3 Tips for Landing Big Clients in Fintech
Got an idea for a fintech application? Join the crowd. As consumers increasingly expect everything to be digital—banking and financial management included—the field of companies creating new fintech products is ballooning rapidly.
But Minneapolis-based startup ClickSWITCH found a way to stand out from the crowd in 2014. It developed a simplified process for switching financial institutions by easily moving over automated payments and direct deposits, and it began selling the product to other fintechs and financial institutions—a feat that helped the company land a partnership with T-Mobile in April.
But the secret to success goes beyond the product, ClickSWITCH CEO Cale Johnston says. Here, he shares ClickSWITCH’s top tips for landing big clients in an overcrowded industry (edited for length and clarity):
- Have a simple business model.
“Your business model should be simple so that large banks can easily identify who you are, what you do, and how you’re different. All of our deals at ClickSWITCH begin with an introduction call where we provide a company overview and a product demo. Once the demo starts, a lot of questions start to flow from prospects, and they are able to make a quick decision about if they’d like to move forward.”
- Expect a long closing cycle when dealing with big banks.
“From initial demo to deal closed, the closing process typically takes about six to 12 months when working with banks with assets over $20 billion. (To put that into perspective, a community bank usually takes one to three months for the entire closing process.) So it’s important to enjoy the process. We always meet with a number of different departments and help each strategize the ideal rollout plan of our product to their consumers. Plus, each financial institution has a different strategy for how they want to utilize a product. It’s been critically important for ClickSWITCH to be technically equipped to handle the different rollout strategy each client envisions.”
- It takes all of your resources to close a big bank.
“Deals with community banks and credit unions typically have a single sales representative who oversees the closing process from start to finish. When working with a big bank, though, it will take your entire team. From the moment a big bank says it wants to move forward, it becomes all hands on deck. At ClickSWITCH, we pull in our CFO for pricing, our compliance officer for diligence requirements, developers for custom features, as well as software architects, project managers, account managers, and more. It takes the team.”