Digital Transformation in Private Equity and Venture Capital

Private equity businesses are different from public investment funds, and so are the challenges they face. These companies have to present themselves in a unique way, unify multiple management systems, and meet regulative pressure. Luckily, technology can help to successfully address most of these issues.

What are some of the distinctive features of digital transformation in the niche? Why is it important to embrace technology? And most importantly, how to do it in 2021?

Let’s find out.

Private equity challenges

The main challenges for private equity firms right now are caused by several factors, including:

  • Fierce market competition
  • Lack of brand awareness
  • Unremarkable digital presence
  • Fragmentation of data across systems
  • Complexifying regulatory compliance
  • Outdated technology

Private equity opportunities

As for the advantages of digital transformation for private equity companies, the following perks are most notable:

  • Consolidation of management systems
  • Development of a unified book of records
  • Automated compliance checks and audit
  • Improved analytics and real-time data processing
  • Improved customer relationship

The Oxford Risk case

MintyMint has vast experience working in the Fintech industry.

One of such projects is Oxford Risk – a revolutionary investment risk evaluation platform. Although using advanced methods and technologies in their direct work, the company didn’t have an appropriate web platform to present itself in the digital space.

In this case, our task was to design and develop an entirely new website to optimize user experience according to the latest UX/UI tendencies and approaches, on one hand, and ensure the product’s performance and responsiveness across user devices – on the other.

After conducting thorough market research and determining the main client requirements and product features, our design team has developed wireframes and a UI style guide for the website’s front end. Then, our technical team has determined appropriate product architecture, and design a backend infrastructure according to it. Finally, our engineers have implemented the program functionality of the product, while QA experts conducted a set of manual and automated tests to find and resolve any production mistakes.

The new Oxford Risk website was then released to the public, open for you to explore online.

How can we speed up digitization in the private equity sector

There are three main ways how we can help your business digital-wise.

Digital strategies for the company

The first thing to do when embracing digital transformation is to develop a comprehensive digital strategy for your brand. MintyMint can help you in determining the main digital pain points for your business, as well as the best solutions to those needs, and develop a clear, step-by-step strategy for you to fulfill.

Digital solutions integration

Once a clear digital strategy is outlined, you have to apply the necessary technical solutions to bring it about. Our team will gladly assist you in developing, integrating, and maintaining the right digital systems and components. Whether it’s an independent CRM software, a newly designed website, a mobile application for the clients, or an entire cloud platform combining it all – we’ve got you covered.

Dedicated team

You don’t always want all the job done exclusively for you. Perhaps, what you need is a seasoned professional or a few engineers to back up your core team and cover a part of the responsibilities. In this case, team extension is the right choice for you. Outsourcing gives you access to great talent, eliminates HR issues, and helps you to increase you’re team’s capability and productivity all at once.

To learn more about partnership opportunities and workflows, visit our How We Work page.


Digital transformation is not just “good” to do but simply required in order to meet the new standards and withstand competition in 2021. Developing a thoughtful digital strategy, integrating appropriate tech tools, and employing great talent are your best bets to do it.

Need help with your digitization endeavors? Feel free to reach out!

Digital Transformation in Fundraising: Trends, Issues, and Solutions

Digital transformation is the key to sustainable fundraising in 2021. While the global pandemic has forced industry businesses to review their approaches in order to survive, embracing a greater digital vision is needed to really prosper.

What are some of the main challenges in fundraising right now? How can digital strategies and solutions address these issues? And finally, how can MintyMint assist you on this journey? 

Proceed to find out! 

Biggest challenges in fundraising

Among all the global and local issues in fundraising right now, these are most common:

  • Insufficient individual donations
  • Unmotivated partners
  • Limited sources of funding
  • Transparency and trust Issues
  • Fintech regulations and data protection 
  • Donor retention
  • Postponed digitization 

How to make fundraising successful through digital means? 

Incorporating tech solutions in your business strategy can help to achieve the following: 

  • Boost donations
  • Track, manage, and retarget existing partners 
  • Find and inspire new partnerships
  • Access additional sources of funding
  • Ensure transparency and trust 
  • Automate workflows
  • Meet fintech regulations 
  • Increase partner retention 

Current fundraising trends

As for the key trends in fundraising right now, we are noticing an increased focus on: 

  • Mobile operations
  • Donor-advised funds
  • Virtual events
  • Agile fundraising 
  • Younger target audiences 
  • Personalized outreach

What can MintyMint do for fundraising businesses? 

Our team has developed a ton of fintech products, including a modern crowdfunding platform. So, how can a company like ours assist fundraising businesses out there?

In general, there are three ways we can be helpful. 

Develop a digital strategy

We’re seeing cases where implementing some individual digital features boosts donations by 150% even outside of the niche. Imagine what a comprehensive digital strategy can do for crowdfunding platforms and charities. 

Depending on your setup and degree of digitization, we can develop a comprehensive tech strategy to meet your most urgent goals and needs. Whether it’s a legacy software update, security loopholes fix, or back-office workflow automation – our experts will define the key pain points and outline a clear roadmap to resolve them.  

