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Kyle Pollock for Rapyd

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The Fintech Developer: Builder, Navigator and Guardian

“If you put us developers in room versus politicians and policy makers, I think we’d get a lot more progress.” That’s what one of the developers said among over a dozen fintech developers that were interviewed for winning a Rapyd hackathon. I had the opportunity to interview each of the top winners, and I want to share more about who they are as fintech developers, and some of the brightest people I’ve met in my life.

I get to talk with developers almost every day as a Technical Writer and Educator for the Developer Relations team at Rapyd. Building new relationships and resources for developers integrating with the Rapyd API has been a joy as I get to know how it can help people. That is the heart of who developers are; people who help make the world a better place by solving problems through technology.

Finance technology, or Fintech companies like Venmo, Stripe, PayPal and Rapyd create products through partnerships, compliance, and development of technology. Fintech developers are central to building the technology engine to make everything work. Here’s a unique look at fintech developers and the value they can bring to people and businesses all around the world as builders, navigators, guardians.

The Builder

Fintech developers have built products that have changed the way we move and make money. Traditional bank payment methods are starting to give room for fintech payments like wallets, peer to peer platforms, contactless apps, super apps, or even cryptocurrency. Digital payments have been growing beyond just using cards, and digital wallets are expected to be used by every other person by 2025.

I had the honor to see developers build fintech products from scratch using the Rapyd API. Rapyd docs, code samples, and API tutorials can help provide a good foundation, but fintech developers build around people to solve issues that deeply impact their lives. Fintech developers as builders means making financial solutions accessible by building practical financial applications for their customer base. Businesses can create online shops faster with hosted checkout pages, or plugins using Shopify, WooCommerce, or Wix websites. Deeper engagement with business customers can be reached through embedded finance solutions to pay out to others as you get paid. Embedded finance is the process by which financial services are built into non-financial applications or platforms. Developers will continue to build and improve solutions, technology, and the ways funds are moved.

The Navigator

Different payment methods offer customers the chance to use their own preferred form of payment. From cash to cards, bank transfer, digital wallets, or new emerging technologies—each one can be set up differently with various partners. When a business wants to accept cross-border payments, or incorporate new payment methods this is not often a cut and dry solution. In fact, it’s more like navigating through open waters where different regions have different climates, and payment methods with different requirements. Network and partnerships teams can similarly be considered explorers who chart the course, and build out the fintech payments map. Fintech developers need to equally understand the course and path to build an API platform that allows room for scalability for more payments, and more integrations. As a navigator would understand, one degree off of the direction you’re pointed can require miles of course correction later.

As I hear from Solutions Engineers (SE) each week I see their confidence in the network Rapyd has built, and how they can provide the right solution to the client. SEs are fintech developers that help client companies and engineers integrate their products with the Rapyd API. SEs require the understanding of the application of both products—Rapyd and client—and how each integration step will fit into the overall product map. At the same time I see the eagerness to expand our ever growing payments network of hundreds of countries and thousands of local payment methods. Fintech developers have a heart of a navigator and understand a growing payments network can chart a path for business to expand beyond the financial needs of what they currently see.

The Guardian

As I started in the fintech industry nearly three years ago to this day, I began learning about different payment rails, global and local payment methods, but the most surprising aspect of fintech was the compliance. I learned how much compliance in fintech was used to protect against fraudulent products, and prohibited industries like adult entertainment, businesses selling illegal substances, services promoting abuse, hatred, racism, religious persecution, terrorism, violence, pyramid or ponzi schemes to name a few. Just like network and partnerships, compliance team members could be considered the true guardian gatekeepers of fintech. As developers scale their products, compliance is vital to understand, and incorporate to keep the bad actors out.

Fintech developers build, or integrate with artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) platforms to protect the customer’s identity and payment information. As I have gotten to work with back end developers building automated ML products, I see the impeccable details of each computer-user interaction. Whether it is KYB/KYC processes, fraud detection or simply improving the customer’s checkout experience, fintech developers are building solutions around their customer. Solutions Engineers are constantly on the front lines speaking and solving solutions on behalf of their customers and user-base. They are helping clients integrate with one of the most secure API request signatures I have seen.

Security has always been among the highest priorities for Rapyd’s platforms. Public opinion of the future of the tech industry will and should always care how the customers’ data is shared. However, I believe the guardian in fintech developers will continually build new products that will protect the customer because this is a solution we will ultimately seek.

Customer Advocates

Ultimately, I see how developers have pieced together the building blocks of fintech products, set course for businesses to expand, and how developers will fight to build technology that protects against fraud, illegal industries, and unwanted data sharing. The developers I’ve been able to work with are customer advocates, and champions of the customer experience. Fintech startups can provide the same services of traditional banks as many developers will help oversee operations to ensure a smooth service. Developers are constantly on the front lines solving customer issues, or gathering feedback from product demos, and beta trials. If there is one thing I have seen throughout our hackathons, it is that if current fintech solutions start to overlook customer preferences, developers can always build something that champions the customer experience and values people.

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