Developing a FinTech Product: How Does it Work?
Dan Nolan

By: Dan Nolan on October 21st, 2019

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Developing a FinTech Product: How Does it Work?

Financial Advisors  |  Technology  |  Wealth Management  |  AdvisorEngine

The financial technology space is expanding. In 2018 alone, FinTech companies raised a record $39.6 billion in funding, up 120% from the previous year. Much of this funding went toward the development of new products and services. But how exactly does this FinTech product development process work? 

A common analogy for the product development process is operating an assembly line. Ideas go in one side and products come out the other. The shortcoming of this analogy is that it describes a very linear activity - whereas the actual product development process is fluid and iterative.

Cultivating a garden

I prefer the analogy of ‘cultivating a garden’ when describing the product development process. To be successful, gardeners perform three basic activities:
  1. Evaluating the environment
    There are many variables to consider around the garden - the climate, seasonal differences, rainfall fluctuations, the soil, wildlife and insects affecting the area. A garden does not exist in isolation.

    In FinTech, the role of a product manager is similar to a gardener; by conducting competitive analysis, trend reviews, considering changes in client preferences - all while developing a directional approach.

  2. Planting seeds
    A gardener plants seeds and diligently nurtures the plants as they grow.

    In FinTech, we gather feedback from current and prospective clients; conduct feature discovery, debate what to build, write stories that outline how the product will function and put in the hard work to develop the software.

    One of the most important parts of the product development process is soliciting user input. ”How can we best meet the needs of our users?” That is the existential question the AdvisorEngine product design team strives to answer every day. We would be remiss if we didn’t use every available opportunity to gather feedback from our client base as well as the industry at large.

  3. Tending the garden
    A gardener must tend to a garden as it grows. It’s not enough to plant and water the seeds. The overseer must dedicate time and energy towards removing weeds, pruning, trimming while constantly maintain everything around - the land, equipment and tools. 

    A FinTech product manager must deliver the same level of dedication - shaping products through endless collaboration. Just as a gardener nurtures his seedlings into useful, consumable plants and vegetables - we care for and develop our product into a meaningful technology that impacts all user experiences.

    The reward for gardeners is a beautiful plot (and maybe even a bountiful harvest). The reward in FinTech is creating features that people enjoy, and benefit from, every day.

AdvisorEngine’s Garden 

At AdvisorEngine, our ‘garden’ continues to grow. We have created a technology platform for every wealth management moment. A modern digital offering must consider the advisor experience (AX), business operations experience (BX) and client experience (CX). These three groups inform our design-led approach.

We have planted many seeds in our garden in order to deliver a broad offering. Whether it’s paperless onboarding, digital wealth capabilities, portfolio reporting, client portals, CRM, fee-billing or anywhere in-between, we’ve got you covered

Much like farmers take precautions to mitigate unexpected changes in the environment, FinTech product managers must stay up-to-speed on how the industry is changing. 

As we grow, we will tend to our garden and plant new seeds (hint: stay tuned for some exciting new products!). Several areas that I believe will impact the future of FinTech include smart automation, A.I and integrations.

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This blog is sponsored by AdvisorEngine Inc. (“AdvisorEngine”) and Junxure, an affiliate of AdvisorEngine. The information, data and opinions in this commentary are as of the publication date, unless otherwise noted, and subject to change. This material is provided for informational purposes only and should not be considered a recommendation to use AdvisorEngine or deemed to be a specific offer to sell or provide, or a specific invitation to apply for, any financial product, instrument or service that may be mentioned. AdvisorEngine makes no representations as to the accuracy, completeness and validity of any statements made and will not be liable for any errors, omissions or representations. As a technology company, AdvisorEngine provides access to award-winning tools and will be compensated for providing such access. AdvisorEngine does not provide broker-dealer, custodian, investment advice or related investment services.

About Dan Nolan

As a Product Manager with AdvisorEngine, Dan successfully navigates the intersection of finance and technology to advance our open-architecture approach. He works closely with institutional and independent financial advisors creating new, innovative and engaging solutions.