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Biggest Fintech Challenges and Ways to Mitigate Them

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, the fintech industry has experienced a massive investment of $134 billion in 2021. This demonstrated a 177% year-over-year growth. According to Statista, the sector is also expected to reach €188 billion by 2024.


Although the industry is constantly growing, there still are many challenges faced by fintech companies. You’ll find out the most significant issues in fintech, their solutions, and modern opportunities.

Fintech Challenges and Opportunities for Startups

The global number of fintech startups was already 25,000+ by the end of 2021. However, not all of them will make the cut and be still present this year. The challenges and missed opportunities are a huge weight to bear. Let us have a closer look.

Challenges

Although there are dozens of challenges in the fintech industry, we have decided to focus on the most significant issues. As it is said, forewarned is forearmed.

Raising Venture Capital

    Venture capital is one of the key elements that make a startup grow. However, regardless of the increased interest in the industry, attracting the right investors is still a challenge.


    Potential venture investors usually have multiple questions during the due diligence process:

    • What are the problems solved by the product?
    • Where are the potential risks to the business?
    • How big is the market opportunity?
    • What makes the founders think the product will be successful?
    • How will the investment capital be used to achieve the product’s goals?

    As the competition is high and the investors are attentive to financial benefits, convincing them requires a detailed financial plan, a long-term strategy, and validation of the idea. Validation may be completed based on existing statistics or unique user surveys.

    Finding a Great Investor

      Having a great investor is beneficial in all ways. The startup can get enough funding to realize all plans, additional expertise for the case, and keep its freedom of development.


      Here is where a fintech startup can find a great investor:


      The next issue is to keep the investor’s attention. There are thousands of startups waiting for funding, so standing out from the crowd is obligatory. Preparing a comprehensive pitch deck presentation will provide the investor with all the required information to make a decision.


      Here is what should be included in a pitch deck presentation:

      • Brief company overview;
      • Problem and its solution;
      • Market opportunity and target audience;
      • Expected business model;
      • Financial estimations.

      A great strategy is imagining yourself as an investor. Think of all the questions that one might have when studying your project. Line them out and give an answer in your presentation.

      Competing with Huge Brands

        A modern startup has to compete with financial powerhouses like PayPal and technological giants like Amazon.


        If the startup aims to be a B2C solution, it must find a market where tech giants are the weakest. This could be an area where consumers don’t receive enough offerings or are dissatisfied with the current services.


        In the B2B segment, the startup must solve a significant issue to be noticed. It could cover potential pain points like huge expenses, regulatory fines, or even ease of use. Any option is great as long as it meets the business needs.

        Fintech in 2022: “Balloon” or “Bubble”?

        Considering the growing number of startups and investments, the fintech industry is more likely to be considered a “balloon”. Investors determine whether to fund a company based on its long-term capabilities. Thus, they approach the topic with thorough research.


        For example, the total number of recorded investments in Europe grows each year. Only 1,847 investments were made in 2015, while 8,397 were made in 2021. This proves the growing number of opportunities and people who are ready to support them.

        Total number of investments in startups in Europe from 1st half of 2015 to 2nd half of 2021 illustration
        Source: statista.com

        Emerging technologies like blockchain, machine learning, artificial intelligence, and Web 3.0 are what push the industry forward. They bring new solutions to the market and set new standards. That’s why these solutions are the major opportunities for fintech startups to compete with tech giants.

        5 Challenges in the Fintech Industry and their Solutions

        We have researched the major fintech industry challenges and chose the most significant ones. Many companies struggle dealing with them, so we shall also provide a solution to each.

        Data Security

        There were 1,862 data breaches with an average cost of $4.24 million in 2021. This is a new all-time high, leading to even bigger concerns regarding data security and privacy. Companies must be aware that they risk losing not only their reputation, but also their money.


        To prevent a potential breach, you have to build a fintech app that includes these features:

        • Two-factor authentication;
        • Biometric authentication;
        • 256-bit AES encryption;
        • Notifications about all actions.

        Performing regular penetration tests is a good way to ensure hackers won’t disrupt your solution. You must have at least 1 test per year. Also, tests must be performed after each new update and integration.

        Regulatory and Compliance Laws

        One of the challenges in fintech is the fact that this high-risk industry is overwhelmed by government regulations. Companies must follow a number of standards like the GDPR, GLBA, the Wiretap Act, the Money Laundering Control Act, and many others.


        There are different ways to comply with all the laws. Here’s what you can do:

        • Hire a legal consultant for guidance;
        • Hire a dedicated person or department to keep track of the regulatory updates.

