As of 2018, fintech is one of the world’s fastest-growing and most exciting areas of software development. But this is hardly the only thing that makes it stand out. It’s also one of the most complex areas where the need to build advanced algorithms and handle tons of data mixes with various financial regulations. It’s a high-stakes game - mistakes can be very costly. And this is exactly why it’s more important than ever to find the right developers and software company to develop your fintech product properly.
Back in 2015, global fintech funding hit $19 billion only to easily beat this record in the next year. Today, both startups and the largest of financial organizations develop innovative solutions to become or stay competitive. With the growing popularity of mobile banking, proliferation of specialized niches within the fintech industry, as well as various financial technology innovations (e.g. blockchain technology), it is safe to assume that this trend will continue for years to come. But, unfortunately, it’s not all roses.
The unforgiving world of fintech
Back in 2012, Knight Capital, the financial services company, made headlines with a series of nightmarish mistakes caused by a software bug. This one bug triggered a sequence of events that involved Knight Company’s algorithms going bananas and completing various unexpected and undesired orders, temporarily disrupting the activity of the New York Stock Exchange. The company lost $440 million and was soon acquired by another entity, completely disappearing from the market less than a year after the infamous accident.
This is just one of many examples of fintech solutions going awry due to seemingly small mistakes. One of the latest ones involved Parity wallets, designed to interact with the blockchain-based Ethereum platform. A vulnerability found by one of its users caused a permanent lock of funds worth around $153 million.
You probably get the idea now – in fintech, even a small oversight can lead to major troubles.
First things first – find proper experts
How to avoid such grim scenarios? There are many factors that must be accounted for. But the most important one is to find experienced developers who understand the implications of working on innovative fintech solutions. It takes a lot of time for a developer to first gain enough general practice in fintech and then develop specialized knowledge to become an expert in a field like this. If you are interested in outsourcing your project, as a first point of reference, find out the average amount of developers’ experience in various markets.
However, once you locate a specific software company, you need more sophisticated tactics. Start with checking their portfolio and case studies to learn if they have already worked on a similar solution. To learn even more about their prowess and approach, prepare a list of questions you will ask them during your first in-person meeting.
The importance of data in fintech projects
In fintech projects, handling large volumes of data is nothing new. What’s more, this data will likely come from a variety of sources. Depending on what you want to do, you might be interested in social media data or stock exchange. The issue is further complicated by legacy file formats, still employed by a lot of large financial organizations. Make data your priority and make sure to find out exactly how your developers are planning to optimize its collection, processing and interaction with various third-party solutions that may be involved with your software.
How to properly set goals in fintech projects
Over the years, we have noticed that one of the most common problems inexperienced developers might come across in fintech projects is properly setting performance goals on various steps of development. For example, using high-level solutions and programming frameworks can make it easier to develop and maintain various parts of fintech solutions. But this may come at the cost of performance. Then again, sometimes it still might be worth doing. It takes experience and industry knowledge to know what it takes to succeed and where the golden means between performance, ease of maintenance or dependence on third-party solutions really is in your case.
Scalability and extendibility by design
In financial technology, circumstances change rapidly. New regulations or financial instruments may force you to quickly update your solution. This is why, in fintech projects, it is especially important to build from the start with scalability and extendibility in mind, so you can easily modify your software or increase the volume of data processed if needed. And it takes a lot of both general and fintech-specific software development experience to know exactly how different choices made during the initial development will influence the future of your software.
Last but not least – security in fintech projects
All software projects need to take security very seriously. However, it is easy to notice why this topic would be treated so much more seriously when it comes to fintech projects.
Let’s face it – money is a sensitive topic. And your investors and clients are mostly not developers. When they hear phrases such as “data leak” or “vulnerability’, they may promptly scare the pants off themselves regardless of how serious the issue really is. Even if it doesn’t hurt your pocket directly, it may cause trust problems with key stakeholders.
Security threats can be potentially found everywhere – in a web front end or much deeper. What’s more, with the advent of the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the European Union, personal data protection will be taken more seriously than ever before. Find out exactly what kind of security regulations impact your software and take them seriously. Make sure that your developer is on the same page. Find out exactly how they plan to avoid security problems in every aspect of the development process.
Software Mind is a Polish software company that has been developing a great variety of software solutions for years. We specialize in providing top of the line software development outsourcing services. Fintech is one the areas that resonate well with our goal to prove that even the most complex projects can be developed efficiently with the use of outsourcing. And we prove it over and over again. If you want to learn more about our approach to software development, find out more about our Outsourcing Toolbox. And if you already have a specific fintech project in mind, contact us and let’s talk about how to turn it into reality.