How to generate leads for fintech

Mariya Delano
Mariya Delano
Reading time:13 m

Given the constant presence of scams in fintech, your solution must provide a clear and near-immediate benefit; otherwise, it's just another unneeded (and unwanted) high-risk investment.

Most people in financial technology have heard every lofty promise long before you even started your company. If you want to generate leads, you need to show that your product solves a specific, pre-existing problem that traditional financial institutions have failed to address.

How is lead generation different for fintech?

In addition to the typical challenges of B2B lead generation, your fintech company has to deal with increased buyer scrutiny, government regulations, and difficulty explaining your value proposition without using highly technical language.

Of course, fintech isn’t monolithic. Some niches within financial technology include:

  • Payments
  • Neobanks (or digital banks)
  • Financial management
  • Loans and financing
  • Identity and background verification
  • Financial transaction data & analysis
  • Stock trading
  • Insurance

Each of these niche fintech industries is in a continual state of flux due to new legislation, economic globalization, fraud risks, security breaches, and general paradigm shifts in technology.

Because of these constant changes, best practices for fintech lead generation quickly become outdated.

And since compliance and security requirements for any financial process tend to be extensive and cumbersome, buyers are very resistant to taking unnecessary risks. So if you want prospects to trust you, you must establish a solid track record of past results.

Build your reputation, showcase case studies with real numbers, and prove that your company is truly delivering value to its customers. Discuss how you’ve designed your products to meet compliance requirements, and openly address any security risks.

Earn trust through your open commitment to lowering risk for your prospective buyers.

And if doing this on your own sounds like a lot of work, you don’t have to. Instead, your company can benefit from the experience of professionals who have successfully generated leads for fintech in the past. to see how we can help you!

2 approaches to fintech lead generation

Landing calls with C-level individuals, VPs, directors, and others with seniority titles is still the goal of lead generation, but it can feel as elusive as throwing darts in the dark.

The average decision-maker is inundated with emails and outreach attempts more than ever before. If you want to reach those leads for your fintech business, you can choose from two kinds of approaches:

  1. Compete in less saturated verticals
  2. Increase your odds in more competitive niches

Compete in less saturated verticals

Instead of chasing the lead needle in a spam haystack, you can choose to look at less explored parts of the market. After all, fintech is at once a very diverse and incredibly concentrated industry. Many players are serving essentially the exact same narrow target demographic.

Baxter Lanius, CEO of Alternative Payments, told me:

“Too many companies are building solutions for software and technology customers. Not enough companies are building for other parts of the economy. There is an overabundance of opportunities within distribution, logistics, retail, restaurants, IT services, business services, etc.”

Ignoring other kinds of companies means stripping them of the chance to benefit from technological innovation. As Baxter explained:

“Entrepreneurs should turn their focus to many of these old economic segments that will continue to be left behind if we do not help them innovate.”

Lucky for you, this neglect of more “boring” verticals means that your fintech business can leverage plenty of untapped opportunities. If you adapt your messaging to an overlooked industry like logistics and your fintech product solves a real need for those businesses, you will be able to drive results with simpler lead generation methods.

Increase your odds in more competitive niches

To reach senior decision-makers in more competitive markets like software, you have to work your way up the corporate grapevine.

For instance, if your target audience is a VP, you might want to begin a conversation with a senior manager, then ask them to connect you with their direct manager, and so on.

But because phone calls from unknown numbers or call centers are easily ignored or blocked as spam, combined email and LinkedIn outreach are a more viable option for your fintech lead generation.

Direct single-channel outreach may seem more efficient, but it’s a lot less likely to work. Your target pool of potential prospects is finite, a multichannel approach can help you re-engage leads who didn’t resonate with your marketing the first time.

Once your lead generation campaign has exhausted the available low-hanging fruit, you have to rely on retargeting campaigns to build the necessary trust.

This trust is built not so much by broadcasting your company's values, awards, or certifications, but by explaining how your product or service reliably imparts unique value and meets the specific compliance needs of your target buyer. Prove your expertise and capability to deliver on promises by publishing educational content and addressing the specific pain points and challenges that your ICP may be experiencing with legacy financial solutions.

Belkins experts also recommend that you educate your target audience via outreach while simultaneously warming them up via paid ads.

Fintech lead generation tactics

Cold emails, pay-per-click (PPC) ad campaigns, and account-based marketing (ABM) can work well for fintech lead generation if you commit to playing the long game.

But none of those channels tend to work on their own. To understand why, take a look at fintech's marketing flow, which can be broken down into two major stages:

  1. Adoption: To enter the market you must remain flexible, adapt to trends, and be willing to go with the flow in terms of strategy and processes. Once you have a foothold among an audience, you can proceed.
  2. Engagement: To book calls, you need people to engage. Once your brand is considered a potential option, provide niche and valuable content so users can educate themselves in their own time.


