Why do fintechs need to implement OKRs now?

By Elie Casamitjana, Founder & CEO of OKRmentors, and Tristan Pelloux, Founder & Chief Pencil Officer of Fintech Review.

Now is the right time for fintech companies to use OKRs.

Why? Because the industry is constantly evolving but at a turning point: strategy execution is more important than ever. Companies need to stay agile and adaptable to remain competitive.

But first…

…what are OKRs? 🤔

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OKRs, or Objectives and Key Results, are a goal-setting framework used by organisations – from Google to Stripe, including Alma – to align teams and individuals towards common objectives and track progress so as to achieving them.

Objectives are the ambitious goals that an organisation sets to drive its success, while Key Results are the specific, measurable, and time-bound metrics that define what success looks like for each objective.

OKRs encourage transparency, focus, and accountability by establishing clear priorities, fostering alignment across teams, and promoting regular tracking and evaluation of results. They help organisations set ambitious goals, measure progress, and adapt their strategies based on data-driven insights, ultimately driving performance and achieving the desired outcomes.

Why now is the right time to implement OKRs?

There are some specific reasons.

Growing competition

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The fintech industry is becoming increasingly competitive as more companies enter the market. Competition is growing rapidly as more startups and established financial institutions join the space to fend off competition. With the increasing adoption of digital technologies and the rising demand for convenient, secure, and innovative financial services, the fintech industry is not a blue ocean anymore.

One of the main reasons for the growing competition in fintech is the low barriers to entry (for the most part). Fintech startups can leverage low and no-code development platforms, cloud computing, open-source software, and APIs to create innovative financial services quickly and easily. Moreover, established financial institutions are also embracing the fintech way of life to improve their operations, reduce costs, and enhance customer experience.

Another reason for the growing competition in fintech is the rise of digital payments, mobile banking, and cryptocurrency. Fintech companies are taking advantage of these trends to offer faster, cheaper, and more secure payment services to consumers and businesses.

Overall, the competition in fintech is driving innovation, improving financial services, and expanding access to financial products and services. However, it is also leading to consolidation, regulatory challenges, and cybersecurity risks.

Using OKRs can help fintech companies to stay focused and aligned with their goals to stand out in a crowded market.

Evolving customer needs

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Fintech companies need to stay ahead of changing customer needs and expectations. The evolution of technology has dramatically transformed financial services, and customer needs are changing accordingly in fintech.


Customers expect personalised and tailored experiences that meet their individual financial needs. This includes customised product offerings, personalised recommendations, and communication through their preferred channels.


Customers expect easy and quick access to financial services, including account management, transaction history, and customer support. Mobile-first solutions are becoming the norm as customers prefer to manage their finances on-the-go.

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As digital transactions become more prevalent, customers demand advanced security features to protect their sensitive financial data. They want reassurance that their personal and financial information is secure.

Speed and Efficiency

With the rise of instant gratification culture, customers expect fast and efficient services, especially when it comes to money transfers, loan applications, and any financial services.


Customers want transparency in pricing and fees, as well as clear and understandable information about financial products and services.


An increasing number of customers are seeking fintech solutions that align with their values, including environmental and social responsibility. They expect fintech companies to prioritise sustainability and ethical business practices.

Fintech companies that can meet these evolving customer needs are well-positioned to succeed in an increasingly competitive market. OKRs can help companies set goals that align with customer needs and track progress towards meeting those demands.

Accelerated digital transformation

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The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated digital transformation in the fintech industry in several ways.

Firstly, there is an increased demand for digital services. With lockdowns and social distancing measures in place, customers had increasingly turned to digital channels to manage their finances. Because there was no other way. That has accelerated a trend already strong in the years prior. Fintechs and incumbents have responded by expanding their online offerings, as well as developing new digital products and services to meet changing customer needs.

Secondly, demand for contactless payments has grown. The pandemic has led to a surge in contactless payments as customers avoid handling physical cash or touching payment terminals. The word is increasingly becoming cashless. Fintech companies are developing new payment solutions that use contactless technology, including mobile wallets and payment apps.

Thirdly, there is increased use of AI and automation. Including new demand for generative AI. Fintech companies are more and more using AI and automation to improve the efficiency of their operations and reduce costs. This includes using chatbots and virtual assistants to handle customer inquiries, as well as automating back-end processes such as risk management and fraud detection.

Lastly, digital identity solutions are expanding. With more customers conducting transactions online, there is an increased need for secure and reliable digital identity solutions. Fintech companies are developing new identity verification solutions that use biometrics, AI, and blockchain technology to ensure secure and seamless transactions.

Overall, the pandemic has accelerated the ongoing digital transformation in financial services, and companies that are able to adapt quickly and innovate are likely to succeed in this new world. OKRs can help fintech companies to stay adaptable and responsive to changes in the market and customer needs.

Increased investor scrutiny

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Fintech companies are under increased scrutiny from investors, who expect a clear and measurable path to success. OKRs provide a framework for setting and tracking progress towards clear goals, which can help to satisfy investor demands.

Fintech companies are under increased scrutiny from investors for several reasons including:

  • Profitability. Many fintech companies have grown rapidly in recent years, but the majority have yet to turn a profit. Investors are becoming increasingly concerned about the long-term sustainability of these companies and are looking for clear paths to profitability.
  • Regulation. The fintech industry is highly regulated, and companies that fail to comply with regulatory requirements may face significant fines or other penalties. Investors are closely monitoring companies’ compliance with regulations and their ability to navigate complex regulatory landscapes.
  • Impact. Investors are increasingly looking for companies that demonstrate social responsibility and ethical business practices. Fintech companies that fail to meet these standards may face reputational damage and a loss of investor confidence.

Fintech companies are under increased scrutiny from investors for a variety of reasons. OKRs can help management teams deliver on strategic imperatives whilst working towards investor demands.

Remote work

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Many fintech companies have shifted to partial or full remote work due to the pandemic, which can make it challenging to stay aligned and focused. OKRs can help to keep everyone on the same page and ensure that goals and progress are transparent and visible to all team members.

The shift to distributed and remote work can pose several challenges for fintechs in terms of internal alignment and strategic focus.

With employees working remotely, it can be challenging to maintain team cohesion and ensure that everyone is aligned around the company’s strategic goals. Fintech companies need to invest in digital collaboration tools and establish effective communication protocols to ensure that teams are working together effectively.

Remote work can make it more difficult to manage workloads and ensure that employees are focusing on the most important tasks. Fintech companies need to implement effective project management tools and processes like the OKR framework to ensure that employees are aligned around the company’s strategic priorities.

Bottom line

It is always hard to balance short-term and long-term goals. The shift to digital creates short-term challenges for fintech companies, such as managing cybersecurity risks and ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements. However, it is also important for companies to maintain a focus on long-term strategic goals.

Fintech companies need to strike a balance between addressing short-term challenges and investing in long-term growth opportunities. OKRs are a good way to manage that tension between short-term and long-term goals by having a clear link between vision, mission, strategy and execution.

Now is the right time for fintechs to use OKRs to stay focused, aligned, and adaptable in a rapidly changing industry. By using this framework, companies can set clear goals, track progress, and stay ahead of the competition.

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