Let’s suppose that you are a bank executive and you are contending with a multifunctional, low-priced, digital bank with global presence: people access their accounts easily and quickly via mobile phones, effect payments with one single tap on their wearable devices, make smart and safe investments with the help of AI chatbots, and enjoy cross-border payments at no extra cost. This bank introduces new services promptly, easily becomes compliant with strict regulations, employs Artificial Intelligence technology to prevent fraudulent activities, and eliminate exchange risks with cryptocurrency.
Of course, such competition doesn’t exist today, but what about the next few years?
The financial services industry has experienced multiple technology-driven shifts in recent years, and the speed of changes is not expected to lose stream in the nearest future. Management teams in banks rely on their IT departments to increase their business performance and efficiency, all while bringing down costs and supporting their legacy software systems. Meanwhile, fintech companies win the established markets with brand-new customer-centered applications, offering advanced services, smooth omnichannel experiences, and better overall value for the money. Consequently, global investments in the fintech industry have reached almost $112 billion in 2018.
State of Fintech and Transformation in Financial Services
Many massive forces are putting their imprint on the fintech and banking industries, from innovative financial technologies and changes in the global economic clout to social and demographic transformations. There are over 85 million Millennials in the United States only — people who are tech-savvy and more likely to consider fintech solutions than 40 million representatives of Generation X. But most important, 48 percent of customers are willing to provide their bank information to other organizations if it means gaining access to better offers and deals.
Customer trust used to be the greatest obstacle for fintech growth, but is that still the case? Recent findings reveal that over 60 percent of individuals globally have adopted fintech, compared to 31 percent in 2017. The impressive growth, isn’t it? Today the financial technology industry has matured. It consists of stable companies with a full range of services, operating on a global scale.
Nevertheless, thinking about the purchase of new financial services products, 33 percent of fintech users would first request assistance from another organization. While 34 percent of individuals still use banking incumbents because they don’t understand how financial technology works.
Consequently, as a CEO or CTO for a fintech company, you probably find yourself facing some common challenges around business strategy, new product development, data security and privacy, financial regulatory compliance, integration of emerging technologies, or audience engagement. Fortunately, experienced tech consulting firms can help fintech teams deal with the challenges time- and cost-effectively.
Five Ways Fintech Consulting Services Will Drive Your Growth
For over five years, DashDevs works closely with the best fintech companies, supporting them throughout the whole product lifecycle from rough idea to a fully-fledged software solution. We are the technical partner for one of the top fintech companies in London, namely Dozens. Our team has built web and mobile applications for them in nine months from scratch, consulted the client on all the engineering and security aspects, and still enhances and supports the widely-recognized product.
Additionally, today, we provide fintech advisory services to the subsidiary of a globally recognized bank, work with Downing LLC, Getchip, Zeux, and more.
These days, different businesses globally are more reliant on tech consulting companies to keep up with the dynamic technological world and get assistance in integrating various payment systems, migrating to the cloud, embedding advanced security checks, and other methods. In the last few years, we’ve witnessed a solid growth of the software consulting services market size worldwide, and in 2017, it was estimated at around $157 billion.
Fierce competition and emerging technologies in the financial services industry are among the most common triggers that are expected to drive up demand for software development consulting services in the next five years. So we’ve decided to outline the essential outcomes that top fintech companies should count on, hiring a reputed advisory firm.
#1 Niche Expertise
Doing a fintech business is a very dynamic and demanding experience. Stakeholders will often run into situations they’ve never coped with before, like launching a unique fintech software product, approaching a new market, integrating new systems and frameworks, and so on.
These circumstances are critical, and if they are addressed in the wrong way, your whole business can be put at stake. To deal with such situations, fintech technology companies need specific skills and knowledge that they may not have in-house, so external consultants bring the missing piece of the puzzle to the table.
Similar to DashDevs and our focus on fintech innovation, most top IT consulting firms specialize in particular niches, so be sure that they’ve dealt with similar cases countless times. They know what steps should be taken to obtain necessary results, what potential menaces should be eluded to minimize risks, all while they have an actual track record that speaks volumes. Working with fintech consulting companies, stakeholders can quickly and efficiently close any talent gap whenever they require it.
#2 Fresh & Unbiased Perspective
Very often, company owners are very interested in their business, so they miss or turn a blind eye to crucial mistakes that fintech consulting firms can easily discover. This is particularly true for startups and medium-sized enterprises where investors and management teams are too committed to the project since they’ve contributed much energy, time, and resources in it.
Companies that offer small business IT consulting products have no emotional attachment to your business, so it is much easier for them to define the issues that restrict your company and slow down your growth. Additionally, external advisors are not afraid to ask questions on how things are done, cast doubt on the assumptions, and disclose those strategies that don’t work.
#3 Strategic direction
Those individuals that still have questions like ‘how to start a fintech company’ or ‘how to build a fintech app’ can gain necessary insights from external financial technology experts. For instance, at DashDevs, we consult our clients on strategic direction, including consumer research, market analysis, team training, UI/UX design, security, web and mobile app development. Consequently, stakeholders can better address the needs of their customers and seamlessly outperform their competitors.
Moreover, the need for a professional IT strategy consulting partner can also arise as your fintech startup continues to mature, and you’re determined to scale. There is a range of critical changes that require thorough guidance, such as phased integration of new functionality to prevent downtimes, the embedding of third-party tools and systems, regulatory compliance, load balancing, cloud migration, and introduction of future financial technologies (Data Science, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, and more).
#4 On-Demand Skilled Talent
Now stakeholders are aware of the issues they’re facing and all they need to do it to solve them. Unfortunately, their in-house staff is having a busy time with other critical tasks that cannot be set aside. Concurrently, they concentrate efforts on everyday operations and generate revenue for the company.
