Just three weeks after its Australian launch, US fintech giant Acorns has racked up 50,000 users, bringing it halfway to its end of year goal already.
Acorns Australian managing director George Lucas says growth in Australia has far surpassed the micro-investing app’s launch in the US.
“We didn’t expect it grow this fast,” Lucas tells StartupSmart.
“We’re growing three times faster than the US.”
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He believes the rapid uptake of Acorns’ micro-investing app is a strong reflection of the Australian market’s willingness to try new fintech services.
Australia vs America
While still uncertain on how their app generated this much interest, Lucas says that Acorns Australia appears to have hit a sweet spot in the market for two reasons.
“Australians are very tech savvy and Australians also like to save money,” he says.
Compared to other markets like the US, Lucas says the uptake rate for smartphone apps and electronic payments systems like tap-and-go is much more rapid in Australia.
Now realising that their app has far greater appeal than they could have hoped for, Lucas says their main priority is customer satisfaction.
“The first move is to make sure that the current customers are happy,” he says.
In the next few weeks they’ll be running a survey to find out what motivated users to download their product and how they can improve it.
In addition to providing high quality customer service, Lucas will also be ensuring that the app has all the features the users want.
Carrying on with the planned roadmap, Lucas says they will be adding new features that will enable users to link their savings to a super fund or charity.
These will become available later this year.
What makes a popular fintech product
To create a product that has mass appeal, Lucas says a lot of work should go into designing an interface that’s sleek, beautiful and easy to use.
“You’re not just creating something you think is great but that your customers think is great,” he says.
“We get a lot of compliments about our user interface.”
And underlying that should be a stable and robust system that the end user can trust to protect their data.
“Make sure everything’s working the way you said it’s going to work,” Lucas says.
As the user-base grows, it’s critical to constantly track your system and software to ensure it’s performing to expectation.
“Security is extremely important,” he says.
This isn’t just about encryption algorithms.
“It’s more about processes around who has access and control to data,” Lucas says.
Determining what data is high level and who within the team can access it are vital procedural steps to implement.
Lucas adds that it’s crucial to have a really good PR strategy in order to raise awareness and shine a spotlight on the product when it becomes available.
“95% of apps on the app store don’t ever get downloaded,” he says.
“Just because you put something out on the app store, it doesn’t mean people are going to come to you.”