According to Statista, last year, there were over 10.000 fintech startups in the U.S. alone and over 26.000 on a global scale. The reasons behind such growth are pretty obvious. In today's fintech, products are created based on the maximum convenience and speed they provide. The market is saturated by customer-centric services that solve particular user needs fast.
Despite the ongoing crisis and the Great Resignation, more and more fintech startups appear on the scene. First, it's all about accessibility. In the world of modern finances, technology plays a secondary part. I mean, having a strong engineering team to build a specific product is no longer as pivotal to product success as it used to be. What matters the most is whether this product satisfies user needs or not.
No wonder the number of low-code developers (aka citizen developers) is growing worldwide. Just check out the graph below:
As of today, it's never been easier to jump on the fintech bandwagon or reimagine the legacy infrastructure. You can create an MVP, test your product idea, and release a product, even if you don't have the budget for the engineering team (which is often the case for startups). As John R. Rymer, a senior analyst at Forrester and world expert on low-code put it "There are just not enough developers to go around, so by going low-code, you can get a lot done with ordinary developers that you can afford."
I guess this level of accessibility from the technical standpoint is the major contributing factor. But what are the others? Let’s find out.
Why low code is popular among fintechs
Before we plunge into details, let's make sure that everyone's on the same page and gets the definition right.
What is fintech:
Fintech (or FinTech) (short for financial technology) is a catch-all notion that encompasses various finance-related technologies, corresponding products/apps/platforms, and companies (often called fintechs).
What is low code:
Low-code development is an approach in software creation that requires little coding skills. Instead, citizen developers can create applications using pre-made components and graphical interfaces.
Low-code/no-code platforms allow fintechs to stay ahead of regulations and industry changes while adhering to high-security standards. Such platforms help financial entities to respond to market changes faster with in-house development teams.
AML, KYC, you name it. Low-code platforms provide speed and efficiency while adhering to the certain level of transparency that regulators and compliance requirements demand.
The current trend in fintech is the optimization and automation of business processes in all areas, especially in the field of customer service and BI.
You can test your hypothesis and build a customer-centric project within weeks, not months. Literally.
Non-costly MVP creation
Both low-code and no-code tools facilitate the process of creating an MVP owing to a rich variety of visual programming and reusable components.
Modernization of legacy systems
Low-code platforms work just right when you need to update a legacy banking application. We’ll talk about this point in detail in the “Low-code/fintech business cases” section.
Building internal tools
Here at Akveo, we use a lot of internal tools, so we know how powerful they are. Low-code solutions provide the best way to build internal tools on top of databases and APIs. You can build custom applications for transactions, anti-fraud, risk assessment, and more.
Fintech-targeted low-code platforms
Low code in software development is universal for any domain, but there are several low-code builders targeted precisely at fintechs. The list of platform vendors is growing, but let’s check some of the options, shall we?
In September this year, a fintech startup Toquio made the headlines. Toquio is a low-code fintech-as-a-service platform that provides its users with the opportunity to build fully customizable digital bank-grade solutions.
The company managed to raise €20mn in funding. The startup’s founders took inspiration from Salesforce, and now they are promoting the idea that companies don’t need to build everything from scratch in order to improve on what they already have.
Meet FintechOS, a low-code platform targeted at banks, financial institutions (FIs), and insurance providers. The platform allows citizen developers to build and deploy custom financial service products regardless of the legacy infrastructure of their business.
Again, the platform’s benefits align with the ones we’ve mentioned earlier. As their CEO Kulkarni said, “Our mission is to help these financial services with institutionalizing innovation at a much larger scale, and more importantly, at a much faster pace.”
Another platform is Hydrogen, a low-code platform that, in their own words, “helps any company offer financial services”. The company's mission is straightforward: Hydrogen aims to transform businesses from consumers into fintech producers.
Low-code/fintech business cases
According to Mendix's survey, 63% of senior finance decision-makers believe low-code has all it takes to reimagine how multi-tiered financial systems are done. Industry experts consider simplification as a crucial factor. But what about actual business cases? Let's check some of the fintech projects done with low code.
The client: Ramp.
The challenge: The company needed to develop internal tools that cover a lot of areas: view and change customer data, perform acts of service for a customer, analyze data, etc.
The numbers: Ramp developed 100+ (!) internal tools in less than a year using a popular low-code platform Retool. Plus, they managed to build a robust risk management tool - all with low code. Check out the screenshot below:
The outcome: So what about the outcome and saved costs? Let’s hear the client. Geoff Charles, Head of Product at Ramp, calculated this to be close to $200,000 in costs, not to mention the speed of development.
