My Introduction to Fintech
A year ago, I knew nothing about fintech. Before entering the working world, I can’t tell you what fintech is, or what it means. But after six months as a tech writer in the fintech industry, I mean better. I am proud to work in the fintech community.
Fintech means “financial technology”. The industry focuses on technology-informed solutions that are used to enable people to move money to different locations as quickly as possible. As a technical writer, I write user documentation that explains to the average user how to navigate Rapid’s API. APIs are technical solutions for transferring money: software that connects businesses and institutions to global financial networks.
If developers are the stars of the fintech world, technical writers are the staff backstage, aligning the lights, drawing the curtains, coordinating information that can be used by others. Technical writers act as a bridge between experts and the user base.
Rapid sees developers as its main audience, the people who work with and implement solutions using Rapid’s APIs. One place where Rapid staff interacts with developers is through the Rapid Community, an online forum where developers can ask questions and connect with others. As the moderator of this community, I discuss with developers and answer questions posted to the community.
While working at Rapid, I was able to see how developers and technical writers could work together to create a kind of ecosystem of information that is used to solve problems. Businesses want the process of receiving payments to be fast and easy, and they use developers to implement those solutions for their business. Rapid is an integral part of this process by providing a platform that can be used by everyone.
Fintech as a Service (FAAS)
“Fintech as a Service” is an important concept within the FinTech industry. You can see SaaS, or “software as a service”, as the predecessor to this concept, where software created by companies is used as a continuous service to solve a wide set of problems. .
Previously, software companies sold individual programs that solved individual problems. But this business model fails when more complex issues need to be resolved. SaaS companies instead offer their software as a platform. This platform is used by businesses or individuals to meet their needs over time.
Rapid has taken this novel approach to the fintech industry by offering its financial network, services and software as a platform or “fintech as a service”. Users do not own the Platform, but are instead charged for their use.
Such changes within the financial world have a major impact on the businesses of companies. Fintech as a service allows companies to interact with financial networks and banks at a fraction of the cost. The burden of integrating with the complex international financial system falls on Rapid rather than on individual businesses.
Rapid as a Fintech Leader
Rapid is an “API First” company. This means that Rapid prioritizes its API. Maintaining and maintaining those APIs is critical to Rapid’s success. But it also means that Rapid Developers sees the people using the API at the heart of that success.
APIs are at the heart of what Rapid does, and serve as the foundation of the company by allowing businesses to integrate them into networks connected to other businesses, financial institutions, gateways, and other stakeholders.
Rapid leads the fintech industry through hackathons, where winning teams of developers get a chance to present their projects to a wide audience of investors and developers. Our hackathon participants are from all over the world, and can use Rapid’s global network with hundreds of local payment methods to participate in the contest. Other fintech companies also host hackathons. But what sets Rapid apart from the competition is that they invested in a few hackathon winners, and funded those developers to turn their project into a scalable platform.
Thoughts on the future of the fintech industry
Fintech has the potential to disrupt the world of finance. Traditionally, banks and financial institutions were the only sources of influence. Imagine what the world was like, where the cost of doing international business was reserved for large businesses, with small to medium-sized businesses dwindling in price.
Fintech gives small businesses the advantage of having access to a globalized financial network. Financial interests of all can be met through Fintech as a service platform. In the future, banks will not be the only source of influence for how a business should structure its finances.
A decentralized, globalized financial system with low barriers to entry benefits everyone. Fintech companies provide critical infrastructure by connecting different financial points. This allows the benefits of international finance and cross-border trade to be shared by a wider group of people. Future trends in fintech will include further decentralization and global influence. Traditional financial networks should not be the only option for securing a healthy financial future. Fintech companies like Rapid lead the way in making such a future possible.