Fintech Compliance

Keeping Your Global Fintech Compliant

Global fintech investments continued to grow significantly in 2018, with deal values rising by 46% in the United States, and 56% in the United Kingdom. The sector shows no sign of slowing, and an increase in demand for innovative financial products across the globe is playing a big role in its growth.

Individual success stories are plentiful – especially among later-stage companies, who have benefited from investors placing larger bets on more mature fintechs. Financial technology companies of every flavour – from banking platforms through to robo-advisors and everything in-between are looking optimistically to the rest of the year and beyond.

Much of this optimism stems from plans to expand services internationally. While some will be looking to add new European countries into the mix, or to expand through North America, others are looking to Asia and developing economies for growth.

For many, new contract wins will trigger an international move. For others, international expansion may be tied to investment terms or be considered in response to challenges in the domestic market. Whatever the motivation, localization will be a core component of the implementation strategy.

Carefully considered localization is arguably even more important in fintech than it is other technology-based sectors. Aside from the usual product and marketing considerations, compliance looms large in fintech communications.

In a highly regulated environment where information disclosure, wording, and accuracy are key, there is simply no room for mistakes. Mistakes cost money, and in the most extreme examples they can put operating licenses and regulator approval at risk.

These levels of risk are high in the domestic market, but what if you’re operating across a diverse range of jurisdictions? It’s at this point that things get interesting, and even riskier.

While translation is just one (critical) part of the localization mix, when it comes to fintech it becomes an even more important element. It only takes one poorly translated statement in your app, your email marketing, or on your website to have very serious consequences. If the content or accuracy as it is perceived in that market deviates from the regulatory requirement, the consequences can be severe.

And that’s why it’s so important to work with a trusted localization provider from the earliest stage. You’ve probably already invested heavily and consulted about the regulatory requirements of the country you’re looking to target — don’t blow it at this stage.

An experienced localization partner will support you in a number of ways. Not only will they deal with the minutiae of ensuring your app, website, sales and marketing assets meet the cultural and linguistic needs of the market, but they’ll help to keep you out of trouble along the way.

Your localization provider will need to select the translators to use for your project with exceptional care — this is not the time for them to be clicking the box that says ‘finance’ and searching a database of thousands. A hand-picked approach is necessary — choosing in-country resources that are proven and trusted to meet the linguistic demands of the project, but also have a broad understanding of the underlying financial and regulatory risks associated with such work.

Most reputable localization companies will use terminology tools to store previously translated text for review and re-use in future projects. This ‘translation memory’ has the potential to reduce costs in the long term, as previously translated text will not have to be translated from scratch again. Perhaps more importantly, it also ensures that repetitive statements can be reproduced reliably across all materials — whether they be in-app, web or marketing related. This can help to ensure that compliant terminology is used consistently – which of course relies on the original translation being compliant and accurate in the first place.

Aside from the rigours of compliance, high-growth fintech companies aren’t known for maintaining the status quo. Fintech was born out of disruption, and disruption demands flexibility. This applies to localization too. Your localization partner should be willing and able to scale and flex to your individual needs, not try to limit you to a generic approach and regimented process.

In the fintech space the stakes are simply too high to risk a basic translation approach. If you’d like to learn more about how true localization can help to de-risk your expansion strategy, simply get in touch and we’ll be happy to help.