Integrate digital solutions

As already mentioned, it’s possible to boost/benefit the fundraising activities even without a comprehensive strategy. 

We can develop and integrate a wide range of solutions for your fundraising businesses. It can be a CRM system to manage your partners and donors, a set of security measures to protect your data, a mobile app to engage users on the go, or a new website to present your services. It can also be a universal cloud app incorporating all of the above if that’s what you’re looking for.  

Provide dedicated experts

Last but not least, we can provide you with dedicated tech experts or entire teams to fulfill tasks and cover responsibilities. 

Outsourcing gives you access to great talent without distracting on hiring and managing additional staff. This way you can support your core team and focus on essential business objectives like marketing or strategy development. Meanwhile, we guarantee A-grade IT professionals and the quality of the work they do. 

What’s there for modern fundraising tomorrow? 

Although fundraising businesses have traditionally abstained from fundamental digital transformation, the situation has changed. Charities and crowdfunding platforms adopt all sorts of digital solutions to their great benefit.

This tendency is only picking up speed in 2021. So, if your fundraising business struggles to endure the increasing market competition, it makes a lot of sense to seize the opportunity and hop on the digitization gravy train.

Need help with digitization? Don’t hesitate to reach out!

Top 8 FinTech Apps To Watch in 2021

Fintech is constantly developing, with new tools winning the consumer’s attention virtually every month. If you don’t want to miss out on a new bombshell in the niche, it’s important to keep a close eye on the latest trends and especially – newest apps. This is why we decided to review some of the brightest and most popular fintech applications in 2021. 

But before jumping to the list itself, let’s look at the main groups of fintech apps.

Types of fintech applications

When it comes to modern fintech applications, there are 5 main categories these apps can be divided into. Those are: 

  • Personal Finance
  • Digital Banking
  • Investments
  • Blockchain & Crypto
  • RegTech 

Naturally, these groups may overlap and it’s often hard to weed out a particular type or group. So, we’re not going to dive too deep into it. Instead, let’s waste no more time and move onto the list of the top fintech apps to watch in 2021.

Top 8 fintech apps to watch in 2021

Here they are, listed in a free order:


Personal Finance

Kicking the chart off, Mint is this year’s #1 personal finance solution in the USA. 

Aggregating and evaluating a wide scope of information about the user’s cards, accounts, and transactions, the tool provides unparalleled opportunities for personal finance management. This includes sending due bills alerts, detecting spending patterns, and providing tips on how to save an extra buck. All of the app data is reliably encrypted, so there are no worries about the security, too.

Mint is available on both Android and iOS.


Digital Banking

Moving on, Revolut is a bright example of a capable and multi-functional mobile bank that is gaining huge momentum in 2021. 

Launched back in 2015, the UK-based startup is now worth almost $2 billion and growing. How did they do it? In essence, Revolut provides its users with a refined fintech space for conducting major banking activities. This includes money transfer and storage, currency exchange, payments, and ATM withdrawal. Operating within more than a hundred countries, the tool supports sending direct in-app transactions in 29 currencies, including popular cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Etherium, Litecoin, etc. 

In fact, the only thing you can’t do with Revolut is plain out print the cash. But who do you complain about that…


Blockchain & Crypto

Speaking about alternative cash, we can not skip one of the most popular cryptocurrency exchanges on the market right now – Coinbase. 

With a 25 million wide audience, the platform enables its users to monitor, invest in, and trade all the major cryptocurrencies in a safe and convenient way. Among the main feats and features, there are instant money transfers within the system, an option to schedule regular daily, weekly, and monthly acquisitions, and naturally for its niche – a top-notch level of cybersecurity to protect your funds. 

All in all, anyone even remotely associated with cryptocurrencies must have heard about Coinbase, so it’s definitely among the top fintech apps to watch in 2021. 


Digital Banking

This $10 billion valued Brazilian startup is backing one of the most popular digital banks in the world right now. 

Offering a wide range of perks as a digital banking service, it allows to monitor, manage, and withdraw funds from any place in the world. The app can also boast of a simple and intuitive interface, along with an extensive reward system to please every user. 

With universally accepted credit cards, absent transaction fees, and one of the best UX/UI designs in the niche, Nubank takes its well-earned place on our list today.     


Digital Banking

Another bright example of a modern digital banking solution is Chime. 

What makes it stand out among its competitors is the virtual absence of fees, whether you’re transferring the money online or withdrawing from its impressive network of some 40.000 ATMs. Add an option to automatically save 10% of received payments and spendings, along with early funds withdrawal – and you get all the reasons to place Chime on the list of the top fintech apps in 2021. 



When it comes to modern fintech opportunities, various investment tools occupy a special place. 

In this regard, Robinhood is a revolutionary online brokerage solution. It enables buying and managing virtually every type of investment, from public companies’ stocks to ETF’s and indices, to cryptocurrencies – all at zero commission. The platform is integrated with over 3500 banks and provides real-time market data analysis for the users’ benefit and convenience. 

