Fintech Association for Consumer Empowerment (FACE) has been formed for three years. They began with 5 members and now their membership covers about 80% of the digital lenders in the country. Members agree to abide by a code of conduct and pay a membership fee based on their loan disbursement, with a maximum and minimum value in place. This supports three staff members and various industry activities. They are a relatively young industry body but are proud of how they have set a tone of what is expected of a fintech industry body; their relationship with regulators and government bodies; the uptake and distribution of their reports; and working with other industry bodies. They have created value and a niche, which is the basis for sustainable growth and impact.
Focus and activities
- Map out what others are doing (what they excel or fail at) and industry pain points. Don’t compete in areas that others are excelling at or is not an issue for the industry
- Differentiate yourself from other associations/entities
- Identify an area of focus that no-one else is addressing
- FACE have opted not to run industry conferences and webinars as this is already a saturated space that is difficult to compete in
- Find partners who have the same focus and priorities as you, look for strategic alignment. Avoid being re-directed onto their priorities, particularly when you have minimal resources
- Ensure your board has representation from your members and independent industry leaders
- Avoid a large board and have clear election processes
Members and value
- A value proposition to emphasise for members is investment in an industry body that will work for them
- Membership can be maintained when they see the value – that you are addressing their problems and solving where possible
- Avoid setting up your membership as $x buys you $xx in return. More if the ecosystem flourishes then you will flourish
- Ensure your activities support the small and new players, as well as the larger ones – don’t base your activities on financial contribution to the association
- Interact with members regularly – FACE holds a 30-minute fortnightly exchange that can members join. This works better to keep in touch with the industry than polls and surveys
- Build and deepen relationships with your members, they should trust you and want to reach out to you share their challenges and successes.
- Your members are your eyes and ears in the industry.
Engagement & visibility
- Have influential Brand Ambassadors (companies or individuals) who will champion the association within the industry
- Have data and informed perspectives on the industry, preferably that no one else has – this helps open doors to conversations with Regulators and build a relationship
- Reports and papers are useful for the industry and regulator – but can also be picked up by the media, which can increase your visibility
- Print media can be overlooked, but if many people are reading regularly it can be important for visibility and reach. Print is often well-trusted and can encourage membership/partnerships