Fidel Forecast | What’s happened and what’s coming in 2021

When I say it’s been quite a year, there are two meanings behind that. For all the challenges, disappointments and uncertainty, there have been plenty of positives. Growing headcount, improved user experience, new and exciting clients. It’s great to be able to celebrate those things. On the other hand, it’s been a difficult twelve months for the whole world. For obvious reasons, I don’t think I need to delve too deeply into that.

I want to look at 2020 from a different perspective - pointing to all the bright spots, the wins and the lessons we’ve learnt as the world moves forward.

🏆 The wins of 2020

  • Clients, Clients, Clients | We’ve partnered with some amazing brands to help drive payments-led innovation, capping off the year by officially announcing our work with Google Pay - it was a major milestone, but it’s just the beginning.

  • Our First US Office | The land of the free and the home of...Fidel? It was an exciting moment to finally lay some foundations on the east coast with our NYC Fidel office.  
  • New Faces | In last year’s forecast, we were wistful, recalling a time when we were only 11-strong, in early 2019. Now, at 60 people (and still growing fast), we can be wistful all over again. It’s been a real privilege to watch the team grow so much over this year. We’ve specifically focused on Product, Engineering, Customer Ops recruitment, further building out client-facing functions to improve user experience of Fidel. As things stand, we speak 27 languages and represent 21 nationalities across the business.
  • Incoming Investors | We’re also delighted to report early Stripe employee and angel investor, Lachy Groom, has become part of the  Fidel family.
  • Deeper Network Partnerships | Our partnerships with Mastercard, Visa and Amex are immensely valuable to Fidel. We’re looking forward to continuing our work with them and growing Fidel’s global network even further around the world.
  • Improved User Experience |  Over the past year and its challenges, we chose to focus our efforts on the things we could control, while the world was put on pause. The Fidel user experience should never be considered a ‘finished product’, either, so we built on that commitment with the launch of the new Fidel dashboard. In a nutshell, there’s a host of new features to maximise visibility, ease of use and simplicity for users, all wrapped in a sleek, new design.

    You can find more detail on the process from ideation to launch in our VP Product, Katherine’s, dashboard blog.
  • The Fidel Dev Community forum goes live | When it comes to strange times, 2020 really takes the cake. Luckily, our developer community could keep busy on our brand-new community forum - a space for the developers using Fidel to share ideas, pose questions, make requests and showcase their work. If you’re a dev, or enjoy meeting and learning from talented, like-minded people - take a look!

🎯 The goals for 2021

  • Prepare for New Products | Shipping enablement products that support core usage of the platform is a key component of the 2021 strategy. Without saying too much too soon, be on the lookout for some smarter ways to interact with merchants, new authentication tools and some developments around pushing funds to cards! We’ve been eyeing up complementary products to provide our clients with even more tools, too. You will definitely need a bigger toolbox, that’s all I’ll say.
  • Network Partnerships | We’ll be deepening relationships with our current network partners, as part of our ongoing goal of strengthening the value of card usage and acceptance in current - and future - markets. Building on that foundation, we hope to be welcoming a few, new partners onboard, too!
  • Expanding Use-Cases | With our network partners and developers alongside, we’re exploring new verticals to improve how consumers and businesses interact with their payment cards - as well as how merchants accept cards.  
  • Exploring Global Opportunities | Fidel plans to work with a host of new, global players. To support those new arrivals, and to satisfy local demand, we’re pushing to enable additional geographies. With select markets in APAC and Latin America in our sights, the team is looking forward to helping accelerate cardholder and merchant value propositions across the world - we’ll be sure to visit them when we get the chance, too!
  • Continued Custodianship | We’re proud of the robust security features we employ as part of Fidel’s APIs - it’s central to what we do. So, we’re going to be shining the spotlight on important topics like Fidel’s approach to privacy and security measures - starting with providing more explanation on how we tokenize and safeguard payment data later this month.

There are plenty of very valid arguments to want to push 2020 to the back of our minds. However, it feels important to remember that there have still been reasons to celebrate and to be proud. It’s been a reminder of how resilient and adaptable we can be in the face of adversity.  I’ll be taking that spirit with us into the new year, I hope you can too.  

For now, if you’re looking for some more specifics on what we’re building today and in future, you can head to our product roadmap or subscribe to our blog. Here’s to 2021, a year of new opportunities, new beginnings and endless possibility!