All of the above has made it a leading digital investment tool on the market, worth every bit of attention.  


Digital Banking

MoneyLion is another bright example of a modern digital banking solution. The tool provides a combination of lending, savings, and wealth management services on a subscription basis. 

Some of the service’s distinctive features include a mesh of over 50.000 fee-free ATMs, instant money transfers, and impressive (up to 12%) cashback rewards. 

MoneLion enables its users to lend, manage, and save money in one place, which was enough to make it a Unicorn startup this year and place it on our list of the top fintech apps to watch in 2021.  


Personal Finance, Real Estate

Last but not least, Tellus is a magic wand for property and wealth management. 

Providing an all-around platform for landlords and tenants to find, connect, and deal with each other in a safe and convenient way. The service provides in-app money transfers, messaging, as well as tracking and management of all rent-related activities like screening, payments, services, repairs, etc. The service also offers no-fee, no-limit deposits with progressive interest for “smart” savings. 

With all that said, Tellus is definitely another tool to place on our list today.


The fintech industry is up and booming in 2021. Fueled by the pandemic-related contact restrictions, along with wider blockchain adoption and overall digitization of our daily lives, the demand for advanced IT solutions in the finance sector right now is unseen before.  

This is a great time for the consumers to explore and enjoy new fintech tools and solutions, and an even greater moment for entrepreneurs to jump on the bandwagon and build a successful business in the niche. And the apps mentioned above provide a great example to prove the point. 

Interested in fintech software development? Don’t hesitate to ping us and we’ll schedule a call! 

Startup MVP Development: How To Build A Minimum Viable Product

They say that customer is always right. 

Indeed, it doesn’t take Gary Vaynerchuk to see that every business or service revolves around the client. The stumbling stone here is guessing exactly what the customers want, and while market analysis and research can surely contribute to that, nothing paints as accurate a picture as a field study would.

Now, how do you do it without wasting a fortune on running the show? The answer is a Minimum Viable Product, or simply – an MVP.

What is it and how to make a minimum viable product your most valuable player? Read on to find out!

What is an MVP product?

Defined in The Lean Startup by Eric Ries, MVP is a functional version of a product that enables gathering maximum customer feedback with the least effort. It can be a landing page, a promotional video, or even a Kickstarter campaign.

The idea is to produce a practical learning tool that’ll help to craft the best solution for a target audience’s issue. So, instead of assembling a complex business plan and relying on expert estimates, you introduce a ready solution using the least amount of resources possible and observe the actual user behavior. The insights gathered then suggest whether you are moving in the right direction or need to change course.

MVP development process typically consists of the following stages: 

  1. Idea
  2. Research
  3. Conceptualization
  4. Implementation
  5. Feedback

In general, it looks something like this:

Startup MVP development life cycle.
Minimum Viable Product Development Cycle

Before moving on, let’s get clear with the terminology. 

The word viable means capable of working successfully. This is something many entrepreneurs miss, yearning for perfection. A successful MVP resolves a key user issue and is neither fancy nor sophisticated. Moreso, it can be plain out boring (unless you’re making a game, of course), as long as it provides value.

Here’s an example: 

Say, you’re making a dating app. The perfect scenario here would be a responsive multi-platform app with ratings, interest-matching algorithms, and an in-built messenger. However, the minimum value of a dating app is for a user to find a date.

In this case, a possible MVP looks like a serverless web service with profiles that include a picture, location, and an email (or a public messenger link).

MVP vs final product

A minimum viable product is very different from the final product, mainly in its goals. It’s not there to sell, but rather to test the market. 

Here’s a real-life case in point everyone is familiar with:

McDonald’s founders jump-started the now-global chain of restaurants by combining two of their customers’ main values – top-demand food and low lead time. They reduced the menu to just 3 food positions (with a few choices of drinks) and managed to cut the order time down to under a minute.

Like that, their clients’ favorite meals were ready for takeaway in a blink of an eye. No friction, and ultimate efficiency. 

Years later, McDonald’s menu grew back to include dozens of positions and is available in every corner of the world. But they had to strike that MVP offer first, in order to take off.   

Startup MVP development vs complete product or service
McDonald’s Original Menu vs Today’s Offer

MVP benefits

Creating an MVP can help you to: 

  • Cut costs.
  • Save the production time and resources.
  • Build up an initial client base.
  • Get feedback from the market.
  • Collect insights on focus features. 
  • Attract early investments.

Doesn’t all that sound great?

Naturally, there is rarely a one-fits-all solution in the IT industry, even more so for startup MVP development. Different approaches to building a minimum viable product will fit better or worse depending on your main goals and project stage.

For that matter, MVPs are divided into low-fidelity and high-fidelity ones. 

The first approach is good when you need to:

  • Get to know your target audience and their issues.
  • See if your product satisfies the customers.
  • Evaluate the overall market demand for your offer (smoke testing).
  • