The world of technology changes so rapidly, that it is often hard to stay in pace with every single trend and advancement that comes your way. The industry of software outsourcing in Sri Lanka has been servicing the software needs of international clientele, while having to stay in lockstep with constantly changing technologies so that scalability can be maintained on behalf of them. Partnering with a leading cloud service provider is one such way to do this (such as being an AWS partner, for example). This way, any services required for building and maintaining digital applications can be sourced from one spot and with minimum downtime.
As the world becomes steadfast towards self-service options such as kiosks and mobile apps, having a reliable software development team is essential for introducing the right features and functionalities to suit changing customer palettes. Fintech is one such channel towards a truly self-service market, as it empowers users to pay for goods and services from the comfort of their smart devices.
A digital payment app is like carrying your entire bank account, credit/debit cards, and any other investments right in your pocket – with the ability to access all of it anytime, and from anywhere. From personal to corporate needs, fintech has been a prime constituent for business continuity after the pandemic, as physical stores shut down and customers were unable to get financial activities done in person.
Adding to this the implication that business competition brings; if your competitors provide better convenience, it won’t take long for your customers to abandon ship. This article focuses on which fintech trends are dominating the business and consumer spaces today, as well as how the correct fintech software can be built for your business. Read on to know more!
It has long since been possible to make a payment online, but since when has it really revolutionized? Triggering an influx of online shopping, school and work, the pandemic has been a catalyst for further enhancing fintech than what it formerly was. As a result, online payments are now possible with more ease than ever before, thereby giving customers the flexibility to pay right from the convenience of their smart devices – and with a variety of payment options to choose from.
The current fintech climate has long since moved beyond the regular gateway-backed online payment, or the exclusive digital payment app that promises sophistication, but is somehow in the shadows. Here are some of the greatest advancements in payments, thanks to heightened virtualized interactions.
Digital payment apps.
Whether it’s a bank account or credit card, simply connect and start paying! Easy and practical, this model might almost feel too good to be true, considering the hoops one would have to leap over in order to make payments conveniently possible at a click. So easy and practical, that numerous brand names have jumped onto the bandwagon to offer their own proprietary payment apps in order to cater to their customers. From retail giants to banking institutions, options are plentiful, so much so that it can make customers truly spoilt for choice.
Use one app to pay for goods and services both online and offline, with even the smallest, most boutique vendors available for a cashless and digital transfer. With competition now fierce in the fintech market due to a limitless range of options for customers to choose from, many brands also offer rewards such as cashback in order to retain subscribers, and improve engagement.
Advanced online banking.
After the onset of the pandemic, banks and other financial institutions have been continuously encouraging customers to conduct all necessary activities online, in order to maintain less queues and better social distancing. As a result, online banking systems have made it easier for people to enroll and engage, sometimes even incentivizing the same through cashback and other rewards. Adding to this the overall enhancement of online banking systems, with numerous banks now providing more conveniences such as transaction reports at one’s fingertips.
Another way that self-service has been made possible in banking is by kiosks, which offer most (if not all) personal banking facilities. Engage in fundamental activities such as deposits and withdrawals, while also being able to speak to a human agent in case extra assistance is needed. All of this combined creates an environment that is approachable to customers, while also striving to reduce the learning curve when it comes to getting familiar with online banking, especially for those who aren’t tech-savvy.
Although the contactless concept is a combination of multiple fields of expertise (think supply chains and online payments which both work hand-in-hand to produce an order management facility that involves no physical contact), fintech has been a vital component to make it a reality.
Coupled with ‘leave at door’ delivery, contactless technologies have also brought the realization that true self-sufficiency can be achieved through digital means, into fruition. From conventional card or voucher payments, to QR codes (now more commonplace, compared to the pre-covid era), have massively leveraged contactless logistic systems to become adoptable yet affordable for businesses at the same time.
As more and more users begin to rely on fintech to move money, security is a pressing concern for businesses. Whether it’s to protect customer data or to authenticate numerous transactions which occur on a daily basis, businesses now need to think about safeguarding network perimeters, infrastructure, databases and pretty much anything else of value, in order to remain compliant and maintain reliable standing in the market.
