Fintech has taken the financial services world by storm. Customers of financial service businesses are demanding quicker, more elegant and increasingly mobile ways to interact with their financial data.
Fintech startups are disrupting the marketplace by offering technology and services that challenge the traditional ‘brick and mortar’ financial institutions and their software providers. However, all fintech technology needs to be considered through the familiar long-term lens. Will the technology provide a better customer experience, will it provide a solid ROI over time and will it put the organisation in a more solid financial position? Is the same technology appropriate for both customer facing and back office systems?
6 things to consider when evaluating fintech cloud-based products
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Due diligence – Investigating the product’s features and making sure they meet the requirements of your project is critical – but due diligence on the software vendor itself is just as important. Is the vendor well-funded? Does it have a solid operating plan going forward? Equally, you also need to look at the software vendor’s people. Are they honest, straightforward and trustworthy? A reputable account manager won’t sell you a product that is not a good fit, no matter how close to their sales quota they are. A trusted product manager can provide a product roadmap that is reasonable, achievable and tailored to the market’s needs.
A top fintech organisation will have a great track record of responding to customer issues and feedback. You are likely to be entering a long-term relationship with the fintech organisation, so do your homework to make sure it’s a good fit and that it will provide service that exceeds your expectations!
Configurable solution – If the solution the fintech vendor is selling you requires a lot of custom programming or custom screens to meet your needs, this is a strong indication that the software may not be a great fit.
A flexible, dynamic product will allow a rich configuration functionality meaning the solution can be tailored to your specific organisational needs. Occasionally programming is needed to develop a specific feature, ideally, that feature should be usable across the fintech vendor’s customer base to ensure it gets the attention of the product development and QA teams in future software releases. If it doesn’t, you can easily get left behind.
Robust data integration – It is rare that an organisation has all its financial data in a single database or data warehouse. Due to acquisitions, technology transitions and other business factors, data tends to get fractured and housed in many different locations. Any software solution must have a way to easily integrate with data sources that are both on premise and housed in remote locations, including the cloud, which has become increasingly popular in recent years due to its flexibility and cost effectiveness. More on that next…
Reduced IT costs – Cloud-based fintech solutions are driving down infrastructure costs and increasing the efficiency of internal IT service and support organisations. Moving technology solutions to the cloud and providing a single point of access benefits both the fintech vendor and the organisation supporting the solution.
Enhanced collaboration – Web-enabled cloud solutions for your financial data systems provide the opportunity for more users to access the system and allow for enhanced collaboration. With very little training, users can use your organisation’s financial data systems through easy to use web-based access. Fintech vendors are constantly building collaboration tools into their applications that complement the number crunching capabilities of the system.
Leverage the best of both worlds – Many fintech vendors offer 100% web-based solutions. For customer-facing solutions, this is critically important as users want to be able to connect to the system with a variety of different computing devices. For back-office systems, a hybrid approach still holds tremendous value. There is often a core group of users needed to build, maintain and modify the business logic of the application. A 64bit desktop computer is still a great way for fintech vendors to deliver this functionality. The tools to develop and deploy software on the desktop is mature and can offer rich functionality via the user interface. Still, it is important that desktop clients operate seamlessly with web-facing systems to deliver the solution to a wider audience of users in the organisation.
This is an exciting time for organisations to investigate and deploy solutions provided by fintech vendors -there is currently a lot of research and development money being invested in new and emerging technologies. Established vendors can leverage their deep knowledge of the industries they serve and use it to develop exciting new software. Taking the time to investigate all the options available in the fintech space can help drive your own business forward and allow you to reach new and interesting insights in your financial data.