re ready to start seeking out the fintech design agency of your dreams. But hold your horses. There’s a lot to do about before you even set up a first consultation, such as:
- Conducting plenty of research: Don’t just believe a review or a friend’s recommendation. Only you know what’s right for your business, so shop around until you feel confident. Just like your customers need to trust you, you need to trust the team.
- Documenting everything: You shouldn’t have a digital strategy and branding framework ready for an agency, their job is to help build these. However, your business goals, legal documents, and existing assets help them gain a deeper insight.
- Having a communication plan ready: As a startup, you might want to have more control over what happens. Make sure you define this with your chosen agency before you get started to avoid conflict.
- Considering the cultural fit: A design agency that shares your values will lead to a more harmonious relationship and a better overall outcome. It’ll also make it easier for other teams, like sales and public relations, to collaborate with them effectively.
- Being mindful of your budget: A good hire won’t pressure you to spend more than you have. But you also have to make sure you don’t stretch yourself too thin in the excitement as well. Running out of cash is the reason why 29% of startups fail.
Made your decision?
A design agency is a valuable asset to any team. You’ll get your hands on a talented ecosystem of professionals, creatives, and experts with one focused goalto help your business stand its ground in the competitive world of the fintech industry.
We can’t tell you that a design agency is the right decision for your needs. However, now you have all the knowledge and resources to make up your own mind. So, go on, take the leap, and see what this partnership could do for you.