Yesterday Anish Acharya published this post entitled Five Ways Fintech Companies can find Customers.

One of the tactics he mentioned was activating social networks:

Social networks have been largely underutilized in fintech thus far. But existing social bonds can be a powerful tool used to encourage saving and extend credit—ROSCAs are an age-old (offline) example. Looking ahead, a16z general partner Connie Chan recently wrote about the use of WhatsApp and WeChat groups in China to facilitate product experiences in travel, shopping, fitness, and more.

There are two layers to social finance. One leans on the dynamics in which money moves between people. This encompasses everything from peer to peer transfers to shared savings pools (the ROSCAs referred to above).

The second is simply adding a social layer on top of the current financial services, that encourages people to be more open about matters of money. This includes safe spaces to ask others about money (Reddit’s finance forums, for example - although I wouldn’t broadly classify Reddit as a safe space), but also things like cheeky financial advice chat bots that are fun to share.

Our relationships with money are complicated, and many seek social validation to make sure they’re on the right track. For most, being a part of the right pack is exactly what they need. Financial advisors provide this ability but there’s so much more room for experimentation here.