Building the Next Generation of FinTech Investment Solutions
The world of investment technology moves almost as quickly as the investment markets themselves. Without the right FinTech tools, today’s individual investors are likely to be left behind the latest financial trends. That’s why FinTech investment applications are once again becoming a major point of emphasis for developers looking to expand access to key financial services.
The History and Impact of FinTech Investment Solutions
As a subset of the FinTech industry, “invest-tech” is sometimes used to refer to a wave of innovative investment management technologies that are helping to connect aspiring investors to the information and financial services they need to capitalize on new opportunities. Like many other FinTech applications, investment software tools have played a pivotal role in expanding access to financial markets and helping consumers take direct control of their investment decisions.
Much of the early FinTech investment market was driven by “robo-advisor” services that used sophisticated algorithms to provide customers with investment guidance. The boom reached its peak in the mid-2010s, with a record 81 new invest-tech solutions hitting the market in 2014. Since then, the number of launches has dwindled as established incumbents in the financial services sector moved in to acquire some of the most promising firms.
In many instances, those acquisitions were made to expand existing digital capabilities or to secure a new base of established investment customers. Since the typical FinTech investment user was younger and possessed fewer assets, the profit margins for many start-ups were simply too low and the costs of customer acquisition too high. This dynamic has gradually shifted the industry’s focus toward the B2B market, although crowdsourced investment platforms remain quite popular among many retail investors.
The Current State of FinTech Investment Solutions
FinTech investment platforms roared back into the public consciousness following the COVID-19 pandemic as the combination of work-from-home mandates and accumulated savings caused a rise in retail investment. Individual investors made up 19.5 percent of stock market activity in the first half of 2020, an increase of nearly five percent from the previous year. On a particularly busy day of trading, individual investors constitute a whopping 25 percent of market activity.
Thanks to mobile FinTech apps from startups and established players in the financial services industry, more people than ever before have access to investment opportunities, which has caused significant disruption to the market. The controversial rush on GameStop stock in early 2021, for instance, demonstrated just how much impact easy-to-access these platforms could have on investment trends.
This resurgence in retail investment could very well spark another wave of interest in FinTech investment apps, especially from established firms looking to expand their digital capabilities and capitalize on the growing market.
Enhancing the FinTech Investment Experience
For developers building the latest iterations of FinTech applications, there are a few key features worth focusing on to deliver a better investment experience.
Sharing Data and Portfolios
While being able to access investment portfolio data on demand is valuable, customers are understandably concerned about the security of that data. Whether they’re building a retail investment app or a managed digital vault, developers need to provide a way of viewing private information securely. This is especially critical for digital documents. Relying on an external application for viewing or even just using the default browser viewer could potentially expose information to unauthorized users. By integrating secure, native viewing features, developers can ensure that investment portfolio data remains within a protected application environment.
Protecting Proprietary Research
One of the key benefits of working with an investment firm is having access to their market research when making financial decisions. In many cases, financial projections are calculated using proprietary formulas embedded within spreadsheets. Unfortunately, spreadsheets pose a number of security and compatibility problems. Even if a workbook is shared securely, there’s often little to stop someone from copying the proprietary formulas embedded within the cells and using it for other purposes. FinTech developers need ways to make those spreadsheets available without also compromising the valuable formulas developed over years of painstaking research.
Improving Data Capture
Making the right investment is all about having the right information. That data could come from a variety of sources, and in many instances it will need to be collected and analyzed before it can be of any use. Automating the data capture process can help to get that information into a customer’s hands faster. For example, customer information can be updated quickly by automatically extracting data from structured forms like tax filings. Scanned documents can also be converted into searchable PDFs using Optical Character Recognition (OCR), which makes it easier for AI-powered tools to sift through data in search of trends and potential opportunities.
Choosing the Right FinTech Investment Integrations
Building a successful FinTech application requires developers to build innovative tools that set them apart from the competition while also implementing everyday functionality that often lies outside their experience or expertise. Features like document viewing, annotation, and file conversion may be integral components of their platform, but take both time and development resources to build from scratch. By turning to SDKs and APIs, developers can quickly roll out new features without detracting from their primary software development goals.
Accusoft has been working with FinTech investment platforms for many years, helping developers to build powerful InsureTech applications without sacrificing the viewing and image processing technology that customers expect.
- PrizmDoc Viewer: Adds secure HTML5 viewing, annotation, conversion, and redaction capabilities to web-based applications, allowing developers to control every aspect of the viewing experience without compromising privacy.
- PrizmDoc Cells: Provides full XLSX support for applications, making it possible to securely upload and share Excel workbooks without exposing the source file or allowing users to access and copy proprietary formulas.
- FormSuite: A versatile forms SDK that allows developers to add form template identification and data extraction to their application, making it easier than ever to automate and streamline workflows.
- ImageGear: In addition to conversion and compression tools, it also provides full-page OCR for converting scanned documents into searchable text.
Learn more about how Accusoft is helping FinTech developers to drive the next generation of investment technology platforms.