Online Financial Platforms Localization: Why It Matters and How To Get It Right

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Localization is essential to every industry, as it helps companies and organizations effectively communicate and engage with their customers and stakeholders all over the world, allowing them to customize their offerings to meet the unique needs of every market and customer.  According to CSA Research, 76% of global consumers are more likely to purchase goods or services online when communicated with in their native language. This is particularly important in the financial services industry and the many banking solutions where consumers need to relate to their financial provider and feel represented and understood. Given the diversity of its consumer base, we’re going to share several reasons the banking sector should localize online financial platforms.  

Let’s Explore Localization 

Localization is the process of adapting content to meet different markets’ language and cultural requirements. This involves translating content and making adjustments to terminology, as well as images, videos, and other multimedia elements, to ensure products and services can be understood and better appeal to the target audience. Localization can be implemented on a variety of products and services, including websites, mobile apps, video games, and marketing collateral.  

Localization is growing trust and inclusion. 

When it comes to localization for fintech apps, as one author said, “The closer you get to a person’s wallet, the more important it is to speak their language.” Making fintech solutions linguistically and contextually accessible to users from around the world (and from different demographics) is not only a win for businesses. It’s also a chance to provide new solutions and opportunities to people who critically lack them. 

What businesses need in order to more easily transact across geographic barriers boils down to their ability to move two things in ways that are as fast and frictionless as possible: money and messaging. Payment solutions enable businesses to exchange money with customers. Localization solutions enable businesses to exchange messages with customers. Both require a transmission or an exchange of assets (whether in the form of currency or words) between two parties. The businesses that can do both of these things faster, and better, will ultimately be well-placed to win big and outpace their competitors as they expand globally. 

Here’s a commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of stripe showing that “lack of language support” was one of the top challenges around international expansion and cross-border payments acceptance. It might surprise people to see language access rank even higher than currency in response to the top challenges question. 

Often, people assume that currency is the single biggest blocker to cross-border payments, but actually, this topic is far more nuanced than one might believe at first glance. Interestingly, language access and support rank very high on the list, even higher than connecting to local financial institution (which can be quite challenging) and accepting local payment methods (also incredibly complex depending on the type of business and their individual context). 

5 Reasons Why Banks Should Localize Online Financial Platforms  

According to Insider Intelligence’s Mobile Banking Competitive Edge Study, 89% of survey respondents and 97% of millennials said they use mobile banking, while the market for personal finance software is projected to reach $1,576.86 million by 2027, $1,69 billion by 2030, banking apps, e-banking, mobile wallets, and other online finance solutions are on the rise. Many financial institutions have their own proprietary online banking platform or app, while others may encourage their clients to use platforms available to the public, such as those that can track expenses, manage budgets, protect users against security and fraud, pay bills, transfer money, and more. Given that people from all over the world and from different linguistic and cultural backgrounds use these tools, it is important that they be localized. Here are some reasons why:  

  1. Compliance with Rules & Regulations

By localizing e-banking platforms, apps, and other platforms they provide digital services through, banks can ensure compliance with rules and regulations. Providing services and access to platforms in a single language will make understanding procedures, terms and conditions, and other legal matters inaccessible for those that speak another language. Localizing financial platforms can help avoid potential legal problems, as well as help protect customers’ financial information and personal details. 

  1. More Trust & Better User Experiences

Localizing content can help businesses provide a more personalized user experience that is tailored to the local culture and speaks to customers in their native language. In the financial sector, offering a personalized experience can be as simple as adding features such as local currency support, chatbots that offer multilingual support, and offering a range of currency options when sending and receiving transfers. Offering consumers easier ways to understand your services and to communicate with your customer support team also builds trust. These necessary shifts add a layer of personalization that helps build a strong relationship with customers and increases their sense of security when using online financial platforms, an otherwise sensitive service. 

