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The financial services industry has entered a new paradigm. Where consumer preferences used to be based on the breadth of services provided by an institution, now equally important is the convenience the customer experience provides.

Thus began the sprint to digital. Banking behemoths beset by fintech competitors on all sides are rushing to digitise legacy systems. While traditional banks have the advantage in breadth of services, fintechs have the advantage in the “digital highway.” For fintechs, the main focus is building a diverse product offering that suits multiple customers’ needs. Here’s where the build vs. buy debate often finds its origin.

While fintechs are usually built in some fashion on technological expertise, do they have the true experience needed to navigate building or expanding their platform? Or, should they leverage the expertise and services of a veteran cloud-native platform vendor?

To effectively consider this question there are three factors fintechs must analyse:

1) Time to market

2) total cost of ownership

3) ongoing enhancements

Time to market

The industry contains numerous examples that fintechs can examine in making their decision. Forrester’s recent ‘The State Of Digital Banking, 2022’ study, involving a balanced population of small, medium and large financial institutions that built their own technology found confidence in high supply: 42% of technology leaders boldly believed that their project would take under six months to complete, with only 26% of total projects meeting that mark. Even more challenging, only 26% believed that their project would take more than a year to complete. Almost half of them took more than 12 months. Unfortunately, projects that miss their projected deadlines also often blow their budgets.

Total cost of ownership

Findings in costs were even less rosy than time to market. Of those surveyed 88% indicated their projects failed to meet budgetary expectations. Even more concerning, 45% indicated their projects would miss their budget expectations by at least 25%. At the end of the day, only 3% of projects that missed their time to market expectations met their forecasted budget.

Ongoing enhancements

Of those institutions surveyed the vast majority (52%) undershot their timeframe, undershot their cost and (logically) overshot their revenue projections. Even for those projects finished as expected, 34% of these new platforms were updated once a year or less. For those whose projects dragged past expectations, nearly half received one or fewer updates per year. With lagging platforms failing to drive expected customer volume, emphasis on maintenance and upgrades tends to decline over time. Fortunately, there is a reliable and easily accessible solution to these challenges.

Buying overcomes these obstacles

Many cloud-native fintech platforms offer a time tested, proven implementation methodology. Mambu, for example, has quickly brought hundreds of customers to market with its SaaS deposit & lending engine. CapitalBox (formerly Ferratum) was even faster, partnering with Mambu to design a personal lending product that went live in five months and helped CapitalBox scale to two million customers. The list goes on with customers like Nordiska and ZestMoney going live with products in three and four months.

Mambu’s cost model is simple, employing a straightforward monthly fee structure. This eliminates planning and budgeting challenges and allows our customers to focus on building their businesses. It also eliminates the need to focus on upgrades. Mambu provides weekly incremental upgrades to all of its customers as a part of their subscription fee. The temptation to build, especially as a fintech is a strong one. Yet, when internal resources are selected over tried and tested vendors the story painted is a challenging one.

Mambu’s time tested approach and track record with 200+ customers in 65 different geographies gives our customers confidence that the goals they set can be achieved.


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Jordan Mannix
With two degrees in business and finance, Jordan spent multiple years in the tier-1 banking space. It was his desire to help businesses deliver better financial products and experiences that drew him to Mambu. He is the Regional Director of North America for the Customer Value Team, supporting account executives and their discussions with prospective and current clients.
Jordan Mannix