Merchant Services: The Future is Fintech
For small and medium-sized businesses (SMB), value is more than just affordability. SMB need payment systems that offer customized solutions, a tailored pricing structure, and flexibility. Oftentimes, SMB will also seek out all-in-one-software, offering everything from website and e-commerce support, to payroll solutions.
The use of mobile wallets and contactless payments accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Mintel research on credit cards, a quarter of U.S. adults prefer using a mobile wallet over a physical credit card.
Businesses that meet the changing needs of their customers, including their payment preferences, have an advantage over competitors that cannot keep up.
Across the board, search is the preferred channel amongst fintech payment processors
Aside from Square, search marketing makes up over 50% of each competitor’s media spend, and 36% of category spend as a whole.
Although search is considerably more expensive on a cost-per-click basis, it provides a seamless way to reach potential customers that are already in the consideration stage.
Clover and Square took a hybrid brand-conquesting SEM strategy, while Stripe and Braintree focused only on branded terms
Competitive conquesting is a costly tactic when evaluating it on a cost-per-click basis. Despite the added cost, it can be a valuable strategy to divert potential customers away from more widely known competitors in situations where a customer is still in the active evaluation phase. Clover had the most aggressive conquesting strategy, with 37% of reported spend on Square, Inc. keywords. Other popular keywords include “food delivery,” “POS,” and “Shopify.”
As the category leader, Square offers the most comprehensive SMB solutions
Square‘s product categories, including commerce, banking, marketing, business operation, and business development, are suitable for almost every SMB. What sets Square apart from the competition is the ability to build products rapidly to meet the demands of the ever-changing market. Square offers services to aid in restaurant pick-up orders, appointment booking technology, online storefront management, and CRM technology, among its most widely-known POS system. With transparent pricing of 2.6% + 10¢ / every tapped (mobile payments), dipped (chip cards), and swiped (magstripe cards) payment, it is evident that Square aims to simplify the payments process for merchants and small business owners.
Social and display ads featured different value-added benefits of building a website using Square’s technology.
Square took a hybrid approach to brand marketing by promoting the ability to accept contactless payment using its POS system.
Several campaigns focused on offers for specific industries, like POS systems designed for restaurants, and appointment-booking software for salons.
What we think
When it comes to B2B marketing, the top of the funnel is generally overlooked because potential customers only make up a fraction of the mass market. Businesses like PayPal that provide both B2B and B2C services have the advantage of building brand awareness on consumer products and using that existing awareness to move down the funnel into a business owner’s consideration set.
For merchant services companies with low brand awareness, investing in a content marketing strategy executed on owned & operated sites in addition to podcast, affiliate, and paid social can be useful to build an army of brand advocates in the nascent stage of opening a business.