Collaborating with fintechs is often a challenge because the opportunities are far greater than the capacity to deliver them to the clients. Therefore, corporates need to find structured ways to welcome fintech opportunities.
According to the Portugal Fintech Report 2022, 40% of surveyed Portuguese fintechs identified C-Level Direct Contact as their primary means of engaging with established institutions, while 20% mentioned Ecosystem Partners like Portugal Fintech. The former is desirable but not always easy to achieve. Navigating an organization's pathways can feel like a maze, with fintechs approaching various departments and contacts in search of the right decision-maker. Among these entry points, setting up an accessible application form on the company's website stands out as an efficient strategy for attracting the right fintech partners and connecting with the appropriate stakeholders.
This article will explore six key factors that contribute to the success of a fintech collaboration application form, one that attracts mature fintechs and ensures a correct evaluation of the partnership potential. In the end of the article, there is a template for a customizable application form that can be easily shared through the organization's channels, streamlining fintech collaboration.
1. Keep it Short and to the point
A concise application form has several advantages. On the corporate’s side it allows the owner of the form to swiftly review and assess applications, expediting the decision-making process and compels the corporate to concentrate on critical details, enhancing the evaluation process. On the fintech’s side it reduces frustration and minimizes drop-offs.
Avoid overwhelming fintechs with information unrelated to the evaluation criteria and make it very business oriented. This includes jokes and emojis that drift apart the sole purpose of the application form.
2. Manage Expectations
Effective expectation management prevents fintechs from developing unrealistic assumptions about corporate demands and effort required. To guarantee and appropriate expectation management the application form should include:
Feedback Period: Specify the expected time frame for providing feedback to fintech applicants.
Next Steps: Outline the subsequent stages of the collaboration process - such as meeting with business teams, secondary assessments, or information requests.
Realistic Outlook: Establish realistic timings to provide feedback to the applications. Between 1 to 3 weeks would be the most appropriate waiting time.
3. Validate Traction and Market Context
Requiring information about local clients is crucial as it serves as one of the most relevant signals of potential to collaborate as it translates a familiarity with local regulations, compliance requirements and knowledge of local business practices. On the other hand, it also translates knowledge of market trends and consumer behaviors, facilitating solution development tailored to local preferences.
Examples of questions to evaluate local market knowledge can be seen below:
Do you have any clients in the country? Who are they?
Do you have a local team representing the company in the country?
Furthermore, gaining insights into the fintech's overall market traction ensures a thorough assessment of its maturity level. This involves understanding what sets it apart from competitors, how its business model works, and looking at clear indicators of its performance. Some example questions to gauge market traction are:
Who are the fintechs’ competitors and how does it differ from them.
What is the fintech’s business model.
Present objective indicators of the current state of the fintech’s business (current clients, revenue last year, paying clients, number of employees).
4. Provide contextual information of challenges
Offering insights into the organization's challenges or the types of solutions sought allows fintech companies to customize their approach and applications to address the specific pain points. This, in turn, streamlines the screening process for the innovation team. Furthermore, disclosing any non-negotiable requirements or criteria that fintechs must meet in the collaboration process immediately filters out ineligible fintech candidates.
5. Focus on Viability of Collaboration
Emphasizing the importance of collaboration feasibility allows for a thorough evaluation of the subsequent steps in the collaboration process and the required effort to get it underway. Consequently, by assessing the resources dedicated to testing a solution via the application form, it becomes possible to validate its value proposition, business model, and market traction, making it a valuable reference point for comparison with other players.
Questions that evaluate the readiness to test a specific use case are:
What approach do you present to validate the fit of the solution (Proof of concept, proof of value, MVP, demo, etc.)? please be practical and objective.
What resources are typically required from the corporate side for the proposed approach? Please quantify, if possible, the number of weeks and teams involved.
How does your solution tackle the organization’s proposed challenges.
What can your solution do for the organization.
6. Accountability as the key to success
A meticulously crafted collaboration application form serves little purpose if there aren't roles assigned to guarantee that the applications are evaluated, and introductions to relevant teams facilitated. For this reason, it is crucial that the person responsible for the application form, besides being known inside the organization, is mentioned in the form as responsible for addressing collaboration inquiries. Consequently, fintechs can reach out with any questions, fostering a transparent and accessible collaboration process.
In conclusion, a well-designed fintech collaboration application form serves as the foundation for successful fintech scouting. By incorporating these seven factors, organizations can enhance their ability to identify fintechs that match their needs and establish collaborations that drive growth.
Fintech Solutions is committed to supporting and accelerating collaborations between mature players and fintechs. For this reason, an application form template is available to be used by organizations who want to create direct bridges with the fintech ecosystem.
The template can be checked out here. Duplicate it, make the necessary adjustments to fit your specific programs and share it with the ecosystem.
Connect with the team to explore can how your organization leverage the potential of collaborating with fintechs.