Here's why brands are flocking to fintech platforms for advertising

Speaking to on the growing trend of D2C, Auto, BFSI, Travel and FMCG brands advertising on fintech platforms, various advertisers and marketers emphasised why it is becoming the next ad frontier for brands. They discussed the process of ad buying therein along with the prevalent rates, challenges, and much more

Shreya Negi
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Here's why brands are flocking to fintech platforms for advertising

In the post-pandemic world, where digital advertising is on the unprecedented rise, what has surfaced as another avenue for branded ad placements is fintech platforms. Mind you, this is not just limited to the Paytms, PhonePes and Creds of the world.

While it is no news that users today are indulging in transacting digitally when it comes to credit card payments or even utility bills via e-wallets and UPI, what has happened is that fintech platforms are increasingly trying to gauge engagement and screen time of transacting users by conducting activities like scratch cards, spin the wheel and so on and so forth.

As a result, advertisers are increasingly resorting to placing their ads on fintech platforms for a greater brand recall because when making transactions online, users don’t have the leeway to switch channels or visit other pages as it happens on TV, Meta and Google platforms.

Nishant Pitti

Speaking to, Nishant Pitti, CEO and Co-Founder, EaseMyTrip, attributed the surge in advertiser interest in fintech platforms to their widespread adoption, particularly following demonetisation in 2016 and the pandemic.

“In the crowded space of these platforms, most marketing strategies revolve around creating an organically intrinsic ad space. As users frequently use these apps with the mindset and intent to make payments, having an ad space directly where users’ money is being spent helps not only catch their attention but also propels them to make a payment for a product that they find in the displayed ad,” he said.

He also mentioned that taking this approach ensures that advertising strategies are not intrusive but seamlessly integrated into the user journey. Most brands look to tailor their campaigns to align with users’ payment behaviours, making their presence not just noticeable but also relevant. The same helps one to capitalise on the user’s focused attention during a transaction, creating a memorable and effective advertising experience.

“Fintech platforms present a variety of advertising opportunities for brands, offering ad formats such as app install ads, which redirect users to app installation pages, and video ads, resembling TV commercials on the internet. The pricing model commonly involves a Cost Per Mille (CPM) structure, with leading fintech apps, quoting an average CPM ranging from Rs 70 to Rs 150 for daily client campaigns. Moreover, the lead conversion costs on fintechs are comparatively lesser as compared to Google and Meta-owned Facebook,” he pointed out.

Rajat Khullar

Rajat Khullar, Chief Business Officer, Idam House of Brands, believes that since 85% of transactions online have moved to UPI, and with user data around what an individual is doing online getting captured, advertisers on fintech platforms get an opportunity to target in-market audiences in specific sets. This improves the Conversion Ratio and Cost of Acquisition on the respective platform in addition to aggregating a good LTV customer.

He also expressed that in his views, even though advertising opportunities on various fintech platforms are the new frontier through which fintech companies generate revenue these days, they do so by working on very low margins. However, it is their data sharing which helps advertisers build strong brand connect with their target consumers and improve their brand strategy which in turn saves the cost to brands and aids in better optimisation of resources.

Anshita Mehrotra

As per Anshita Mehrotra, Founder, Fix My Curls, one of the main reasons why fintech platforms have gained traction for media placements rather than anything else is because they have the masses flooding to their applications and most brands, today, want to be able to reach as many people as they can, with as little effort as possible.

“Fintech platforms like Paytm, Cred, and Google Pay, all have a wide range of audiences using their app on a daily basis, this means access to a much larger network for brands that have a massy product to sell. This of course won't work for niche brands or brands who are at a more premium price point,” she said.

However, she also opined that in her views, the most targeted approach for marketers today is not on fintech platforms but on marketplaces.

Hemanshu Makatia

Sharing a similar viewpoint, Hemanshu Makatia, AVP, Starcom India, also highlighted that as compared to the pre-pandemic times, there has been a tremendous increase in the demand for

ad placements on fintech platforms from advertisers. That being said, earlier the supply of ad spots was also limited to a couple of the established ones, but today advertisers have the flexibility of selecting or choosing one of the many fintech players as their partner.

In addition to the aforementioned increase in both demand and supply of ad inventories on fintech platforms, he also pointed out that what has changed is the mindset of advertisers- from being more focused on running performance campaigns earlier to looking for and reaching out to transaction audiences now, irrespective of their categories.

“Whether it is brands in the domain of Travel, FMCG, D2C, BFSI, etc. everybody today wants to target audiences which are paid users who either have monthly or yearly subscriptions of OTTs and others and for obvious reasons. Hence, placing their ads on fintech platforms, where users mainly come to carry out transactions is a viable fit,” he said.

With this, he also pointed out that in recent times, most digital-first companies have been constantly engaging their audiences through these platforms, sometimes via clubbing their ad spots on such platforms because they have become the go-to for advertisers, after OTTs for reaching out to transacting audiences.

“Even though this form of advertising accounts for a marginal portion in the ad budgets of brands at the moment, the same is bound to rise going forward because unlike TV or any other digital medium, users do not have the option to change the channel or switch screens when making a transaction and hence the engagement and brand recall on such platforms is comparatively higher,” he pointed out.

