Digital innovation and adaptability go hand in hand in today’s pandemic environment. Even when things start to go back to normal, the fintech industry still needs to be both innovative and adaptable. Only a few companies see the pandemic as a stepping stone to improve their strategies: Deriv is one of them.
Founder and CEO of Deriv, Jean-Yves Sireau, known for making online trading accessible to traders of all backgrounds and risk appetites, talks about fintech challenges and opportunities during the pandemic.
What has been the traditional company response to financial technology innovations?
Our mission at Deriv is to democratise trading, making it accessible to anyone, anywhere, anytime. We have built our platforms and systems to drive this mission forward, and we strive to always bring the best fintech solutions to our clients. It is crucial to be innovative within the fintech industry. We are always growing, adapting, and changing to keep pace with the industry and stay ahead.
How has this changed over the past few years?
The pandemic pushed us to rethink how we do business around the world. It was disheartening to see businesses close down and workers lose their jobs. Like any other industry, at the onset of COVID-19, we worried about the effect it would have on us. But we made some decisions and changes in our business, which proved effective.
Our model remains the same — we still strive to make trading accessible to everyone, but we’ve had to take into consideration the changing circumstances of our clients and adapt our offerings to their needs.
Is there anything that has created a culture of change inside the company?
COVID-19 created a big culture change inside our company. Where we have always been office-based, the pandemic saw us adapting to collaborate while working from home. However, most of the countries housing our offices have come back to normalcy. We have conformed to the safety guidelines in all our offices. We are providing face masks and hand sanitisers to employees. Disinfectant sprays and antibacterial wipes are being used to disinfect the office. We are sharing health tips, and we’ve rented new office space for social distancing.
We have offices across Malaysia that are still under lockdown. We have provided employees in these offices with the required hardware and software to work from home. In all cases, we have learned to bond just as strongly when working remotely as we did face-to-face. Given that we are a multi-site company with offices around the world, forming strong working relationships while working miles and miles away from one another isn’t new to us. This experience has been very helpful in getting us to adapt to the new way of collaborating across screens.
What fintech ideas have been implemented?
Deriv has always offered a flexible trading experience to clients. We reshaped our strategies to ensure business adaptability and compassionate client dealings. We simplified several default processes to help with the challenges of trading in Covid times. From sharing relevant documents for verification to urgent money withdrawals due to emergencies to offering new payment methods, we tried to help as much as we could. We offered alternate solutions and additional support to avoid unnecessary payment delays.
To better serve our customers, we changed our processes to show our empathy and improve the client experience. Small acts go a long way to build relationships.
What benefits have these brought?
We’ve seen a high number of registrations to our platform throughout the last year, especially from Africa and Latin America. Deriv has also continued to grow. We’ve opened new offices worldwide and strengthened our workforce by hiring professionals.
Do you see any other industry challenges on the horizon?
In these uncertain times, the biggest challenge fintech companies are facing is being able to keep their data secure while adapting to the new norm of remote working. Almost all industries have gone digital during the pandemic. So it is crucial to check whether your data will remain secure. Make sure of proper encryption before sharing any confidential information online.
Can these challenges be aided by fintech?
Absolutely, fintech can help drive data security. Being an online trading firm, Deriv has always given great importance to data security. We adhere to the Secure Socket Layer security protocol for client data security. We also follow strict digital measures to protect unsuspecting clients from cyberattacks. Last year, when all employees were working from home, we used data security measures so our employees would use only approved IPs. We also deploy remote security features if a device gets compromised.
The future is all about seizing opportunities and turning them in your favour. Most organisations will continue to rise to meet the challenges and client needs. Digital innovation and adaptability will help them sail through the pandemic. The surge in online transactions and client communication will continue. Considering vaccination is on the rise, markets might take a bullish stance soon, encouraging investors to buy now.