Action Required: New Requirements to market Your Financial Services with Google
There’s change in the air for the financial services industry at Google, and because this sector is a big part of the Gibraltar business identity, it very likely affects you. Google has just announced a major policy change that will go into effect on August 30, 2021, specifically for the financial services industry but potentially affecting many more. Luckily, though, although this policy update is significant and most definitely requiring your attention, meeting their requirements isn’t a complicated or ambiguous one.
New Verification Requirements
Google’s announcement to explain their latest policy update states, in clear terms, that it involves new verification requirements for financial services advertisers targeting the UK, which also includes Gibraltar. If you are in the financial services industry and are marketing in any way on Google, you must complete their verification requirements. Companies that don’t before September 7, 2021 will be denied advertisement rights for financial services in the UK (and Gibraltar) or to any worldwide UK (or Gibraltar) users who appear to be seeking financial services.
In order to continue to advertise your financial services with Google, an authorised representative of your business (any person authorised to Google ad campaigns for your business) must complete a verification process Google has set up to demonstrate that your business is authorised by the UK Financial Conduct Authority (UK FCA). Google’s verification process is easily completed in two steps:
Step 1: Apply for Google’s verification of your UK FCA authorisation using their integrated form in your Google account. You will need your Google Ads account Customer ID, the name of your business’s authorised representative, your business details, domain and/or website name(s) listed on your UK FCA registration and/or Google Ad account, and your UK FCA registration number (FRN). Keep in mind that all the information you provide to Google during this application process must exactly match your UK FCA registry details or Google may deny your verification request. You can submit your verification application with Google using this form.
Step 2: If you have not already done so before, Google will also request that you submit an additional identity verification document. Once requested, you have 30 days to do so. In Gibraltar, this identity verification document for an organisation can be your business’s certificate of incorporation, VAT registration certificate, certificate of registration of charity, or DUNS certificate. For individuals, your identity verification document can be your driver’s license, EU national ID, EU or UK passport, or a UK residence card.
If you do not submit your verification, submit false or inaccurate information, or change your services and no longer meet the verification requirements, Google will revoke your advertising rights for financial services to UK / Gibraltar customers and, importantly, any advertisements for your business to UK or Gibraltar customer that may appear to be looking for financial services.
Only businesses that provide financial services in Gibraltar or the UK or targeted to Gibraltar or UK audiences are required to go through this verification process, but we highly recommend that all businesses do, no matter what industry you’re in. That’s because even if you don’t have any dealings in the financial services sector, Google’s algorithms can never be 100% perfect and to meet this strict policy requirement, any business can have all their advertising blocked from view to any online customers even if Google only even just believes them be searching for financial services, whether or not they actually are.
Industries that are particularly vulnerable to this accidental blocking are business engaging in eCommerce, education, digital marketing, and even technology service activities. If you’re not in the financial services industry, for your pre-emptive peace of mind you’ll want to go through the same 2-step verification process that financial service businesses do, using the same form they do. Just make sure you check the box at the bottom to verify that you are an “except non-financial services advertiser.”
Marketing Your Financial Services Business with Mint on the Rock
As a full-service digital marketing agency in Gibraltar with vast experience in the financial services industry, Mint’s web design and digital marketing teams are well-versed in the unique marketing requirements and strategy required to not just meet Google’s minimum advertising requirements like this new policy demands, but to understand Google’s ever-updated SERP algorithms and take advantage of major and minor adjustments you can use to propel your financial services business’s SEO to ever-increasing heights on their results page. Give us a call and find out what we can do for you!