API Lifecycle Management

3F:Future Fintech Framework- Enable Innovation, Collaboration, Growth

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Innovation has been happening for ages. You need to foster innovation and share and collaborate, finally accelerating growth.

Similar to innovation, growth has been taking place. As an individual, you, your products, your organization, everything is growing. But the world today requires you to accelerate this growth. 

Let’s begin with this famous quote from Steve Jobs, “Companies need to first define the customer experience or user journeys, and then work backward on applying technologies today this is the reverse.” Though there have been new concepts and frameworks in all these years, there is still no framework that will help you create a very good customer experience and the user journey.

 

Fintech Digital Life Cycle

One of my core frameworks is the Fintech Digital Lifecycle, which primarily targets the creation of an engaging user journey. After a lot of analysis and experience in implementing various projects and observing many other projects, I concluded that any product-process solution could be broken up and covered in seven stages. 

Acquire a customer

An acquisition can be as simple as a KYC AML or marketing. It could be about a specific incentive-based code. There could be regulations, technology, and other handshakes concerning the acquisition.

Secure a customer

In a digital and fintech environment, security is not just a technology or a regulatory feature. Security is important to build trust because the ecosystem will not be empowered without trust. To build trust, you can build security at various levels. Security could be at password level, feature level, and device level. 

Engage a customer

There are various ways each engagement can happen to content. It can happen through tools, and other mechanisms through which you can constantly engage, incentivize and interact with a customer.

Transact with a customer

The framework covers specific aspects of enabling and empowering transactions with a contextual call to action. You cannot delay a transaction because a person needs information instantly in a digital world. 

Grow a customer

Once a customer transacts, you need to grow the relationship. Many other mechanisms will help you do that. For example, you can do cross-sell and upsell. Growing is bringing digital nativeness, engagement, compliance, and profitability into the framework.

Service a customer

As a service business, chatbots, customer surveys, etc., help us get customer feedback. Based on this feedback, we need to analyze gaps and areas that need to be improved on.

Off-boarding a customer

Off-boarding is not simple in a Fintech and digital environment. There could be aspects related to compliance, frauds, charges, or regulatory obligations.

The FinTech Digital Lifecycle is a technological product agnostic seven-stage framework or model which helps you set a direction for innovation, creating and engaging user journeys. It is an iterative process. The smoother the journey, the better engaged the customer is. This will lead to better transactions and more profitability. This is what most organizations in a digital space aspire for.

FinTech Logical Architecture or FLARE

Most digital projects encounter difficulties or even fail because there is a lack of clarity in the requirement and poor collaboration between stakeholders. The framework to bring clarity to requirements and enhance the collaboration between stakeholders is called FinTech, logical architecture, or flare. It is a simplified 14-block or layered architecture, which will categorize various functionalities in 14 blocks. 

So, when you are defining a requirement, you will think of the block it fits in. For example there

is the core layer, data layer, security layer, API management layer, a layer to monetize APIs, and a layer to manage personalization.

All these aspects get considered part of the FinTech logical architecture. It helps you with your documentation. It serves as a bridge for collaboration between a non-techie, techie, and various other stakeholders, eventually fostering collaboration. 

There is a redefining of the core happening in every business. This framework will consider all that because you can gradually shift all the functionalities to the other 14 logical layers from the core layer. For example, when you transfer money, the processing may happen at the core layer, but money is transferred through a third-party app. So, gradually, many of these functionalities are getting pushed to external layers. Flare will evolve. It will support incremental additions for at least another decade and will be very stable. 

 

FinTech API marketplace (FAM)

Unless you create an open API marketplace, it cannot be effective.

With WordPress or Joomla, you create a template, add text, images, social media API, email API, Captcha API, payment gateway API, and publish your website. Similarly, you can publish your financial services platform with FinTech, getting embedded as part of the industry. There will be consumers and providers or APIs. You can compare and choose the one that best fits your needs.

Consider an example of a college. It will go to this API marketplace and select and customize some APIs based on its requirements. It will then create a college platform and select required functionalities based on requirements. So, you can choose, configure, personalize, implement and test the platform. 

The 3 Frameworks

The three frameworks are –

FDLC (FinTech Digital Life Cycle) has seven stages to help create an innovative and engaging user journey, reduce friction in the system and get higher wallet share.

FLARE (FinTech logical architecture) will help you get better documentation, UI, UX articulation, and collaboration between players. 

FAM (FinTech API Marketplace) will help manifest all this as a plug-and-play API. This open API marketplace will accelerate collaboration and growth, where you can pick and choose and publish your solution. 

These three can work together or work in isolation. They are product and tech agnostic and very easy to understand. We all know that at the end of the day, customer-centric FinTech solutions will win, and that’s what these three frameworks will help you.

Difference between knowledge and framework

You can have a lot of knowledge, but if it is not organized properly, it is of no use. A framework helps you better organize and understand, and you can transform in a big way. A framework will give you better clarity, help you prioritize, to act timely and efficiently. You don’t need too much knowledge but a good framework to help you be effective. 

Conclusion

The future FinTech framework brings a very good enhancement in terms of a thought process approach for creating engaging solutions, fostering collaboration, and accelerating growth in a new digital age, enhancing digital maturity for you, your organization, and your employees.

Kartik Swaminathan
As a founder of FINTASTECH, I work with Fintech, Startup, BFSI & IT firms in Ideating, creating and delivering Fintastech products, processes, projects & solutions. I bring in extensive years of experience in innovative products, processes, projects and Digital solutions across a range of segments in BFSI. Innovation, Partnership and shared belief are the bedrock of our engagements. I have recently written a book on Fintech called 3F: Future Fintech Framework

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