Hiring additional onshore staff is a time-consuming and expensive task since you need to factor in the outlays for facilities and equipment, onboarding, benefits, training, and other expenses associated with human capital management. So more often, fintech businesses call on firms that offer IT consulting services and engage offshore or nearshore dedicated teams in their software projects. In this case, they can discuss project duration, deliverables, and team performance metrics and pay monthly or once all the criteria are met.
For instance, at DashDevs, we hire top talent to our company, test and teach them on our projects, and encourage their growth. Working with us and hiring professional consulting services, our clients grow and run into a situation when they need additional resources, so we assemble a team with the required expertise, knowledge, and skills to ensure a smooth project kick-off and efficient performance.
#5 Competitive Edge
The future-proof technologies disturb the market every now and then. Some of them transform and streamline business processes, while others bleed top managers dry, showing little to no results. Typically business owners don’t have time or ready assets to invest in something that won’t work or require constant attention and close supervision.
Partnering with innovation consulting firms, you get actionable information about cutting-edge technologies and tools in the fintech ecosystem without having to invest extra funds. They keep track of recent developments in the fintech and capital markets industry, take a proactive approach, and make sure that the integration of new advances goes flawlessly, still keeping you in control of all the changes as they happen.
Technology consulting services can turn challenges into opportunities, helping you discover the emerging trends and promptly adjust your processes and services accordingly.
Three Costly Mistakes to Avoid When Choosing a Provider of Consulting Engineering Services
Business owners spend billions of dollars on digital consulting services globally as they seek guidance on how to navigate today’s fast-paced digital world. However, choosing the right fintech consultancy is no easy task, especially when there are thousands of firms — from large organizations to small agencies — and it’s like separating the wheat from the chaff. Based on our vast experience in online business consulting services, we want to bring into focus the most common mistakes that stakeholders can make selecting an advisory company.
- Take a cue not corroborated by implementation expertise. Unfortunately, many fintech consulting companies don’t provide the actual implementation of the project. They offer fintech strategy consulting services, but cannot advise on how to do that and achieve the objectives. Typically, you hardly give heed to advice on how to fix brakes from someone who has never repaired a car, don’t you? That’s why at DashDevs, we support our clients not only with professional consulting services but also with design, web and mobile app development, quality assurance, DevOps, and other essential services.
- Pay a massive tax for a well-known brand. Faced with a daunting challenge, getting a highly reputed brand seems rational, but don’t let them talk a good game and make you spend a fortune for their logo. Some prestigious brands can have two or three times higher rates than small and medium-sized businesses that often have more focused and comprehensive expertise in a particular niche. Get a series of quotes, ask for case studies, and client reviews to choose a niche player who will be well-qualified for the engagement.
- Confusing intentions. There are more chances to produce necessary results when you know exactly what is required. Moreover, this refers not only to the consultants but also to the clients. Asking IT consulting companies to advise without specifying relevant and time-bound deliverables makes it harder for a client to get tangible outcomes from the partnership, leading to frustration and loss of time/money. Start with listing out the deliverables, defining the timeframes, and signing the NDA and consulting agreement to have a good track record.
Essential Tips for Evaluating and Hiring the Right Fintech Consulting Firm
Professional fintech consulting services can bring much value to your project or company as a whole. Whether you want to engage an advisory company to produce innovative ideas for your business, tap into the leading-edge practices, or augment your development department, the following recommendations will ensure that you choose the right provider and make your liaison as productive as possible.
- Lay down a comprehensive brief. During your first meetings with a potential consulting partner, make no bones about your current situation, existing challenges, business objectives, timing, and expected outcomes. Don’t omit any details and facts that are considered to be less important as they may provide consultants with better insights and help them solve your tasks faster and more effectively.
- Check the proven track record. Always ask candidates for reference lists and case studies. Some consultants may be good at giving you a song and dance but have no professional achievements. Speak about background experience, challenges and issues similar to yours — how they’ve solved them and how successful the project is.
- Discuss your money matters. Don’t waste your time speaking to the wrong consultants and talk over your budget expectations and requirements upfront. With the budget guidelines, your tech consulting firm will be able to suggest a plan that will make you reach the desired results in the most effective way and within the budget.
- Focus on the outcome. Working with a consulting company, give priority to the deliverables, instead of timeframes. If you concentrate on the outcome rather than on man-hours, you’re placing responsibility for the results within the specified time limit and budget on the consulting firm.
- Don’t miss regular sync-ups. It may sound boring, but project management is critical for effective cooperation and agreement implementation. Avoid those scenarios when you meet with the fintech consultants twice: during the kick-off meeting and the closing session, when it is too late to adjust the requirements for a better outcome.
- Start small. Choosing a business consultant company don’t be so quick to sign a long-term agreement, as it is a high risk to your business. Start with a small test task, specify your expectations and timeframes, and thoroughly analyze the outcome. See this short-term involvement as a “test drive” to make the right choice.
Fintech product development is a double-edged sword. Complex tasks may seem much easier than they are, but once you start working on them, you find yourself standing in absolutely uncharted waters.
Working with a tech consulting firm, you gain much-needed confidence and reduce your financial risks. Though finding the right IT partner is not a simple task, you need someone who has the wanting expertise, understands your industry, and can deliver the required results.
As a fintech consulting and app development company, we’ve been supporting small and medium-sized businesses with premium services for years. We have the necessary knowledge and expertise to cover every stage of a product life cycle, from discovery and analysis to implementation, successful launch, and post-release support. Contact our experts for more details.