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FinTech and the Future of Financial Translation

By Neil Gauld, 

Fintech, the combination of “finance” and “technology”, refers to tech created to automate or improve the delivery of financial services, products, and operations. It uses software and algorithms that can help both companies and consumers in a wide range of applications, including banking, insurance, cryptocurrencies, education, and investments.

This market has already started disrupting its more traditional counterparts pre-pandemic, but COVID-19 ushered in a massive growth in their user base. As a result, by 2022, the global fintech market is expected to reach $309.98 billion (£231.16 billion)—an astronomical increase from a little over $111 million (£83 million) in 2019

Despite the considerable adoption rate in several countries, there is still distrust in fintech by end-users primarily driven by data privacy concerns, limited regulations, and security breaches. 

The Role of Financial Translation in FinTech

The most significant countries in the global fintech market are the USA, UK, China, Germany, and India. Market adoption has already reached 86% of consumers in the UK alone. 

A high level of success in this industry depends mainly on reaching a global following and offering international services. However, not all businesses can penetrate a global market. This is where a financial translation solution comes in as it can help businesses in several ways:

1. Decoding jargon

The financial sector is full of highly specialised technical and legal terms that the layperson would have difficulty understanding. Jargon like cryptocurrency, data source, SaaS, open banking, or digital assets, among others can be intimidating to every first-time user.

When breaking into new markets without an expert financial translator your service or product’s messaging, along with context and relevant information, will be lost on your target market. 

Financial jargon also goes beyond terminologies as, in this field, it’s crucial to translate numbers and punctuation marks as well. For example, you wouldn’t want your product to guarantee a return on investment that’s more than what it should be because your app used the wrong punctuation mark. Again, translation services can save you from these costly mistakes.

2. Translating digital documents

Anything that involves moving anyone’s money requires a paper trail, such as disclosures, annual reports, audits, pitch books, prospectuses, and many more. With technological advances, this ‘paper trail’ is now shifting towards the digital, making the entire process more convenient.

However, by serving a global audience, fintech companies do not have the luxury to take on a one-size-fits-all approach, especially with documents. Financial linguists are adept in the complex processes of other countries, ensuring that every user’s documents will be analysed for potential mistakes, translated with the proper context, and accurately relays the information needed.

3. Training chatbots

Chatbots are AI-powered tech that can assist end-users by exchanging messages online. Its usage in the finance sector is becoming more and more familiar, with recent statistics showing that successful banking-related chatbot interactions will grow 3,150% between 2019 and 2023.

In fintech, chatbots can be used for 24/7 customer service (a vital service for a global audience), guiding users through various payment processes, providing financial advice after analysing a user’s financial health, and faster processing of loan applications. 

With a worldwide market, chatbots have to adapt to multiple languages. Translators can work with developers to help train the AI in several ways like differentiating between two similarly phrased questions or making sure the chatbot does not provide information that is not compliant with another country’s laws. All this will be communicated with a tone that’s casual but factual.

4. Developing apps

Similar to chatbots, the applications of fintech apps are diverse. Today, apps can help with loans, digital banking, personal finance, payment processing, insurance, investments, cryptocurrency, and tax filing.

However, a fintech functioning on a mobile-only platform comes with its unique set of challenges. For example, different languages can wreak havoc on an app’s UI, while mobile operating systems like Android and iOS have different localisation requirements.

Apart from ensuring the financial language is accurate, translators can also work with developers right from the onset to make sure the app is local-ready ahead of launch. With their help, translations can be tested on the app’s display, and any functional issues can be detected early on.

5. Localising your product or service

Fintech is an industry that can work beyond geographical borders. But this borderless feature can also be detrimental to its success when catering to a global audience. Remember that what works for one country may not always work for others.

Localisation—the process of adapting a service or product to a particular location or market—is the key to fintech’s success as it brings the following benefits:

  • Lingual and cultural accuracy

People need to feel that they can trust their money with their technology, whether customers or organisations. One way to earn this is by providing a product that speaks their language and is also culturally aware

Linguistic authenticity then falls on the translators’ shoulders as they can bridge this gap by providing accurate translations that consider the regional differences that may come into play. For instance, many fintech companies make the mistake of using a generic Spanish language translation. However, there are nuances to the language that are apparent to native speakers in Mexico, Chile, Cuba, or Argentina to name a few. 

  • Accommodate segmented markets

Keep in mind that there are countries with highly segmented markets. In Asia, for instance, the younger generations are more tech savvy and open to fintech, while the older generations trust the traditional way of managing finances. With translation services, you can tailor fit your branding and marketing messages according to a particular segment’s pain point, making your promotions all the more effective.

  • Compliance with local regulations

A fintech company based in one of the EU countries can easily expand within their region as legislation and regulations are standardised. Breaking into another region outside the EU, however, will require you to be familiar with the legal landscapes of the countries you want to expand to. Asia alone has 48 countries, each with different regulations.

You can navigate these complexities with a translation agency, as they can help you communicate the intricacies of your product or service to the necessary legal bodies, whether that’s government officials or lawyers.

  • Adapting your product

76% of online consumers prefer to buy products with information presented in their local language. This means that you have to go the extra mile to make your product feel like it’s created specifically for the local market—not just with the language but also with the look and feel of your product.

Colour use and imagery, for instance, differ per country. Black can work for the UK audience but this colour is associated with evil and misery in the UAE. Getting the finer details wrong like numbers can also cause your product to backfire. Countries like China and South Korea, for instance, associate the number four with death.

  • Beating the competition

Doing localisation right can instantly set you apart from your competitors. Confidence in your product will increase, and with this, comes brand advocates who will freely spread the word to their family and friends.

With a product that’s adapted to the local market, you effectively enhance each user’s experience, giving your brand the boost it needs compared with competitors who do not invest in a translation agency.

FinTech and the Future of Financial Translation

By 2026, fintech is predicted to reach $190 billion (£142 billion). At the rate it’s going, there seems to be no stopping its upward trajectory. However, it is mired in lingual and cultural challenges that would slow down the ability of financial companies to reach a wider audience. Financial translation holds the key to international success given its capability to bridge the communication gap between your product or services and your clientele.

If you want to break into international markets with your fintech product or services, you’re going to need translation strategies in your arsenal. Our financial translators have both subject specialisation in various financial fields alongside extensive cultural understanding. Get in touch with us today.

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