All businesses need to earn consumer trust to succeed – but fintech startups, like us, can face a particularly uphill battle.

After all, everyone gets antsy when it comes to their pocketbooks. And if bad financial news is swirling, it only compounds consumer wariness.

So, we ask ourselves every day: How can we increase trust in our business?

Dr. Stephen Covey, of “Seven Habits” fame, talks about trust in terms of personal relationships, but the concept is easily transferrable to the professional realm. Unless you have magically unlimited overdraft protection, you cannot draw down your account indefinitely. It’s the same with trust – the less proof of honesty and integrity you have in your “trust account,” the more vulnerable you are to outside forces and even your own missteps.

It’s a great concept, but still needs lots of tactical implementation. Here are some ways we try to maintain a positive trust balance:

1. Mitigating risk. We’re here to get payments out the door quickly and easily, sure. But that means nothing if we’re not at the top of our compliance game, understanding all of the logistics and complexities associated with this highly regulated industry. We know we live under a microscope – and that’s a good thing.

2. Locking down data. Nothing dooms trust like breaches! We put personal information and security first, for both payors and payees. We follow strict guidelines and security standards, like GDPR, and we constantly evolve so that we can comply with the next wave of standards, like CCPA.

Secure data is a key part of building trust

3. Building trust in different ways with different beneficiaries. Our direct clients are B:B – esports companies, influencer agencies, online marketing platforms, and more – so our focus is on being the best representative we can be, but since their clients are B:C, we think about consumers too. For example, we make onboarding as easy and intuitive as possible to minimize pain points for the consumer.

4. Keeping it clear. We provide the maximum amount of transparency that we can, at all times. That means payment status (e.g., processed, submitted), reasons behind any returns (e.g. missing or incorrect information, compliance flags, etc.) for our clients, and fee clarity (e.g. transmission fees, currency exchange, tax withholdings, etc.) for their customers.

These are some of our commitments – the ways we navigate the challenges inherent in being a new business, in an oft-misunderstood field, and still building trust.

We’re encouraged by the fact that trust indicators / indexes are becoming a business in and of themselves because trust is so fundamental to commerce. Recent research from Rachel Botsman, Trust Fellow at Oxford University’s Saïd Business School, concluded that “when trust increases, the probability of a company attracting more customers increases with it.” Deloitte Insights reached the same conclusion.

The fintech industry is poised for tremendous growth — increasing at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 20.5% over the next 10 years to expand from a $110.59 billion industry to $699.50 billion by 2030. We at Payment Labs want to be a part of that – and we’re working on making trust the bedrock of our ability to accomplish it.