Every quarter for the past five years, we’ve consistently seen one familiar fintech startup after another echoing the same promise: to revolutionize financial management by putting consumer’s money on autopilot.
These ‘unique’ solutions seem to present themselves with a variety of buzzword nonsense (‘financial health’ or ‘AI financial advisor’ or ‘budgeting tool’ to name a few), each working on the same surface-level problems:
- Streamlining financial oversight by consolidating all accounts and transactions into a single interface.
- Enhancing financial decision-making with user-friendly dashboards that visualize trends and insights.
- Helping users achieve financial goals, whether saving for investment, reducing spending, or repaying debt, by establishing and tracking these objectives.
- Automating financial management, allowing users to set their finances on autopilot for more efficient handling.
Despite the allure of these automated, all-in-one platforms that promise to offer insights and improve financial literacy, the fintech landscape continues to be flooded with startups attempting to repackage this concept annually.
The repeated emergence of these startups suggests that previous iterations haven't fully hit the mark, hinting at deeper, unaddressed challenges. It's not just about introducing another tool; it's crucial to understand and solve the problems hindering consumers' financial well-being.
The fintech industry is caught in a cycle of recycling ideas, with entrepreneurs attempting to build similar products year after year. However, this doesn't necessarily mean the product ideas are flawed. There is a clear demand for a consumer-facing product that changes day-to-day lives, not just becoming an extension of something that already exists or is easily replicated.
To create this breakthrough product, it's crucial to truly understand consumer frustration and comprehend why other attempts fell short. With more consumers living paycheck to paycheck at an all-time high and the dollar not having the same power it did pre-pandemic, it’s difficult to avoid building businesses around what’s trending. The fact of the matter is that building around trends is exactly how you guarantee failure.
What we’re failing to recognize is how massively important payments are. With the explosion of buy now pay later (BNPL) a few years ago, it’s fair to say consumers are demanding alternative forms of financing at checkout. The BNPL market has grown year over year since its inception, even though BNPL delinquencies continue to rise and consumer budgets continue to tighten.
BNPL helped fuel record holiday spending online, surging 14% year over year, but now that those bills are coming due, consumers aren’t sure how they’ll pay them1. This is why we started Kasheesh: the only US app that allows consumers to split any online payment across multiple debit and credit cards. Whether we want to blame the lack of financial literacy or managing streaming service subscriptions, the REAL issue goes far beyond that. Consumers simply don’t have the spending power they once did.
To succeed in the overwhelmingly saturated fintech market, you need to build a business that gives consumers that power back. From there, you can build out all the other functionalities of a “one size fits all” financial app. Build something unique, make the experience unlike any other, and focus on solving revolutionary problems.
Stay tuned for more innovation, and make sure to follow our journey!