  1. It Drives Return on Investment (ROI)

By expanding your reach to new markets and helping your customers understand and engage with your information and services, localization can help you drive more ROI for your business. With the right communication, you’ll be able to entice new users to sign up for savings accounts, credit cards, and download your app. Localization will improve engagement and SEO, save you time and money, and increase conversions. For more on how localization drives ROI, check out our post here. (Hyperlink to 6 Ways Website Localization Drives ROI) 

  1. It Offers Better Accessibility

By localizing financial platforms, financial institutions can make their services more accessible to a wider range of customers, including those who may not already be benefiting from access to traditional financial services. Localizing financial platforms can help increase financial inclusion and provide more people with access to essential financial services. 

  1. Expanded Market Reach

Localizing online financial platforms allows financial institutions to be present in new markets and offer their services to a wider range of customer segments that weren’t using their services before. Doing so can help increase customer acquisition, trust, and revenue, and can also help diversify the financial institution’s customer base.

Steps Financial Institutions Should Take to Localize Online Financial Platforms 

Hopefully, the content above convinced you to localize your online financial platforms. Now, let’s explore some steps banks and other financial institutions should take: 

1. Research the Local Market: Before starting to localize online financial platforms, it is important to research the local market, rules, and regulations, as well as consumer interests and behaviors. Using this information, financial institutions can work with their developers to create or update platforms tailored to the local market. 

2.Translate & Localize Content: Content should be localized into the required language, without compromising cultural meanings and values. The purpose of localizing the content is to create a culturally appropriate and overall better experience for customers from different backgrounds. 

3. Meet Local Regulations: Financial institutions should ensure that their online financial platforms, in addition to all marketing collateral, meet local regulations. These include anything related to data privacy and sensitive personal information. 

4. Provide Local Payment Options: Make it easier for a wider range of customers to access your online financial platforms, by making them accessible and offering local payment options, mobile wallets, and more.  

5. Provide Local Customer Support: Given their access to vast amounts of personal data, financial institutions must be secure service providers. One of the easiest ways to make individuals feel heard and at ease, when sharing their personal information, is to implement customer support in their native language.  

6. Continuously Monitor Performance: Once any platform is localized, it is important to regularly monitor its performance and to make updates to it, as necessary. Whether you collect feedback from customers via surveys or digital comment cards or frequently test the platform’s functionality and user experience, make sure to regularly adapt to meet consumers’ needs. 

Choosing the Right Language Services Company (LSC) for Localizing Online Financial Platforms 

Financial services deal with personal and sensitive data, so one of the first things to look for in a language service company is confidentiality. It’s important to hire someone you can trust and rely on to properly localize your platforms and communicate better with people from different backgrounds. Of course, some staples as professionalism, accuracy and on time delivery are a must for any project, so here are some things to look out for when choosing an LSC to localize your online financial platforms: 

  • Relevant experience: Make sure online financial platforms are culturally appropriate by working with a professional language company familiar with the local language and dialect, and cultural nuances. It is also important for them to have a strong understanding of your services, platforms, and the industry as a whole. 
  • Confidentiality: The finance industry typically requires strict regulations given its access to confidential information. Language service companies should be willing and able to accommodate confidentiality requirements to ensure the completion of a secure and successful localization project. 
  • Technical savvy: Localizing an online platform may require you LSC not only to provide linguistic and cultural services, but also be tech savvy and work in your CMS or other online environment. Discuss these needs with your perspective language services partner in advance.  
  • Organizational Skills: Successfully localizing an online financial platform requires strong organizational skills and effective communication. Choose an LSC that is committed, detail-oriented, and professional to ensure that deadlines are met, and that the localization process runs smoothly. 

Localize Online Financial Platforms with Bromberg & Associates 

If you’re looking for a language service company who can meet all of the above criteria and more, look no further. At Bromberg & Associates, our dedicated and qualified team of language experts, with over two decades of experience, are ready to help you reach a wider audience, expand to new markets, and increase customer satisfaction by localizing your online platforms!  

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