Being a fintech startup ourselves, we tend to agree with your observations. We are not yet in the market but even our early experience tells that — a) on-boarding has to be crisp, educative and fun, b) employers are a great channel but old techniques of conference room seminar or kiosks in cafe don’t work; there needs to be a bigger and better hooks to get employers on board and c) referral program innovation (in India’s case) is limited by applicable regulations, for instance, we would love to implement a pyramid structure of incentive for referrals but regulation isn’t really favorable for such programs.
Have a look at the teaser of our first product — tax.wealthy.in — where we have have tried to experiment with onboarding process and communication. And while our product develops, trying to figure out better ways to activate employers. Ideas are welcome :)