How localization drives growth for fintech firms

In the heavily customer-focused world of fintech, localization is a fundamental component of most company strategies. In fact, 80% of the top fintech iOS apps in the US are available in multiple languages. 

In this new edition of our Growth Heroes series, we dive into the fintech market. We’ll look at some of the unique localization challenges this industry faces, and talk about why leading fintech firms are investing in localization management.

Our Growth Heroes series highlights fast-growing companies with big ambitions. These companies have all discovered the power of localization in expanding their customer bases across language barriers. 

We recently spoke with these four top fintech companies:

  • Revolut: The financial management app that has quickly become a household name around the world.
  • GoCrypto: The world’s fastest-growing cryptocurrency payment network.
  • TransferGo: The international bank transfer service that lets you send money anywhere.
  • Pleo: The business accounting app that gives companies full control over their spending.

Below, we share their insights and experiences in localizing their apps to cater to their international, multilingual customer bases.

Putting customer experience first

The skyrocketing success of fintech in recent years is based on a simple idea: giving customers an alternative to the impersonal, slow-moving, non-transparent customer experience that traditional financial institutions offer.

This idea has led many entrepreneurs to come up with smart, convenient, tech-driven financial solutions that fully cater to their customers’ needs. And that means offering a positive, personalized customer experience, every step of the way.

We’re ambitious in what we want to offer to each market, in terms of a localized experience. When they use the Pleo app, when they read a blog post, when they download our latest ebook – we want to offer ‘more than expected’, which is the meaning of Pleo in Ancient Greek… or so the story goes!

Neil Brennan, Content Lead at Pleo

To make this happen, each interaction the customer has with the company and its products must be designed for an optimal experience. The Revolut personal finance app, for example, incorporates user-friendly design elements, such as a sign-up video that is presented like an Instagram story, with a clear progress bar at the top, and a highly intuitive account set-up process.

Revolut also uses gamification techniques like status bars to help users reach their financial goals. Even the Revolut credit card is delivered in a specially designed package to give customers an exciting unboxing moment that is much different from the standard, impersonal letters sent by conventional banks. 

With its customer-centered approach, Revolut has already won the trust of 12 million customers, a number which is growing by the hour.

Building trust and maintaining a consistent voice across different markets

Naturally, speaking the customer’s native language is vital to the customer-centric strategy for fintech firms. This starts with offering apps, online content, and all other communications in multiple languages. 

Yet translation is only the first step. Because of the considerable cultural differences related to personal finance—not to mention regulatory and legal contrasts from one country to the next— it is also crucial to fully localize content to each different target audience.

“There’s absolutely no reason why something written with a British business audience in mind would also appeal to a German business audience. A CFO in Spain will be similar to a CFO in Denmark of course, in terms of their skills and priorities, but not quite identical,” says Neil Brennan.

When it comes to localization, fintech companies have developed their own processes to match their customers’ needs. Neil describes his company’s process: 

“Our marketing managers look at the blogs, ebooks, newsletters, or website projects that the content team produces in English and make a call about what they need for their market. We have Notion boards that offer a good roadmap of the content and assets currently in the works, although in a fast-paced scale-up, there are always a few surprise projects that crop up. We empower and encourage our local teams (marketing managers and local content producers) to adapt our English language content in the way they see fit.”

Picking the right tools to match your ambitions and scale with you

Managing these localization activities requires a streamlined workflow that keeps everyone on the same page. This is why fast-growing fintech companies like Revolut, Pleo, TransferGo, and GoCrypto now rely on Lokalise to coordinate their localization activities.

We needed a tool that gave us the best chance to make an impact in those non-English markets, but in a way that was built around collaboration.

Neil Brennan, Content Lead at Pleo

Lokalise offers a fully scalable solution, with the flexibility to keep pace with its fast-growing partners. Since switching to Lokalise, Revolut has already added 30 new languages and continues to expand. 

“With Lokalise, we could upload all our files, upload the images, and quickly check and fix everything. We could also quickly write scripts so that our developers could easily upload and download the latest files without even having to necessarily log in to the tool,” says Edward Cooper, Head of Mobile at Revolut.

“Lokalise has a great UI, and its image recognition on screenshots is really top notch,” Edward adds. “The fact that it has great API documentation and allows us to scale from a small startup to a larger startup — those were the key things for us.”

Another fast-growing fintech firm, GoCrypto has experienced 260% in new locations in the past 6 months. “Without a tool like Lokalise, we would’ve gone mad,” says Chief Creative Officer, Aleš Ruter. “Lokalise allows you to upload wireframes and pictures. That was a big factor because the translator needs to see what the translation of an individual screen is all about. You simply have to see it. We would recommend Lokalise to anyone who is trying to enter different markets or working with different languages, no matter the product.”

Lokalise brings mindfulness into the process and carries the heavy load of the localization process. Its infrastructure and architecture are really good. We simply create tasks and the translators do the rest. Also, the whole process of project management is simplified quite a lot.

Aleš Ruter, Chief Creative Officer at Eligma, the creators of GoCrypto

For Vytautas Šernas, Product Owner at TransferGo, choosing Lokalise to manage localization projects has proven to be a smart business decision. “There were definitely some good tools, but our experience with Lokalise has been better at the end of the day. I can even say it worked flawlessly for us,” says Vytautas.

On the path to sustainable growth

With its continued focus on customer experience and personalized service, the fintech industry is poised for long-term, sustainable growth. Lokalise offers fintech firms the fast, scalable solution they need to continue reaching across cultural and linguistic barriers.

Without Lokalise, Revolut’s growth would be slower.

Edward Cooper, Head of Mobile at Revolut

“Lokalise has turned a task we were dreading into an absolute pleasure. Great platform, intuitive UX, powerful API. The automatic text recognition for screenshots has been a lifesaver, and over-the-air updates are the icing on the cake,” says Edward at Revolut. “It probably takes longer for Apple to review the app than for us to roll out a new language with Lokalise.”

At Pleo, Neil Brennan is also impressed with how Lokalise has supported his company’s rapid international growth. “It’s not easy! But with tools like Lokalise, it becomes a whole lot easier,” he says.

As these leading fintech companies continue to expand, they know they can count on Lokalise for a seamless localization process.

If you’re interested in overcoming common localization challenges, download our ebook filled with insights from leading companies.

Solving localization challenges for fintech companies

Learn how to grow globally from experts at Google, Western Union, Crypto.com, TransferGo, Remitly, Revolut, and more.

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