Paid ads are an excellent way to warm up leads and can complement your organic lead generation efforts. This channel can be particularly useful for newer startups that lack industry recognition.

As a first step, promote some high-quality sponsored posts or video ads that prominently feature your name and logo. Next, use targeted outreach via email and LinkedIn to generate engagement.


Email is currently the reigning champion of cold outreach. In your emails, provide prospects with valuable educational content and encourage them to contact a sales rep.

Because most fintech products and services are highly technical, your sales representatives will need to continue educating prospects within your outreach campaigns. To seal the deal with potential leads, you need to help them understand how your service offering addresses their specific business requirements and unique financial challenges.

To prime the recipient for a sales call, your email should always include, in a few sentences, your value proposition and how it addresses pain points and mitigates potential risks.

If your email lands in the right person's inbox, after they've already seen your company name through another channel (like paid ads), you've got a shot at receiving a reply.

You can then increase your chances by following up with the prospect on other channels they are known to be active on. Address their hesitations and continue to show your expertise and reliability, without pressuring your prospects through scare tactics. Remember, you need to get past the barrier of assumed mistrust and show that your fintech brand has a real value proposition.


LinkedIn, as we’ve mentioned before, is most effective for lead generation when used alongside other channels, especially email and PPC.

While paid ads don't work well to educate an audience, organic LinkedIn posts can. You can publish niche thought leadership, your expert insights, your company’s experience, and sharing stories behind your wins — all of this content can be relevant and compelling, helping your fintech brand drive sales in B2B.

For example, Baxter frequently shares his views on developments in the financial technology space via his LinkedIn posts. Here’s an example from earlier this year, when Baxter predicted that the fintech giant Stripe is planning for an IPO in 2025.

His post garnered 155 reactions and 26 comments, including sentiments like “Love this take on stripe and this is exactly what we are seeing in the market. Price increases, tighter risk monitoring and less support for smaller partners.”

As a result, Baxter gets to build awareness for himself and his company with a larger audience, and the people who see his posts learn to trust him to have intelligent opinions on the fintech space.

Presumably, anyone who has seen and liked that post is now more likely to respond to any direct outreach from Baxter or his team at Alternative Payments.

Lead generation for fintech startups

Startups tend to have their own lead generation challenges, and fintech startups are no different.

Instead of trying to compete with pre-existing dominant players, fintech startups should lean into their specialized expertise within whatever sub-niche they may inhabit. To generate leads, your startup needs to first define its unique space, achieve user adoption within that space, earn engagement from wider audiences, and only then expand its lead generation efforts.

However, there is also such a thing as becoming too niche for your business to remain viable. As cool as truly revolutionizing financial technology might sound, you don’t want to be one-of-a-kind in terms of the problem you solve. If not enough companies experience the pain that you’re addressing, then no amount of lead generation efforts will bring your startup business.

For example, Alternative Payments has a very specific value proposition. As Baxter told me:

“The biggest challenge for companies is around payment acceptance and automating the workflow for invoicing, billing, and payments, which is exactly what we are solving. Many companies have huge challenges with their accounts receivable and are running into problems using old-school accounting software. We simplify and streamline the process.”

As you see for yourself, their company has found a pre-existing problem, noticed the reluctance of legacy players to address it, and built a product to simplify necessary but cumbersome financial tasks for businesses who find that solution valuable enough to pay.

For lead generation to work, you need to hit the sweet spot between remaining relevant to a large enough total addressable market and solving a niche enough problem to have a chance against other fintech brands.

When Belkins works with financial companies, we make sure our services provide as much value as possible through:

  • Our understanding of specific pain points in fintech: for example, we understand the high relative acquisition cost, or the need to attract high-quality leads.
  • Proven templates and approaches to get companies up and running fast: for example, our email sequences or our list of hottest fintech events.
  • Thorough quantitative testing across multiple audiences: you can even try our ROI calculator for yourself.
  • 50+ satisfied clients within the financial industry alone, like Citcon and LISNR.
  • 43% customer acquisition cost (CAC) reduction.

The core of our approach is a deep understanding of our clients’ value offerings and the pain points that most resonate with their ICP. While you don’t need to hire a lead generation service like Belkins, if you want to generate leads for your startup you need to adopt a similar comprehensive methodology.

Tailoring your approach

Before your fintech startup can effectively fine-tune an approach to lead generation, you need to identify your unique differentiator within the larger fintech space.

Competition in fintech is extremely high and lead generation isn’t easy when generative AI like ChatGPT can pump out more ad copy, emails, LinkedIn posts, and other marketing content for your competitors or other brands faster than ever before.

Ironically, saying “we don't use AI” can actually help you get a foot in the door in fintech.

This is because AI is a double-edged sword in this industry due to many buyers' needs to meet compliance and security standards. People don't yet trust AI, and any financial use cases are some of the most high-risk. Legislation, regulation, and cybersecurity risks around generative AI currently make it a high-risk investment for financial organizations and institutions, as well as buyers of fintech products.