        Both options are viable. The only differences are the collaboration and pricing models. Using the services of a lawyer is much cheaper than paying a fine with the GDPR’s maximum penalty reaching €20 million.

        Lack of Mobile and Tech Expertise

        Many banks and financial companies use outdated software. This is a significant issue because their apps aren’t user friendly and intuitive. Although we may currently witness the constant focus shift to providing a better user experience, the process is too lengthy.


        The following features are must-haves for any mobile financial app:

        • A top-notch UI and UX;
        • Comprehensive data visualization;
        • QR-code payments;
        • NFC support.

        You can use fintech application development services to get a team of top-level experts working on your project. This will let you implement any feature to compete with the market’s leading players.

        User Retention and User Experience

        Keeping users engaged is one of the most common fintech challenges. Financial applications have only a 22.7% retention rate on day 1, swiftly falling to 5.8% on day 30. Low retention means fewer users, resulting in reduced income.

        Retention rate on day 1 and day 30 of mobile app installs worldwide as of August 2020, by category illustration
        Source: statista.com

        Increasing user retention is possible by providing a better experience. Here are some examples:

        • Gamification and a reward system;
        • Custom push recommendations;
        • User-friendly UI/UX.

        You can monitor the approaches used by your competitors to see how they impact the user experience. Seeing different methods in practice will help you choose the best options for your startup.

        Service Personalization

        A recent survey shows that personalization improves customer experience by 64% and conversion rates by 63%. Companies shouldn’t neglect the importance of this approach in the future.


        Here are some ways to personalize your fintech software:

        • Push notifications with user names, topics of interest, and geo-based data;
        • Show users services & products in which they were previously interested.

        Personalization usually implies the usage of AI to determine a consumer’s interests. Artificial intelligence is among the most demanded fintech development services for this decade, so it is worth considering.

        Don’t let the challenges overwhelm you

        Hire an experienced fintech development team to make your startup the next unicorn.

        Top 5 Opportunities in Fintech

        The number of opportunities is overwhelming, so we’ve hand-picked the five most prominent technologies to use.

        Blockchain Technology

        A recent forecast predicts that the global blockchain market is expected to reach $22.46 billion by 2026, growing at a CAGR of 72.99%.

        The technology removes third parties from transactions, provides a decentralized network, and creates digital ledgers. These features solve many challenges facing the fintech industry.

        Artificial Intelligence

        AI has already been used in fintech for some time. In the majority of cases, it was implemented for real-time fraud detection and finance analysis.

        AI use cases in financial services industry worldwide as of 2020 illustration
        Source: statista.com

        Here’s what can be done with AI in fintech:

        • Advanced cybersecurity and suspicious activity analysis;
        • Improved customer experience via chatbots and personalized services;
        • Risk score profiling, and more.

        AI is capable of mitigating many fintech challenges for financial services.

        Machine Learning

        Machine learning is among the leading fintech opportunities and challenges in terms of implementation. It helps AI adapt to new situations and identify patterns.


        Here is how machine learning is used to solve fintech issues:

        • More loan approvals with fewer risks;
        • Fraudulent activity detection;
        • Regulatory compliance analysis;
        • Price prediction for stock trading, etc.

        It is a great addition to any advanced solution.


        Big Data

        Big data helps companies in the financial data to get accurate information about their customers to adapt strategies and personalize UX.


        Here’s how big data is used to mitigate the major issues with fintech:

        • Creating detailed user portraits for adapted services and marketing strategies;
        • Improved risk assessment by analyzing multiple sources;
        • Accurate fraud detection systems development.

        Big data development services can help you get the most from this technology. Combined with AI and ML, it forms a powerful financial ecosystem.

        Web 3.0

        Web 3.0 is a new blockchain-based version of the Internet with a focus on decentralization, AI, ML, and a better user experience.


        Here’s how Web 3 will change the fintech industry:

        • Improved data control for users;
        • Access to any information for activities like BNPL or loans;
        • Personalized and adapted content;
        • Process automation for faster payments;
        • Minimized errors and suspensions.

        Traditional banking systems will take ages to adopt the new concept. Web 3.0 and big data in fintech have all prospects for success.

        Start using these opportunities to your advantage

        We can help you create a good-looking and intuitive application with the newest technologies.

        Top Rapidly Growing Fintech Startups in 2022

        The number of startups constantly grows, but only the best ones conquer the market. We have chosen the five leading startups that turn challenges into opportunities and win.