Rupali Chavan

Rupali Chavan, Senior VP, MudraMax, also emphasised that fintech platforms and payment apps are surely gaining traction not just in the last two months but overall, in the leap of digitisation of money.

“Because digital marketers have always been facing the challenge of brand safety, authenticity and relevancy of audience seeing their communication and these concerns remain valid across most genres of media options including news, sports, regional, OTT, etc. It is the fundamentals on which payment apps are built that make them a standout winner by virtue of the solution they provide. Also, since they are issued a license by RBI as a payment bank after tight scrutiny and all users on the platform are KYC-verified, marketers usually don’t face the aforementioned problems when leveraging fintech platforms for effective ad placements,” she pointed out.

With this, she also mentioned that most high ticket brands like BFSI, Travel, Luxury Goods, Auto, Furniture, etc. find good fitment to reach relevant audiences on payment apps and make their campaigns more effective. This is because advertisers are able to target and reach relevant users based on transacting data which is based on the historical behaviour of the user basis their mobile usage.

Throwing light onto the various ad formats available to advertisers on fintech platforms, Starcom’s Makatia emphasised that except for one or two standard vanilla, different fintech apps today have different ad formats, unlike the ones which we typically see on YouTube, Facebook, OTT platforms or say any news publisher. The reason behind this is that when users go on to these apps to make transactions or even pay utility bills, they will eventually be doing an activity be it scratching a card, playing a game, or even spinning the wheel, and that activity serves as the ad spot for brands.

“And while some of these transactions between the advertisers and the fintech platforms are part of a barter deal (only in cases where the brand is sponsoring any of the events happening on the fintech app) and fixed spots bought by agencies or DSPs, some of the inventory is also available through programmatic display, which is why we’re seeing more and more advertisers coming on to these platforms,” he suggested.

When running programmatic ads on fintech platforms, he emphasised that advertisers are subjected to many restrictions, with one major being the inability to run standard ads on the API. The other is that of attribution modelling because one cannot track the consumer journeys to the tee because of these platforms’ walled nature and privacy protection.

However, for targeting, advertisers do get access to different demographics and patterns such as age, gender, location, etc. which can aid in customised targeting, he mentioned.

Idam House of Brands’ Khullar also mentioned that ad placements on banners, scratch and save opportunities and much more on fintech platforms help advertisers build brand essence and better their conversion rate.

In his experience, even though attribution on fintech platforms generally works on the last click or on the number of times the coupon gets used, one can indeed look at making unique coupon codes to identify redemptions.

As for the brands’ ad placements on such platforms, he mentioned that given the fact that platforms are limited at the moment, all partners are open to optimising for advertisers and hence D2C brands are quite optimistic when it comes to advertising on such platforms.

EaseMyTrip’s Pitti also pointed out that fintech platforms categorise customers into different segments and brands and then target ads to these segments and because of this, the competition is fierce.

But having said that, he also mentioned that in order to ensure fair and effective ad distribution among competing brands, fintech platforms deploy Machine Learning algorithms to ensure fairness in the ad placement process by implementing auction-based advertising systems.

“Brands bid for ad placements and the fintech platforms adjust the visibility of each ad based on bid value, relevance, and user engagement. This ensures all brands get equal opportunities to reach and connect with their target audience,” he stated.

Other key aspects, as elaborated by Pitti, of ad placements on fintech platforms include taking into consideration user experience, and privacy, and balancing ad frequency strategically to avoid use fatigue or irritation. Algorithm refinement coupled with transparent and ethical advertising practices enable fintech platforms to balance between effective ad distribution and providing positive user experiences, he said.

Delving deeper into what goes behind purchasing the ad inventory on fintech platforms, Starcom’s Makatia stated that agencies don’t make bulk purchases on fintech platforms because different advertisers may have different and very specific requirements. Hence, the only option to explore or avail discounts is via purchasing the inventory directly as it saves on the tech cost. Additionally, the spot buying inventory on fintech platforms is 30% costlier than running ads programmatically.

Similarly, MudraMax’s Chavan also shared the viewpoint that multiple ad formats and opportunities like innovation, reach impact, basic inventory for both display and video are available to advertisers on fintech platforms. But that being said, the pricing approach includes CPC, CPM, cost per deal options as per the asset and ad format.

“Innovative and engaging ad formats like scratch cards, cashbacks, wheel spins can be integrated with brands to provide coupons, lucky draws, deals and offers. But as mentioned before, the USP of the platform is the audience rather than inventory or ad format. Hence, marketers are leveraging the audience cohorts which is completely deterministic rather than probabilistic data which is more effective than any other platform,” she opined.

Although various media metrics like awareness, reach, sales, leads, installs, etc. are evaluated basis of the business objective while syncing the data with the sales data/CRM, Google Analytics or app analytics, the challenge going forward, in Chavan’s viewpoint, will be to keep the audience data enriched, fresh and refined with multiple layers to slice and dice the filters as per requirement because the audience’s interests/affinity get more complex with time alongside the need for addressing the challenge of ad viewability in the long run.

advertising ad rates fintech platforms ad placements challenges tailor ads banners spin the wheel cashback barter deals data transacting audiences EaseMyTrip Idam House of Brands Fix My Curls Starcom Mudramax