Five top tips for Fintech app developers
As more banks look to distribute new Fintech apps that integrate with core banking services as part of their platform strategies, opportunities for developers to respond with new apps are on the rise. But what should developers consider before jumping aboard the Fintech app movement? These five tips aim to help you accelerate the development process and boost the longevity of your apps.
Follow the core user problems and journey, whether B2C or B2B
The underlying principle to developing a popular app is to map it closely to customer needs and real-world customer processes, which can be improved through automation and updates. Successful apps we’ve seen with this principle in mind include real-time consumer credit checking apps that draw data from multiple data sources and those that enable customers to manage multiple accounts from a single interface. But remember that B2B customers are also used to interacting with e-commerce and social media platforms, so will expect the same levels of ease of use and personalization as they get from the likes of Amazon outside of work. And across the board, customers expect regular updates to the apps they are using: continuous delivery is a must if you want to keep customers loyal.
Focus on security
Considering your app will interface with a bank’s core systems, security must be built in at every stage. There must be no point of entry at the front end and a single interface via a proxy firewall at the back end. Banks are constantly strengthening the security surrounding their core systems and data in response to the regulatory, financial and reputational risks caused by regular breaches. Your app, of course, cannot introduce any security issues within this environment and must only enable users with the correct credentials to access core data via the API that your app accesses.
Write about what you know (if you don’t, find someone who does!)
It’s advice often given to novelists but applies to app development too. The best apps we see are created by developers who base their mission on the area of banking they have been most closely involved with in the past. For example, someone who has been working in the trading environment is better placed to develop an app to improve the trading experience than someone who has been involved in investment or retail banking. Most banking business units are quite different from one another; so having that prior experience will definitely help. If you decide to venture into a new banking business unit, bring in someone who knows that function in depth. It will save you a lot of time and effort.
Pick a diverse team
If not developing as an individual, it’s vital to assemble a team with diverse skills that can help get your app over the line. You’ll need people with the same vision as you, but not just those skilled in technology. Having people on your team with an understanding of the business process you’re hoping to improve or replace will definitely bring an advantage. Remember that a high proportion of the processes involved in app development can be automated and that there is no need to build everything from scratch. So on balance, you’re going to benefit from team members who know how to assemble components and focus on the customer interface and customer experience, rather than necessarily being expert coders.
Choose the right platform
Selecting a platform that provides the right toolset and future-proof technology is vital. Many of a banks’ core systems are still based on old programming languages but it’s important for any new apps to be developed using coding tools that will stand the test of time, enable continuous delivery and provide high levels of data security. Selecting a platform that provides the opportunity to market and distribute your new app to a wide client base, is another consideration. While developers tend to focus on completing their mission rather than building revenues, it’s worth remembering that this opportunity to collaborate with banks, at this current level, may not last forever. Eventually the wheel may turn full circle, with banks building their own app development teams in-house.
For now, at least, the way is open for talented developers to identify niches and create new apps to plug the gaps in the services offered by traditional banks. The trick to finding success is reducing manual processes and speeding up development without compromising security, finding an effective marketing and distribution platform and, above all, understanding exactly what customers want.
This article previously appeared on Finextra here.