        GoHenry

        GoHenry is a debit card provider for children aged from 6 to 18 years old. The company has an application that aims to develop money skills in the younger generation. Children can learn how to get an allowance, save money, spend responsibly, and donate to charity.


        Here are the key takeaways for this company:

        • Type of startup: an educational money management platform;
        • 5-year search growth: 866%;
        • Valuation: $75.7 million.

        GoHenry’s application has an average rating of 4.3 out of 5 based on the reviews in Play Market and App Store. It has got over 1 million downloads worldwide.

        M1 Finance

        M1 Finance is an automated investment platform that helps people invest, borrow, and spend money. The company uses AI and ML technologies for its predictions.


        Here are the key takeaways for this company:

        • Type of startup: an automated investment platform;
        • 5-year search growth: 1600%;
        • Valuation: $1.45 billion.

        M1’s application has an average rating of 4.5 out of 5 based on the reviews in Play Market and App Store. It has got over 500,000 downloads worldwide.

        Figure

        Figure is a blockchain-powered service for individual users and huge companies. The company focuses on different types of loans, payment solutions, transaction services, and others.


        Here are the key takeaways for this company:

        • Type of startup: a loan and financial transaction provider;
        • 5-year search growth: 325%;
        • Valuation: $3.2 billion.

        Figure’s application has an average rating of 3.5 out of 5 based on the reviews in the App Store. It has got over 5,000 downloads on Play Market.

        Treasuryspring

        Treasuryspring is a service that helps investors find the most cost-effective investment opportunities based on multiple factors. All data is accessed via a web portal.


        Here are the key takeaways for this company:

        • Type of startup: an investment assistance service;
        • 5-year search growth: 1,500%;
        • Valuation: $14.5 million.

        At the moment, Treasuryspring does not have any mobile applications. The company provides its services through a browser-based application.

        Revolut

        Revolut is a service designed to be an alternative to the traditional banking system. It involves credit cards, payments, investments, currency exchange, insurance, and many other features.


        Here are the key takeaways for this company:

        • Type of startup: a banking services provider;
        • 5-year search growth: 1,257%;
        • Valuation: $33 billion.

        Revolut’s mobile application has an average rating of 4.6 out of 5 based on the reviews in Play Market and App Store. The app has over 10 million downloads and is ranked 106 in App Store’s “Finance” section.

        EPAM Anywhere Business’ Experience in Mitigating Fintech Challenges

        The developers at EPAM have had hands-on experience in dealing with the biggest challenges of fintech. Check out the following case studies to see our solutions.

        freeME: a solution to revolutionize pensions

          Glarner Kantonalbank, a Swiss bank, came to EPAM with an idea to revolutionize Switzerland’s pension system. The idea was to let users control how their money is invested even while they’re in transition. This created freeMe.


          Our UX team conducted thorough research to make a user-friendly solution for the target audience. After that, we built the freeMe application using modern web technologies to provide a rich and intuitive interface. You can read more about the solution in our blog.

          ImageNPay: creating carbon-neutral interactive digital payments

            ImageNPay came to EPAM with the idea to create a digital wallet that could be personalized at any time. The main goal was to remove the need for issuing plastic cards, minimizing pollution.


            Our team had to support the project from scratch by designing the architecture, creating an SDK, applying business intelligence, getting the PCI DSS certification, and completing many other stages. You can read more about the solution in our blog.

            Citi: transforming the customer-bank experience

              Citi, one of the leading global banks, hosted a massive competition for developers. The idea was to create a cutting-edge solution that digitalized the bank system and easily integrated with Citi’s platforms. EPAM took on this challenge.


              We developed a solution that helps customers get a personalized experience. Simultaneously, Citi got a solution that let them gain deeper insights into their clients’ details. The bank was so impressed that they decided to integrate our solution into their Smart Branch. You can read more about the solution in our blog.

              Summing up

              The fintech industry has many benefits, challenges, and solutions. Among the leading issues, we may point out the lack of tech expertise and complicated regulatory compliance. However, these challenges are easily overcome with the usage of modern technologies and a trusted software development partner.


              While the traditional bank system slowly adopts modern solutions, the process is very lengthy. Startups have all the potential to get the lion's share of the market by using blockchain, AI, ML, big data, and Web 3.0 to their advantage. The usage of innovative technologies is one of the key elements to success.

              Looking forward to building a fintech app?

              We’ll help you create a cutting-edge solution that complies with all legal regulations and uses modern technologies. Our team covers the full development lifecycle.

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