What to look for when choosing a fin-tech partner

In many ways the financial services market is still a dated industry. A paper-driven industry. This is largely due to the heavily regulated nature of the industry.  And yet, as new technologies are introduced, and new advantages become apparent, financial services companies can’t afford to ignore the benefits these new technologies provide. Money transfer and digital banking solutions, for example, have already transformed the market and new technologies are on their way that will further shift the balance and redefine how business is done.

Consumers have come to expect the same ease of access to their data that they receive from consumer products companies.  The opportunity to gain market advantage through technology is compelling, and for financial services companies, it all starts with selecting the right fin-tech development partner. Not all fin-tech development partners are created equal, however, and if your company is looking for its first custom fin-tech solution, here are a couple of things you should expect from any partner you choose.

Security: First, second and always

Proper security protocols are the foundation of any financial services company, and the fin-tech development partner you choose should apply the same importance to security that your firm does.

In the past, many financial services companies have been hesitant to evolve beyond paper solutions because of the challenges associated with industry regulation. However, adopting new fin-tech procedures enhances the security of your valuable data if done correctly.

Your prospective fin-tech development partner should be able to demonstrate past experience developing fin-tech solutions, the security they used during the development and how they supported the project once it was complete. Ask about these security procedures and how the development firm has adjusted modern strategies to combat current and expected  cybersecurity threats.

Be mindful of where your work is being done

Off-shore development has its known risks, but for those in the financial services industry, determining where the development will be performed can be vitally important from a security perspective.

Working with a firm based entirely in the United States can erase much of this concern, so be sure to inquire regarding where your project’s development work will be done. You can also consider a firm’s ability to provide staff augmentation services, which involves plugging onsite or offsite resources into your existing development team infrastructure Staff augmentation solutions provide flexibility and allows you the peace of mind that you know exactly where the work is being done.

Above all, be mindful of your data and only share what absolutely must be shared with your vendor in order to accomplish the project.

Compliance is king

Because of the nature of the industry, financial services companies must be careful to select a vendor with an impeccable reputation and strong adherence to security best practices within their organization.

Once again, working with an onshore vendor to develop your technology solution is a great way to eliminate these concerns, and you should also do your own background check on any prospective vendor. A little research could shed light on a big problem and a vendor you’re better off avoiding.

Finally, you should also ask the prospective development firm about how they’ve handled projects that carry compliance concerns in the past. Keep in mind that firms that have created projects in the healthcare or legal space may also be uniquely qualified to handle the compliance considerations that exist in financial services.

Developing on your schedule

Your company has a process and a plan for how the development of your new technology will be executed. Now you need to see which prospective developers fit well with that plan.

All software developers follow a methodology, but the nature of that methodology can vary greatly. In most cases you’ll hear the term “agile methodology” used. There are several different variations on this methodology, but at its simplest form, it means your developer will finish one iteration of the work and solicit feedback from you before working on the next iteration.

Another methodology you may hear is waterfall. In this instance your developer would create the entire project before sharing any of it with you. Find the style that best matches your work practices and then work with your developer to understand communication frequency and what will be expected from your team throughout the course of the project.

Finding answers to your questions

As the financial services market continues to embrace new technologies, the competitive advantages they provide cannot be ignored. While development of custom software solutions is challenging for a number of reasons, the results will be worth the extra work. To see how Saturn Systems can help your company create a unique fin-tech solution, contact us today.

About Saturn Systems

Saturn SystemsSaturn Systems is an entirely U.S. based software engineering firm that provides a broad range of services, from project-based development and quality assurance testing to fully integrated staff augmentation teams. Saturn's Rural Outsourcing model couples the lower cost of doing business in Duluth, MN, with an experienced engineering team - making Saturn an attractive alternative to high-priced metro firms and the inherent difficulties of offshore services.

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