Financial Apps Monetization Models

“We don’t make movies to make money, we make money to make more movies.” — Walt Disney

Building great products is fun! All too often, companies are founded by passionate product-oriented entrepreneurs who are focused on cool new technologies and features. The problem is — you can’t run a sustainable business if it doesn’t make a profit. Making revenue isn’t enough, unless you focus on growth rather than just profitability.

But in any case, with all that passion going into your app, there must be someone who sees the value in what you’re doing, whether that’s a customer who’s glad to pay you $5 for a monthly subscription, or a strategic investor, eagerly snapping up your multi-million user base for a couple of billions.

Either way, you must have a value proposition to have any hope of monetizing your work. Your value proposition says how you create value for potential customers. It’s what you can do for them, and what that’s worth, and to work it out you’ll need to ask yourself a few important questions:

  • “Do my customers have a wide variety of other options?”
  • “Is my product/service distinct from its competitors?”
  • “Is my product/service easily substitutable?”
  • “Is my product/service solving a unique problem for consumers?”

Answering them will help you to find your competitive advantage and prove to customers that your business can do something that others cannot. By solving a problem better, you create more value.

The money that a customer is willing to pay you for your product or service is the ultimate measure of its perceived value. The term used to describe how a customer rates the product or service’s ability to meet their needs and expectations is “perceived use value”. The monetary value is the price the customer is willing to pay for your product or service and the perceived use value is more to do with how they feel about it. If you’ve satisfied yourself that what you’re offering is appreciated in this way, then one of the next steps to take is selecting one of the many different revenue models that exist.

In this article, we cover typical monetization models for fintech apps and review the pros and cons of each.

Subscriptions

Subscription is another way of saying “rental.” You offer a product or service that customers pay for on an ongoing basis at regular intervals, often monthly or annually.

Good for: money management apps, insurance, etc. These are services that customers need at regular intervals so a payment model that encourages regular engagement makes good sense.

Examples:

  1. Revolut https://www.revolut.com/ is a UK online bank that has grown to 7 million customers. Its freemium model provides limited features on the free plan and more with the two paid ones, but all include access to 30 fiat currencies and 5 cryptos.
  2. XERO https://www.xero.com/ offers cloud-based accounting software for small and medium-sized businesses with starter, standard, and premium plans offering more features for each jump in price. There’s no free trial but some features are ‘free’ below a certain threshold at each price point.

Transaction Fees

This is one of the most direct and simple ways of generating revenue. Your company provides a product or service and customers pay for it.

Good for: crypto, lending, investments platforms, payments and money transfers, crowdfunding, etc.

Examples:

1) Investment brokers charge a commission on each trade, and a fee for services such as withdrawals, spreads, leverage, and overnights.

Ellevest https://www.ellevest.com/. An investment platform for women that charges an annual fee of 0.25% of the total amount that customers invest and 0.5% after $50k.

Wealthsimple https://www.wealthsimple.com/. 3 tiers of investment with 0.7% per year charged on the basic one up to $100k, then falling to 0.5% above that and no fee above $500k.

Betterment https://www.betterment.com/ charges a 0.25% annual fee for investment saving.

2) Money transfer apps like Transferwise https://transferwise.com/, which charges a flat fee for money transfers and also a percentage on top which varies between currencies.

Affiliate Marketing and Lead Generation

One of the oldest forms of monetization. Affiliate marketing involves posting ads and selling your users’ attention to other companies. If one of your users clicks the link and buys their product or service, you receive a percentage. The lead generation model involves the platform owner selling warm leads to a service provider, who will use them for things like reward programs and e-newsletter list acquisition.

Good for: comparison websites, credit, and insurance brokers, etc. These kinds of sites are almost like supermarkets for financial products where ‘shoppers’ can quickly find the best deal based on their details.

Example:

Mojo https://mojomortgages.com/ is a mortgage platform that matches first-time buyers, those moving home and those remortgaging with lenders. It’s a free service for the borrower and Mojo makes its money by charging a fee to the lender.

API

APIs not only allow data to flow more securely, they also offer opportunities for companies to build products through partnerships. If Fintech A has built a pretty cool feature then that’s an asset that they can now sell to Fintech B in the form of an API.

Good for: financial software developers, technology providers who benefit from a bolt-on solution that they pay for through transaction fees.

Example:

https://stripe.com/gb/pricing—charges the seller a fixed fee for API call and a percentage of the transacted amount.

Your takeaways

This has just been a brief overview of several proven monetization strategies, and we hope it’s opened your eyes to the possibilities. But you may be wondering which approach is going to be best suited to your unique circumstances? We’d advise a no-obligation chat to discuss your needs. For cutting edge UX/UI and app design, you’ll be glad you booked a call with Strebkov Design at https://calendly.com/strebkovdesign/introcall.

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Strebkov Design

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