Choosing a banking provider that offers solutions with a strong focus on customer experience is crucial in today’s dynamic financial landscape, according to Venkat Rangan, CEO of leading player in financial technology solutions, Market Simplified.

Rangan has shared his insights and expertise gained from his experience in the fintech sector with Retailbiz relating to customer expectations, challenges and opportunities, the role of technology and need for a customer-centric approach.

The role of technology

When upgrading financial operations in retail businesses and selecting a financial technology provider, business owners should consider several factors to make an informed decision, according to Rangan.  

“Upgrading comes with understanding the unique financial objectives like end-user experience, user journeys, core systems integrations, exceptions that need to be built-in and so on in addition to Payment Processing, Point-of-sale(POS) systems, inventory management and UI enhancements,” he said.

“In addition to this comes the need to scale. This is crucial when it comes to accommodating increased transactions and making it compatible for all integrations with respect to tools and software. Comprehensive reporting and analytics tools are valuable for tracking financial performance and making informed decisions. Ensure the provider offers these features to gain insights into your business’s financial health.”

The evolving landscape

Rangan believes the world is moving towards the concept of ‘technology-led-finance’ where technology is the driving force that enables smarter financial solutions.

“The approach to upgrading financial technology can be divided into two distinct strategies, tailored to the unique demands and deliverables of small businesses and enterprises,” he said.

“Small business owners prioritise simplicity and efficiency, seeking user-friendly fintech solutions that streamline bookkeeping and automate repetitive tasks. They value real-time insights into their financial data, multiple payment options to cater to diverse customer preferences, and robust cybersecurity measures to protect sensitive information.”

Integration capabilities and access to credit are also essential for growth.

“On the other hand, large enterprises have a different set of requirements for their technology-led financial upgrades. They need more advanced tools that can handle the complexities of their financial operations. This includes sophisticated data analytics and reporting features that provide in-depth insights into their financial performance, enabling data-driven decision-making.

“Automation and integration capabilities are crucial to streamline complex financial processes and seamlessly integrate with their extensive systems. Scalability and customization are key considerations, as enterprises require solutions that can adapt to their evolving financial needs. Both small businesses and enterprises remain vigilant about emerging technology trends, as they offer both challenges and opportunities in the realm of financial technology transformations.”

The future of fintech in retail

In the fintech sector, the adoption of low-code development is game-changing innovation as it empowers developers and non-developers to create complex applications with minimal manual coding, significantly reducing development time and complexity, according to Rangan.

“Key areas where this innovation is making an impact include rapid prototyping, allowing companies to swiftly test and introduce new concepts. Additionally, low-code development is enabling the creation of customised banking solutions tailored to niche markets,” he said.

“Efficiency is a primary focus with low-code platforms, as they assist in automating tasks and streamlining internal workflows. This not only enhances operations but also reduces costs, a critical consideration in the financial industry.

“Furthermore, low-code development facilitates the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) into financial applications, empowering the development of predictive analytics, fraud detection, and AI-driven customer support. In the highly regulated financial sector, compliance and regulatory reporting are simplified through low-code platforms, ensuring companies can adapt to evolving regulations. Collaboration with other businesses is eased through low-code platforms, as they simplify the integration of Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), fostering comprehensive financial ecosystems.”

Finding a competitive advantage

When selecting technology partners, Rangan advises the retail sector to be vigilant in considering a range of innovations that can enhance operations and customer experiences, placing a strong emphasis on Non-Functional Requirements (NFR).

“First and foremost, innovations in personal finance management applications and robo-advisors can empower customers to take control of their financial lives and democratise investing, respectively. These tools not only attract and retain customers but also create a competitive edge in the retail sector,” he said.

“In addition to these consumer-facing innovations, it’s crucial to consider technology partners who understand the significance of NFR in architecture design. NFR encompasses attributes like scalability, security, performance, and reliability, which are paramount in the financial sector. Furthermore, technology partners who can harness AI-driven customer support and data analytics tools should also be at the forefront of consideration.

“AI-driven customer support enhances the retail experience, offering rapid and responsive interactions, and data analytics tools provide valuable insights into consumer behavior, enabling data-driven decision-making. Neglecting NFR can lead to costly setbacks and security breaches, which can be detrimental in the competitive and regulated financial industry. A technology partner well-versed in these innovations and NFR is a strategic choice for the retail sector.”