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How to Keep the Dynamics of Development in the Era of Neo-Banks




Reports of the National Bank of Ukraine

Financial reports




Reports of the National Bank of Ukraine

Financial reports


The financial market is highly competitive. Neo-banks and rapid digitalization are constantly raising the bar and consumer demands for traditional banks. To be successful and stand out, it is no longer enough to launch TV ads and open new VIP branches. Today, it is imperative for brands to develop a flexible strategy that will adapt to rapid market changes and work on positioning.

In this case study, we talk about how we developed such strategy for a client whose name we can’t disclose due to an NDA.


Develop a marketing strategy to attract new customers and increase brand recognition among users in the financial market of Ukraine.

Initial Data

The study was conducted in the 2021 - 3-4 quarterly reporting period of the financial sector of the National Bank of Ukraine.

The marketing strategy within the project was developed taking into account that the financial institution:

  • Has a clear understanding of their audience and a vision of work with them;
  • Is open to change;
  • Is ready to create new products that the audience needs.


To answer the client's main question: "How can you increase your customer base and increase brand awareness?" — we have developed a roadmap:

In this case, we will consider two fundamental stages that have undergone during the work on the client's comprehensive marketing strategy — market and competitor analysis and product analysis.



  • NBU reports
  • Financial reports

Analysis of the financial market

In order to understand what needs to be done to increase the brand recognition of a financial institution, we studied the experience of developing similar products in Ukraine and on international markets.

As part of the project, the Primary Target Market was investigated and adjacent markets (Secondary Target Market) were analyzed. We assessed the market capacity and identified their key trends.

The main trends and regularities of the market of financial products and services

  • COVID has changed consumer habits: the share of online buyers (retail and eCommerce) is increasing.
  • The market is moving towards non-cash.
  • The trend towards transformation and closure of offline bank branches.
  • Online banking will become, or has already become, a virtual branch that covers the basic functions of an offline branch for the self-service oriented consumer.
  • Ukraine is loyal to the neo-banking model. The case of Monobank is an example of a successful entry into the market in Ukraine, compared to the rest of the world.
  • The reduction of the interchange* fee will force banks to develop alternative solutions for accepting payments for business, as well as offer customers more additional paid services.

Interchange is the commission that the bank servicing the enterprise or Sole Trader  transfers to the bank whose card the purchase was paid for.

  • Alternative methods of accepting payments (Tap to phone from Oschadbank) create significant competition for POS terminals.

In the study, five main segments of the audience of the financial market of Ukraine were identified.

Product analysis

The financial sector is a market where users choose by habit. Great players with history always stay in the lead. This advantage allows them to offer the most favorable conditions to existing and potential customers, and with larger budgets for promotion - to sell more services.

To understand what makes a bank stand out in a highly competitive market, we compared the product lines of different financial institutions.

An overdraft is a short-term type of financing that allows you to meet the company's working capital needs.

The analysis made it possible to identify not only the strengths of the brand, but also to see the advantages of competitors in products that our client currently does not cover. Also, the results of the study helped to develop a scoring model for the functional attractiveness of mobile applications.

Onboarding analysis

Onboarding is the process of familiarizing customers or users with new brand products.

Based on onboarding results, we found that what matters to NON-customers is how quickly they can become customers. This trend is already becoming the norm in the financial services market, and therefore competition is intensifying.


Currently, not all market players can offer clients to issue virtual cards, some still require the client's physical presence in an offline branch to issue electronic means of payment. However, the trend towards an improved user experience on the sites is clear as only 3 players in the sample still have more than three steps to complete a card. So, a virtual card is already a basic need of the market.


- A simplified opportunity to become a customer for a NON-customer lowers the barriers at the decision stage.
- 4 out of 10 of the investigated financial institutions allow you to become a client using a simplified procedure — to issue a virtual card.
- The ability to issue a card online helps attract new customers.

Analysis of mobile applications of financial institutions

The app is one of the key onboarding tools for new customers. At the same time, the expectations of customers from the functionality of applications are growing every year. If previously it was enough to conduct payment transactions, now the customer expects the application to be able to close most of his requests, which previously required a personal presence in an offline branch.


Sources: *Apptweak, mobile android, as of October 21, 2021

**Similarweb, mobile android, as of October 21, 2021

The applications of players #4 and #6 are more frequently used by customers during the month and for daily transactions. But it is the app of player #6 that has a high penetration among Android users: a large audience that needs to install the app.

Penetration is the level of development and/or distribution of online shopping in various areas.

Since users in Ukraine are loyal to the neo-banking model, we investigated the services and products that financial institutions can offer through the application. The research was conducted according to four criteria.


Evaluation criteria of mobile banking

Each evaluation block includes the most popular user scenarios in mobile banking. Weights are assigned expertly and reflect the importance of the tasks: how much it is needed by users and critical for this or that scenario to be executed in mobile banking.

The final assessment of the service's effectiveness shows whether the application can fully replace a trip to the bank for the client.

Taking into account all the listed factors, we obtained a distribution of banks by rating.


​​Instead of conclusion

Developing a marketing strategy for a financial institution should take into account its values and unique selling proposition. This will help increase brand awareness and attract new customers.

While searching for a unique approach to the strategy of attracting new customers, we relied on data from the following research stages:

Analysis of customer data

If a financial institution has systematized data on its customers, criteria for potential hidden customers can be identified. This is one of the easiest ways to increase the customer base, which is often overlooked by companies.

Hidden customers are consumers who do not fit the main financial criteria, but have potential based on other characteristics (place of work, expenses, etc).

Analysis of the market and competitors

Based on the results of the analysis of the activities of financial institutions, free niches and competitors, it is possible to single out and attract strategic partners for collaborations.

Product analysis

Analysis of product lines of market players can show the needs of potential CA and possible business growth points. The results of the research can become the basis for developing a media strategy.

Media strategy

In order to work with a wide audience effectively, it is worth segmenting users based on various factors, so that the tasks of each audience are taken into account in advertising.

Regarding the implementation of the marketing strategy by areas and products, we developed a road map from three levels.

First level - Products

Second level - Stages of attracting new customers

Third level - KPIs for measuring the achieved results

Our team of strategists can develop a Road map for the development of your business.

Visualization of the Road map IB structure

Visualization of the development plan for customers of the premium category

At Promodo, we develop strategies that you want to implement.
Do you have a project to discuss? Feel free to contact our team.

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