Let’s go further, here’s one more business case from the Netherlands.
The client: CA CF NL Consumer Finance Nederland B.V., a key player in the European consumer credit market with a portfolio of 2+ billion euros.
The challenge: The company chose OutSystems as their low-code platform to allow their integration partner to perform legacy system modernization. "The core banking system and ESB are critical to our business, so the transition had to be done right in one go," commented Erwin Kooiman, senior manager IT at CA CF NL.
The outcome: The modernization was a huge success. Now the business builds new applications for company subsidiaries, all with low-code.
Let’s move on. Another client is the bank from Argentina.
The client: Banco de la Provincia
The challenge: The bank needed to develop a digital wallet fast.
The outcome: Using Veritran, a low-code builder targeted at fintechs, Argentina’s Banco de la Provincia developed Cuenta DNI, a digital wallet approached by 1 million active users within a month and has now surpassed 3 million users.
Another business case is again from the Netherlands.
The client: Rabobank, a Dutch multinational bank.
The challenge: The bank wanted to develop an online banking portal.
Last (but not least) is the business case from the UK.
The client: Aviva, an insurer from the UK.
The challenge: Aviva wanted to combine data from 22 systems and develop a single customer view.
The outcome: The company used Appian to accomplish the task, which resulted in more efficient call center operations. The customer service response times improved by nearly ten times, and the company reduced costs by 40%.
Key takeaways and what to expect in 2023
The accelerated digitization of the banking sector comes with unprecedented new opportunities for any party involved: fintech startups, banks, low-code platforms and integrators, and, surely, users. Modern fintech encompasses technology, data, analytics, and low code to ensure the further growth of the domain. With all that being said, let's summarize what low code offers to fintechs in 2023.
Supporting digital transformation. In 2023, low-code systems will ultimately reimagine the standard application development cycle, making it a lot easier for non-techies and project teams. Thus, such builders will be used as the core of the digital transformation infrastructure - a tool for obtaining impressive results in the shortest possible time.
More ideas are possible.“The low-code movement is getting quite powerful,” said Chris Carvalho, chief executive of Global Smart Processes. “People with very little IT experience are trying to develop applications and enter the world of software with their own ideas and ways of programming.”
Meeting regulatory requirements. The world of finance is a volatile world where regulatory requirements change rapidly, and businesses have to comply real fast. Low code software development makes quick app creation viable in such a scenario. This way, you’ll meet regulatory requirements quickly and steer clear of possible hindrances throughout 2023.
Building a robust ecosystem. Low-code and no-code platforms help users adopt a "builder culture” so they can become creators in their own right. Plus, the best practices and collaborative approaches are shared across an extended ecosystem to make it even stronger.
Thriving startup scene. Despite the recession, fintech is still the biggest interest for VC funds, attracting nearly 20% of overall investments. Fintech ventures raised $128B in investments in 2021, and now we have 500 fintech unicorns worldwide. Low code platforms have contributed to these numbers to a large extent.
Low-code Hall of Fame
Being curious low-code aficionados, we’ve analyzed the market and reviewed the most powerful low-code/no-code builders available in the market in 2022. I think the list will be more or less the same in 2023. So are you interested to know all the ins and outs? Take a look at these platforms:
Do you have feedback on any of the tools above? In case you do, please don’t hesitate to share your comments.
To sum up
In that regard, low-code builders provide several major advantages to fintech startups and established institutions alike. Last year, the survey by Forrester shared quite fascinating numbers: nearly 25% of senior-level engineers indicated that their company created applications with low-code platforms. Gartner estimates that 70% of new applications developed by enterprises will use low-code or no-code technologies by 2025.
The current times are all about changes, both in economic and social spheres, and the domain of fintech is no different. As of 2022, we’re witnessing the rise of digital ecosystems that include various financial services in one place. The traditional banks themselves are becoming a part of these ecosystems.
Let’s see the chart:
Hire low-code fintech experts
Fintech is rapidly developing in the increasingly cashless world, so financial products and services are becoming affordable for more and more people. Although software development with little coding is getting increasingly popular worldwide, you might need an experienced technological partner to get the maximum result out of your efforts.
What about making an alliance with low code/no code development experts? With 8+ years of low-code development experience, we help businesses deliver powerful and secure applications that cater to specific business needs. Plus, our vetted consultant team provides advice on low-code platforms for companies willing to innovate. Our team will help you define the very first steps so you can start implementing your low-code strategy from day one.
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