These are some of the reasons why blockchain has been gaining momentum in the fintech industry. By offering a decentralized environment, transactions can be authenticated with utmost transparency, with details getting accurately recorded in a digital ledger. On top of that, automatic validations from all nodes involved in a bitcoin network remove the need for third parties to validate transactions – thereby saving both time and commission fees in the process.
What was initially built to trade cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin is now being repurposed for fintech, thanks to its versatile yet highly secure properties. As a result, blockchain is here to stay – even if it’s only beginning to establish itself in the fintech market.
As digital payment platforms proliferate across the digital space, their multi-tasking abilities aren’t subject to online shopping alone; it is now possible to trade in stocks and even purchase bullions all under one roof. Therefore, fintech for digital payments has gone above and beyond simply offering banking services and payment options – it’s practically a central source for all financial activities.
Whether it’s a dedicated app or one that’s provided by a larger financial institution, being able to engage in investments and trades right from the comfort of your smartphone or tablet has come a long way from depending on brokers to facilitate the very same.
While there is no one-size-fits-all blueprint on how to develop any kind of software (let alone finance-centric software or finance components to software), the below list shall provide all businesses relevant directions on how to scope specifications that are unique to their needs.
While this list isn’t exhaustive by any means, it will always be a reliable source of guidance that your team can refer to, during any point of the software development process.
Conduct a business assessment.
Before your software development team can begin to execute, they need to be supplied with a brief that provides details on what is required – especially in light of existing resources and circumstances. In order to create this brief, conduct a business assessment by gathering relevant team members from across your organization. From department heads to end users, include a mix of employees in order to invite multiple perspectives regarding what is needed in a new piece of software.
If your business is embarking on the journey of integrating a key financial component (such as a payment gateway) use the services of a financial consultant if needed. Don’t forget to involve teams from Accounting, IT and Compliance in this assessment as well. Some key questions that can be asked in order to get feedback flowing could ideally revolve around:
Once all your feedback has been collated and your brief is ready, you now have a base point of reference for your upcoming project for all team members involved. Going forward, even if the scope changes due to an Agile project management process, this brief shall still constitute as a key point of truth in order to ensure all processes are aligned to address the problems that were first brought up during the assessment stage.
Supervise your software development team.
Once your software development team is briefed and familiarized with your business’s software specifications, it’s time to expect a detailed plan from them. This will include deadlines and expectations of when working products can be reviewed, so you, as the product owner, know what to expect and when. Software development in Sri Lanka, for example, caters to numerous international clientele that spans across continents as well as opposing time zones.
Therefore, catering to a schedule which both parties i.e. client contacts as well as software development teams can mutually adapt to is also part of the overall process. With virtual work environments now possible through conveniences such as video conferencing and cloud support services, teams are able to collaborate irrespective of how far they are from one another.
Monitor progress of your product that is under development, especially as working prototypes are released for your review. Provide feedback for enhancements and iterate as needed, before all teams mutually decide on finally implementing the software on the front-end.
Make it an ongoing process.
Once the initial deployment is done, the process is far from over. Your product development teams need to constantly be in step with your software development team, in order to upgrade the product as and when needed. This could be due to an infrastructure upgrade, or because a new feature needs to be introduced owing to popular customer demand. Regardless of what the reason is, maintaining a DevOps cycle is essential for software development today, so that your digital offerings aren’t left stagnant or bug-strewn, in order to keep your customers engaged and satisfied.
As banking and other financial institutions incentivize their customers to conduct all activities remotely, they facilitate the same by offering cutting-edge digital applications with easy availability, and reduced cost (if not completely free). Following the pandemic, social distancing guidelines have long since been a motivating factor for many businesses to create self-service systems for their customers, so that their products can be purchased with convenience – while keeping businesses themselves in continuation.
While fintech has been an industry within the digital sphere that has borne high potential before the onset of the pandemic, the current state of affairs has truly given the market sector special flight. From fueling contactless technologies to enabling loan applications, fintech has contributed its lion’s share since the pandemic. Add to this the fact that technologies such as blockchain are now being repurposed to create decentralized transaction environments – whether it’s in the interest of security, or to remove multiple third parties and subsequent commission costs.
All this in combination sheds much light into the scope that fintech now brings to the average business, which can range between old-fashioned convenience, to complete customer self-service. As a result, businesses need to know how they can utilize fintech to their own advantage, in order to stay ahead of the competition – while keeping customers engaged and retained at the same time.