By: 29 November 2023

As a female founded and led company, Senyard also reflects on gender equality and the company's approach to fostering a diverse and inclusive environment

Behind the scenes: Nicky Senyard’s leadership at Fintel Connect

Nicky Senyard, the founder and chief executive officer of Fintel Connect, discusses the inspiration behind the company’s creation. Senyard guides us through the journey of entering financial services, adapting to technology shifts, and overcoming challenges in the rapidly changing fintech sector.  

Senyard also emphasises the importance of strategic planning, adaptability and maintaining the highest standards of security and transparency. 

What inspired you to start Fintel Connect, and has the vision for the company evolved since its inception?  

Like every business idea, ours started by addressing a problem. A decade ago, a financial institution approached us, seeking our expertise to manage and run its affiliate programme. This led to the establishment of Fintel Connect. 

What made us distinct was our determination to explore an area within the industry that had not been ventured into before. Over time, we observed increasing opportunities stemming from changes in technology, shifts in consumer preferences, and the transformation of how applications and apps influenced our interactions with financial products and sensitive information.  

The birth of Fintel Connect was fueled by a convergence of various factors. Like many successful businesses, timing played a crucial role. A good idea, when introduced at the right time, can evolve into a successful business. The same idea may lose its appeal if introduced after the market is saturated. 

In terms of our overall company model, there hasn’t been a significant change. However, as we’ve become more integrated into a specific industry, we’ve encountered and become aware of more challenges. This deepened integration has fostered empathy for the individuals within the industry, whether they are publishers seeking content or businesses navigating the complexities of customer acquisition in an increasingly data-centric landscape. 

Finance is always about trust.

In the rapidly changing fintech sector, what challenges did you face in establishing Fintel Connect, and how did you navigate those challenges?  

Finance is always about trust. Trust takes time to build and is based on having a consistent reputation. Being consistent in how we do things, the approach we take, and the results we deliver is crucial.   

One significant challenge has been staying ahead of technological advancements and regulatory changes.  

The fintech industry is constantly evolving with new innovations and regulations. Navigating this requires vigilance and a commitment to adaptability. We have had to work diligently to establish Fintel Connect as a reliable and secure platform. Moreover, the competitive nature of the fintech space demands a keen understanding of market trends and customer needs.  

Staying innovative and offering solutions that genuinely add value has been crucial. This requires a commitment to research and development and a willingness to pivot when necessary. 

Additionally, forging strong partnerships in the industry is vital. Collaboration with financial institutions, regulators and other stakeholders has helped us navigate the complexities of the fintech ecosystem.  

It’s essential to build a network that can provide support, share insights and contribute to the growth of Fintel Connect.  

Overall, successful navigation of these challenges involves a combination of strategic planning, continuous learning, adaptability and a dedication to maintaining the highest standards of security and transparency. It’s an ongoing process. 

Fintel Connect focuses on performance marketing in the financial sector. Can you share some key insights or trends you’ve observed in the industry and how Fintel Connect is positioned to capitalise on them?  

When it comes to marketing financial services, gaining the trust of consumers in both the brand and the product is crucial. Building this trust is a challenge we faced when establishing our business. Interestingly, people tend to trust a brand more when they see consistent messages about it in multiple places. This is where publishers or affiliates become valuable. 

Imagine a brand getting positive reviews from large financial influencers like Nerd Wallet, Credit Karma and other reputable sources. When these stories all convey the same positive theme, it strongly influences customers in their decision-making process, especially when they’re close to making a final decision. 

In the financial services industry, having endorsements from third parties, especially towards the end of the customer’s decision-making process, is highly beneficial. This is where Fintel Connect comes in. We act as the link between publishers and financial brands, helping to deliver third-party endorsements and testimonials to consumers. Once the customer is convinced, we then facilitate the actual transactions using our tracking, reporting, and payout systems. This way, we help build trust and make the entire process smoother for everyone involved. 

With the increasing importance of data privacy and security, how does Fintel Connect ensure the protection of sensitive information while still delivering effective marketing solutions? 

We are fortunate that we don’t directly handle any personal information, which makes banks more comfortable collaborating with us. This is achieved through headless tagging, where users receive a headless ID when they land on the financial institution’s page. This ID allows us to track the entire user journey without interacting with personal data. This approach helps us maintain a neutral stance and ensures a high level of safety, as we don’t have direct contact with personal information. 

We are committed to making a difference.

As a female-founded and led company, it would be great to hear your thoughts on gender equality in the industry. 

The distinction, in my opinion, lies not in our female orientation but rather in our deliberate approach. Like many other businesses, not necessarily limited to this field, we place great emphasis on culture, team building and making meaningful contributions.  

We are committed to making a difference. This mindset has allowed us to have a diverse and inclusive company with great employees who do what they’re good at.  

Image: Fintel Connect  

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Josh Poyser
Josh Poyser is an editor at FinTech Intel. He has written about fintech for several years and appeared at FinTech Connect 2023 on the 'Unlocking Success: The Art of Fintech PR' panel.