Monite’s CTO Andrey Korchak: Industry Executive Comments on Challenges Associated with Building Fintech Products

Monite, the API-first embedded finance company that helps B2B platforms capitalize on hassle-free finance automation for their clients, recently fortified its commitment to become an industry standard by appointing three Fintech professionals.

Dan Osburn, a VP of product pivotal to Marqetas growth from a $20M startup into a $12 billion public company, has now assumed the role of Chief Product Officer.

Also joining the executive team is Sophie Haagensen, formerly COO at KodyPay and part of the founding team at Atom Bank, as Chief of Staff.

Additionally, Hoang Pham, known for building Mollie’s growth team and bootstrapping the company from its early stages to a successful series C funding round, has been appointed as Head of Marketing.

The appointments of these professionals aim to reflect Monite’s commitment to expanding its footprint in the EU and UK while also expanding into the US market and beyond.

The new company’s executives will be tasked with building a category-leading company, helping B2B customers embed cutting-edge financial services.

Monite lets neobanks and other Fintech SaaS platforms embed financial workflows like invoicing, payables automation, expense management, and accounting for their clients. A comprehensive set of developer tools, including SDKs and widgets, coupled with world-class APIs, dramatically reduces integration time for partners.

Monite allows B2B platforms to offer a broad range of financial products to their customers, optimizing efficiency, quality, and user experience, all while generating additional revenue. The company is backed by Third Prime, P72, founders of Klarna, Mollie and Nium, and execs from Plaid and PayPal.

We recently connected with Monite’s CTO, Andrey Korchak.

Our discussion is shared below.

Crowdfund Insider: What are the main challenges in building Fintech products in 2023?

Andrey Korchak: Building Fintech can be costly in terms of time, money, and team working hours. Fintech is heavily regulated, and financial apps have to meet stringent legal and compliance standards. Data protection policies, internal and external compliance standards, anti-money laundering acts, cybersecurity, local tax regulations, and laws are just a few of the things that must be taken care of while simultaneously working on developing financial services.

In addition, Fintech comes with numerous edge cases, which must be handled properly. Missing transactions, invalid currency conversion rates, banking holidays in different countries, sanctions, FATCA — you can’t ignore all of that and simply build an MVP. If you are producing software that doesn’t handle sanctions lists or FATCA, it’s not an MVP; it’s most likely the end of your business.

If you want to succeed in #Fintech, you need a decent amount of highly skilled people, who know exactly what needs to be built Click to Tweet

If you want to succeed in Fintech, you need a decent amount of highly skilled people, who know exactly what needs to be built. This involves hiring a team of top-notch engineers and managers with Fintech experience. Attracting and hiring skilled staff is one of the most difficult things to do these days. Yes, you can hire people without relevant experience, but that means that they will spend your time and money figuring out how your Fintech app is supposed to work, and you will end up paying for their education and not their skills.

Crowdfund Insider: What are the API building blocks, and how do they facilitate the integration of Fintech products?

Andrey Korchak: APIs are the building blocks of modern Fintech applications. The fundamental building block is usually responsible for payments. It provides users with an API-first generic payments interface that can be used to send and receive money in various currencies and via different payment channels: SEPA, ACH, cards, and open banking.

APIs are the building blocks of modern #Fintech applications Click to Tweet

Companies building complex financial systems also need to manage incoming and outgoing invoices and obligations, usually via two separate building blocks that run those streams of the company’s financial documents. Another API building block will be required if financial records need to be exported into accounting software.

There are also numerous smaller building blocks that help companies process incoming emails, extract information from pictures of financial documents, manage roles and permissions, convert currencies, and other essential tasks. Apart from business logic, APIs also take care of backups, security, and compliance, and decrease the costs of building Fintech apps drastically.

Crowdfund Insider: How can deploying new Fintech features be simplified from an engineering viewpoint?

Andrey Korchak: When a new tech team starts working on their Fintech app, they should be given a server-side API that already handles the majority of finance-related use cases. The APIs work in the provider’s cloud, so engineers can plug them directly into their web and mobile apps.

This allows tech teams to move quickly to implement interfaces and financial features that will operate on top of the existing API.

Building interfaces for financial apps is challenging, especially when it comes to complex scenarios like invoicing and accounting. Embedded finance providers do their best to improve clients’ UX and ease the integration process. For example, Monite provides its customers with Figma files that demonstrate how to build great UX with minimum effort, and works on public SDKs for carrying out complex finance-related flows. The client’s engineers are able to install those SDKs directly into their platforms and connect them to their applications. After that, the SDKs will render dozens of ready-to-use customisable screens for various business cases directly into their apps.

This approach dramatically impacts the cost and speed of delivering Fintech apps and opens the Fintech world up to smaller teams with modest budgets, such as pre-seed stage startups.

Crowdfund Insider: What trends will impact Fintech development in the near future?

Andrey Korchak: Many software businesses are becoming super-apps with multiple functions, such as making payments and processing financial documents on top of your main business.

We are going to see a rise in marketplaces with BNPL solutions and small virtual banks under the hood, neo banks with embedded accounting software, freelance platforms with embedded invoicing engines, and numerous other solutions.

Thus, the demand for Fintech experts and engineers will increase, but not all businesses will opt for the in-house Fintech model. We’ve already seen a spike of infrastructural Fintech API-first companies supplying the market with banking APIs, credit card management APIs, and other types of server-side API products.

By the end of the day, we are going to end up in a world where we have fewer apps on the market with far greater functionality.

By the end of the day, we are going to end up in a world where we have fewer apps on the market with far greater functionality Click to Tweet

Future democratization of fintech through the adoption of infrastructural services will lower the cost of building fintech apps, ultimately leading to the proliferation of small fintech startups delivering innovative apps in this space. Instead of building large in-house fintech teams, these startups will access cutting-edge financial services by simply paying a monthly subscription of a couple of thousand dollars.

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