Blog

The Wolves of Gray’s Inn Road (well, sort of…)

By Jon Lonsdale on 8th February 2016

Money. Cash. We all love it, don’t we? Even us reserved Brits, definitely LOVE talking about it. I’m finding that most of my working day at Octopus Group HQ with clients these days is spent on this topic – and not because I’m a Brummie wannabe version of Jordan Belfort (you’ll have to really trust me on that one) – it’s because explaining money, and all things relating to it, are forming the basis of lots of our client campaigns at the moment.

Working capital, debt, FX, currency, remittance, accounting, tax, transfers, payments, treasury, crowd-funding, invoicing, investing etc., and many other topics have always been there of course, but have they ever been quite as exciting?

Yes, ‘Fintech’ has been around as a sub-sector of tech for ages, and there are even agencies who have specialised and done very well over the years. But somehow, it always felt a bit dull to me, and the preserve of a few niche audiences, influencers, and buyers with job titles nobody really understood unless you worked in a bank.

That’s changed massively. Now ‘FinTech’ is just ‘tech’ and, in my opinion, it’s all the better for it.  I came across this useful list put together by H2 Ventures and KPMG and it makes really interesting reading. So many cool companies, ideas, brands and all in the context of the financial services sector. Some tackling not entirely ‘sexy’ or accessible topics that get the man on the street excited, like the usual poster child brands of  Uber and Airbnb, but nonetheless important, disruptive and with huge potential.

Take a couple of things we’ve been working on as examples. Helping promote Visa Europe’s project with Henry Holland to showcase catwalk payment technology. Working with FreemarketFX to get their digital sales channels established and drive early win customers, or helping WorldPay design their ‘Unusual Suspects’ campaigns to better explain fraud risk. And there’s more where that came from. London has become such a hotbed for financial technology that it’s being exported to the rest of the world, and it’s really exciting to be a part of from a marketing perspective agency side.

So here’s to celebrating a genuine world leadership position that we have in the UK with financial services innovation. But maybe a bit less ‘Wolf of Wall Street’, and maybe a bit more polite and British instead.

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