The way companies track and measure their websites and apps is in transition. The public battle around privacy between Facebook and Apple has impacted how companies can track users across apps and websites, as consumers become more conscious of how their data is used.
In this article we’re providing some insight into how this will impact fintech businesses and what they can do to protect their data for the changes ahead.
Apple’s privacy background
Apple’s first web privacy changes date back to 2017 when the company launched Intelligent Tracking prevention, or ITP, which limited third party cookies in the mobile and Mac Safari browsers.
Apple’s iOS changes
It was Apple’s more recent updates in iOS 14.5 that the world (and primarily Facebook) really started taking notice. This update, which allowed users to simply opt out of cross app tracking, has been a driving factor in these industry changes.
According to Flurry research, around 96% of iPhone users have opted out of cross app tracking since iOS14.5 launched in 2020, indicating clear evidence of a changing consumer mindset.
Apple has around a 51.62% smartphone market share in the UK and with the majority of people now using a smartphone as their primary computing device. This is a seismic change for the industry.
It also looks as if Apple is not yet done with the privacy changes, with Apple CEO Tim Cook vocal on the subject of more regulation around privacy, believing more change is needed in how companies use customer data.
Google has also been looking into rethinking its strategy on how its platforms operate in regards to data and privacy. Google has forecasted the phasing out of cookies in its Chrome browser in 2022, alongside investigating its own anti-tracking features on its Android platform.
Google has also developed Google Analytics 4 which will eventually replace Universal Analytics. We’ll talk about this a little later on in more detail.
How fintechs can prepare
Data is often at the heart of a fintech business and allows these companies to disrupt markets more efficiently. Monzo’s success and incredible growth, from £100million to a company valued at £2billion in just four years, is testament to this approach. In three years the data team at Monzo grew from just one person to a total of 30.
The rapid growth these organisations require to keep moving forwards and gain new funding, is reliant on a data focus at every level of the business. This encompasses product and marketing decisions designed around user growth.
A starting point for how these data focused decisions should be discussed could be:
- Understanding as a collective what the company privacy measures are and how they are implemented
- Agreeing on the business KPIs
- Setting up a system for data decision-making
- Understand which data teams need access to make those decisions
This may be a time consuming task and the total time it may need will depend on the complexity of the business goals, product and user journey.
It is advised that a dedicated team is set up for this process, or outside assistance acquired to guide the decision making process.
Key leaders in the company should be involved from the start and they must always have in mind that a complete restructuring of processes may be required and, if this is the case, it shouldn’t be seen as a bad thing.
Four updates you can make today
Whilst the discussions above will be key in formulating the long term first-party data strategy, there are four changes below that can be implemented immediately to get you heading in the right direction.
Cookie and data privacy policies
Are the current cookie and privacy policies accurate and transparent?
The use of first-party customer data will be a key component in digital campaigns that can no longer rely on cookies to operate. Is your organisation being clear to users about how their data may be used?
Setting up Google Analytics 4
As we mentioned earlier, Google is looking to develop its approach for cookieless tracking and Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is what this future looks like.
Unlike Universal Analytics which will no longer receive updates, GA4 has been designed to work without cookies, as it relies on Google’s machine learning algorithm. This algorithm can fill data holes that may be missed due to a lack of cookie data.
GA4 also has an added benefit of integrating customer audiences which use your website visitors to build groups of similar users. This looks as if it will replace site remarketing in the long term.
It is worth comparing a current Universal Analytics property with an active GA4 account regularly to see if and where your site is losing traffic or conversions.
Setting up Facebook’s conversion API
Facebook has developed their own solutions including verifying your domain and updating pixel events with priority events, so campaigns can better optimise and measure conversions.
These recommendations have been heavily prompted in Facebook ad accounts since the iOS14 changes were announced and should hopefully be implemented already.
Another change that can help future proof your ad accounts is the installation of the Facebook Conversions API. This can link your Facebook ad accounts to your server, web platform or CRM for more accurate measurement in the absence of cookies.
Making sure that your global site tag (gTag.js) and/or your Google Tag Manager is properly implemented on your site will ensure the best possible measurement and optimisation for your campaigns.
Whilst change can be daunting, it also brings opportunity. This process should be viewed as a unique chance to review how your company is approaching and using data and ways it can be improved for the better.
The fintech organisations that are the swiftest in taking on this responsibility will be the ones who will see the long term benefits.
If you’d like to discuss your data strategy with us, get in touch today to make progress tomorrow.