Reliability in financial systems, and ergo financial
products and apps, is essential to delivering the user experiences and
reliability needed for commercial success. If we look at this underlying
technology that is hidden away from the end user’s interactions, it’s a
critical factor in enabling growth and gaining a competitive advantage. I will
outline four must-have characteristics that you should have in your tech stack
to make it in modern fintech.
Building customer trust boils down to having an
always-available system that delivers an exceptional user experience every
time. These are really table stakes in fintech, but often neglected is what
goes on under the hood to help make this happen.
1. Seamless customer flows
When it comes to modern financial services, customers expect
real-time, seamless and intelligent services and not clunky experiences. To
deliver this, you need predictable behavior under heavy loads and during usage
Many projects fail in the fintech space due to focusing only
on an application’s user interface. This neglects the knock-on effects of
predicted user growth or unpredicted changes, like the pandemic lockdowns. For
instance, your slick customer interface loses a lot of its shine when it’s
connected to a legacy backend that is sluggish in responding to requests.
2. A tech stack that enables business agility
Financial services is a fast-moving industry. To make the
most of emerging opportunities, whether as an incumbent or fintech-led startup,
you need to be agile from a business perspective, and that is bound to tech
agility. When you can dedicate more resources to shipping code without being
constrained and forced into unfavourable trade-offs, you’re better positioned
to cash in on opportunities before your competitors.
3. Tech stacks that use fewer resources
Yes, being green is important in modern financial services —
especially at its intersection with tech. The software industry is responsible
for a high level of carbon usage, and shareholders and investors are now
weighing this up when making investment decisions. As funding in the tech space
tightens, this is something that business leaders need to be aware of as a part
of their tech decision-making strategy.
CTOs and system architects can help by making better choices
in technologies. Minimizing cost is important, but sustainability is now part
of the consideration process, too.
4. Fintech that always works and is always available
A robust operational resiliency strategy strengthens your
business case in financial services. We’ve all seen the stress placed on
systems caused by spikes in online commerce since the pandemic.
Any financial services player, regardless of size, can be
damaged by high-profile system outages and downtime. This can cause severe
reputation damage and attract hefty fines from regulators. Trust and loyalty
are at a premium in financial services, and they have never been harder to gain
or easier to use right now.
How to choose the right tech for your use case
Build versus buy is an age-old question for tech projects.
The truth is that both strategies can be right depending on the requirements of
a project; either way, decisions need to be well informed and transparent.
Open-source projects are a great option and offer the chance to benefit from
existing communities and battle proven tech.
Choosing a stack for a fintech project shouldn’t come down
to a gut feeling. A better approach is to look at the language’s capabilities,
the culture of the ecosystem and community and its domain-specific proven use
cases. With a reliable, easy-to-maintain code base, your most valuable resource
— your tech talent — will be freed up to concentrate on delivering value and
competitive advantage that delivers to your bottom line.
There are many languages being used successfully across
financial services; using the right tool for the job is key. Thankfully,
software engineering is becoming more diverse, companies are using a wider
range of programming languages and not always resorting to the ones they have
used in the past.
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