Our experience: Token

Token Case Study Results

We helped book 50 appointments for Token, a young fintech company offering a payment platform for financial institutions and other businesses.

Token was a relatively small team (11–50 employees) and targeted enterprise-level clients. The big challenge for them — and us — was a common problem in fintech: difficult lead research.

Not only did we need to find the companies that most needed Token's solution, but we also needed to segment those potential opportunities to locate the ones that were most willing to engage with the brand.

For Token, that meant we were looking for clients who are interested in the cutting edge of financial technology, interested in concepts like open banking. To conduct lead research, our team at Belkins had to access platforms with public data.

To further understand Token's product members of our sales team reached out to their internal experts. We asked them questions to gain a more thorough picture of their lead generation and sales cycle, and then we were able to design a more efficient and granular approach to remaining lead research.

Using that information, we launched a targeted campaign within select geographic regions. We asked for referrals, tested and developed email templates, and nurtured prospects with multiple touchpoints before they booked calls with Token’s team.

Overcoming common lead generation challenges for fintech startups

FinTech startups have to overcome a catch-22 when it comes to lead generation. That is, they need case studies to gain clients, but have no clients to create case studies from.

Case studies for businesses in the financial sector, such as those we've referenced throughout this article, provide the social proof and experience that's integral to demonstrating expertise and building trust. Additionally, they work to educate your audience on your process for solving their pain points.

But if you don't have any case studies or clients, should you even bother with outreach?

Yes. The answer to a lack of case studies is lead generation that focuses on your unique advantage. It's okay to be the new kid on the block as long as you're providing a fresh perspective to a persistent problem.

Beware of trying to chase growth for its own sake. Baxter advises fintech startups to consider the following:

“Focus on unit economics. Growth is important, but building a fundamentally sound business is more important. The growth-at-all-costs mindset is no more. Growth comes at a cost and ensuring you are weighing the cost with the opportunity is critical to scale further.”

We are currently operating in an economy where money is quite expensive. Because interest rates aren’t particularly friendly to new investments, you need to analyze any opportunity costs inherent within your growth plan.

Make sure that your business is ready to generate leads at your desired pace. Don’t compromise the quality of your product or compliance requirements. Given the risks inherent to fintech, a dent in your reputation could significantly damage your business prospects.

Our experience: LISNR

LSNR case study results

LISNR, an Ohio-based fintech company, provided a novel solution that gained attention and partnerships from names such as Intel, Jaguar, and VISA.

Here are some of the challenges that both LISNR and Belkins faced throughout our engagement:

  • Qualifying leads by their existing payment technology stack, to make sure that it was compatible with our offering.
  • Closing deals with extended sales cycles, by remaining in regular contact with prospects.

By studying LISNR's current ICP and differentiator, we were able to both greatly expand their target audience — in terms of geographic location — and tailor outreach to different audience segments.

Using AI and machine learning in fintech

AI and ML are increasing both competition and confusion within financial technology. 

On one hand, as with many other industries, AI and automated processes are speeding up various operations while reducing costs. Thanks to these efficiency improvements, some fintech companies can undercut their competitors and offer an increased speed of delivery for the same ROI.

But on the other side of the AI coin are the aforementioned trust issues surrounding compliance and security. After all, any financial products or services are tightly regulated by most world governments. Those compliance requirements do not magically vanish when AI gets involved.

So your fintech company may be in good company if you’re currently asking yourselves: “Is AI good or bad for us? How should we use it?”

If you're a fintech company, you need to be very careful about how you educate and talk about AI within your lead generation campaigns. Remember, your messaging should never diminish the precious trust that you’ve worked so hard to build.

A common tactic for praising AI without sowing doubt is to highlight how it provides the analytic capabilities necessary for optimizing various processes.

This approach can work in your favor by showing that, whether or not AI is currently providing an advantage regarding compliance and security, it's necessary for the cost-saving and operational efficiency needed to compete in the near future.

Keep learning: How to generate leads for B2B tech companies

Ready to get started?

Here are several options and free resources to help you get started on your outbound sales journey:

  • Hire Belkins: If you want to discuss your current business goals and how we can potentially help you achieve them, contact us.
  • Belkins case studies: Gain insights on how we’ve generated almost 5 million leads, and millions of dollars for businesses of all sizes. Read their stories.
  • Belkins Growth Podcast: Get to know our co-founder Michael Maximoff as he interviews professionals on market challenges, effective sales practices, and business perspectives in various industries. Listen to the Belkins Growth Podcast.
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Mariya Delano
Mariya Delano
Content strategist & founder of Kalyna Marketing agency
Mariya is the founder of Kalyna Marketing. Beyond her client work, she is a contributor to Search Engine Land and writes a newsletter titled Attention Deficit Marketing Disorder (ADMD). Mariya is originally from Zhytomyr, Ukraine and is currently based in New York City.