This week saw the release of a new Digital Innovators Power List.

The list comprises companies leading the way in digital disruption, and we ask: what can marketers in financial services learn from the digital innovators?

Who are the digital innovators?

The power list comprises 50 firms, and has been compiled by City A.M. and international law firm Bird & Bird, supported by communications agency Hotwire, UK technology trade association techUK, the CBI and online investment platform Crowdcube.

The businesses are identified as either “life changers” or “market transformers”.

The plan is for the top 50 to be whittled down over the course of a year until an overall winner is identified for each of the “life changer” and “market transformer” categories.

Four criteria for innovation

Firms on the list needed to:

  • Have ‘captivating stories of innovation’
  • Be at growth stage and have secured institutional funding
  • Have international reach
  • Be creating a buzz in the media

Lessons for financial services disruption

Several of the businesses on the list operate in the financial services sector. From GoHenry, an app that enables parents to provide pocket money via a pre-paid card, to Revolut, an online challenger bank – financial services are far from absent from the list.

But if you want to disrupt the status quo in banking or financial services there’s one thing you can’t overlook – regulatory compliance.

Innovation in this sector isn’t straightforward. The need to comply with Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) requirements on operations and financial promotions can make it trickier to get products to market quickly, or promote them in all the ways you’d like.

But does that mean that innovation and compliance are mutually exclusive?

Far from it!

Innovation and compliance in perfect harmony

So, if you want to disrupt your sector – or simply be a bit more leading-edge when it comes to the way you compete – read on for our tips.

The financial services sector certainly isn’t a stranger to innovation. In recent years, the FCA has been positively promoting the benefits of digital and other new approaches.

In 2016, the regulator launched a new Advice Unit to provide firms with regulatory feedback on new automated models, as well as creating a New Bank Start Up Unit, designed to help new banks to enter the market.

And in November last year, the list of firms approved for the FCA’s regulatory sandbox was released.

The first round of companies to use the new innovation ‘safe space’ includes established household names alongside start-ups and joint ventures – as we explore in our blog explaining why you don’t have to be a start-up to be a disruptor.

Existing firms are feeling the pressure, though. With new competitors increasingly driving choice and innovation, you need to stay on the front foot.

How to innovate in a compliant way

If you want to meet FCA requirements while competing with your most disruptive competitors, you need to:

  • Understand the regulations around financial promotions

Make sure you know what’s needed so you can write compliance-ready content for financial promotions first time. Do this and you can get new products and services to market quicker.

  • Work closely with your Compliance team

Build a close relationship with your Compliance colleagues and your approaches, FPs and client communications will meet regulatory requirements. Read more tips for a great relationship between Compliance and Marketing.

  • Keep an eye on upcoming regulatory changes

The rules are constantly changing, moving the compliance goal posts. For instance, do you know how the new MifID II regulation will expand the definition of financial promotions – and how your marketing communications need to change as a result?

  • Make use of tools that can help you

There’s little glory in being the second person to introduce a new service or product. Getting your solutions to market quickly is vital.

Automating some of your marketing and compliance processes can help you to do this, while avoiding regulatory breaches. Find out more about why financial services firms are increasingly adopting marketing automation tools by contacting us.

There’s no doubt that disruption in the UK banking sector is here to stay. For Marketing teams, this is just one of the changes you face.

Read more about the evolving challenges of your role (and what you need to do to tackle them) in Perivan Technology’s whitepaper, The changing role of the financial services Marketing Manager. It’s free, and you can download a copy here.

Source: Perivan Technology

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