Co-Authored by Button CEO, Michael Jaconi and CJ CEO, Mayuresh Kshetramade — The fintech industry's democratization of financial services is providing a wave of growth that is shaking the economic foundation of the country's largest financial institutions and consumers' relationships with them. In doing so, the up and coming fintech challengers are providing more transparency and lower transaction fees than their incumbent Goliaths, and this combination is creating the need for new revenue sources to be developed alongside these core offerings. The companies that are making a massive splash in the industry and shaping the future of commerce focused strategies are innovators like Affirm, CJ's Publisher of the Year, Acorns, Samsung, Square, Paypal, and Klarna.


In the wake of the economic headwinds being seen in global markets, fintechs, whether it be Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) companies, challenger banks, financial lending companies, digital wallets, or trading platforms, are being pushed by the public market and institutional investors to build revenue and margin in ways that are challenging their status quo.

Looking at the world's largest affiliate and partnership marketing event last week, CJU, it is becoming clear that the clarion call fintechs are hearing to focus on their bottom line is resulting in an explosion of opportunity within the affiliate industry.

Lead sponsors and attendees at the event were The Who's Who of the financial services and fintech community. What's more, they were executives from these companies, not just members of their affiliate teams. The reason for this dynamic is that there is currently no scaled alternative solution besides affiliate with an answer to the challenges these companies are facing. It's also evidence the predictions shared in this article are continuing to come true.


Why affiliate is such a good deal for fintech

As eMarketer recently quoted, 15% of the massive growth seen in the US ecommerce from 2019-2022 was credited to BNPL transactions alone. Given this trajectory, the transactional volume of this category is forecasted to grow to over $100B in commerce by 2024.

Sure, there are alternatives to building commerce based models — like expensive business development teams, arduous direct integrations with retailers, and time-consuming and antiquated file-sharing relationships that follow lengthy data privacy agreements and permissions — but the incremental 'bang for your buck' for these alternatives can't be justified in today's economic climate. This is especially the case when a tried and true, immediately available, and proven path to revenue and margin is as easy as the click of a button.

As proven for decades, offering consumers rewarding, differentiated, and engaging offers is one of the most powerful strategies to build loyalty. Affiliate networks, like CJ, and platforms that ease and optimize integrations across networks, like Button, are the fastest way to tap into this strategy.


Customize affiliate to meet your needs

Building differentiation on top of affiliate and partnership marketing platforms is also doable. Leveraging solutions like Button's Tap and its personalization product Evolution, enabling multiple rates for user segments through CJ's Custom Commissioning Structures, and through layering or stacking rewards alongside High Value Actions (HVAs) your fintech is seeking to drive are just a few ways.

Some examples of these HVAs where you can offer extra rewards, exclusive inventory, and differentiation are:
  • Reward consumers for checking out with your debit card/wallet/BNPL
  • Fintechs can use CJ's Situational Commissioning in partnership with Button to enable higher rewards for specific payment instruments like a debit card or a BNPL product - enabling consumers to earn more rewards and fintechs to grow their top of wallet usage and margin
  • Engagement driven in your app as users find ways to save and earn rewards on key daily spend categories
  • Enabling fintechs to offer their users rewards and savings on key daily spend categories like grocery, ride sharing, and food delivery provides fintechs like Samsung Pay a reason to integrate with Button and CJ to tap into the most frequent spend categories that exist to boost frequency and engagement
  • Building margin on top of your fintech offering through retailer and brand marketing budgets
  • Certain Card Linked Offer (CLO) and BNPL platforms like Affirm are able to use both online affiliate data and their own transactional data to reward users for specific actions and outcomes, such as first-time purchase, incentivizing higher purchase frequency, and bigger basket sizes. All of this is offered a privacy-compliant way and helps brands get in front of new audiences.

Foster Loyalty, Drive Repeat Engagement, & Create Margin

In addition to the great story for fintech companies, brands within any category — such as retail, home services, finance, travel, and more — can work with Button, CJ, and this growing wave of fintechs in a seamless fashion at scale to hit their goals and grow their programs. The fintech proposition, CJ's tracking and flexible commissioning, and Button's mobile personalization and seamless developer-friendly integration model all come together to deliver performance-based, transparent, profitable, and incremental growth to brands in a privacy-compliant way for consumers.

The wave of fintech growth is creating a massive opportunity for consumers to democratize how they bank. Once that consumer has developed loyalty to the service the fintech is providing, there is no better way to foster loyalty and drive repeat engagement, and in doing so, create margin, than by enabling these valuable consumers to tap into commerce.