Here in the UK, we have a couple of UK-based investing apps that could credibly claim to be on track to reach mass-market scale — but there are still no household wealthtech names.
Despite all the talk about robo-advice, DIY investing, and zero-commission trading, many new market entrants haven’t managed to turn that noise and apparent consumer interest into a sustainable, profitable business model.
At Seccl, we exist to help more people invest — and invest well — by supporting ambitious founders and innovative companies on a mission to launch the wealth propositions of the future.
As Seccl’s fintech growth lead, I have the unique opportunity to meet and chat with dozens of these firms on a regular basis — and get a feel for the challenges they face. And the biggest challenge for most businesses I talk to is somewhat unsurprisingly, customer acquisition.
Don’t get me wrong, many of our clients have mastered the art of growing a successful business from a standing start. CIRCA5000, for example, has made waves in the sustainable investments space, while Penfold continues to scale their personal and workplace pension offering at a remarkably rapid pace and you can read about the others here.
But it is no mean feat. From our experience, it’s much easier to launch a successful investment proposition if you have an existing customer base that loves your brand and mission, and genuinely believes you have their best interests at heart… It’s what we call ‘embedded investments’.
Embedded investments: what’s it all about?
Embedded investments refers to the art of seamlessly integrating an investment journey within an existing user experience. There are plenty of applications and potential use cases — some closer to the world of investing than others.
For a more obvious example, think of the growing number of digital challenger banks (or ‘neobanks’). With millions of customers who trust them for their easy-to-use budgeting and saving tools, it’s easy to imagine why these businesses might want to enrich their user experience, by allowing customers to invest a portion of their savings directly through their app.
As well as enabling users to access returns on their money — which is, after all, the very reason these businesses exist — there’s an obvious commercial benefit, too. It gives them a…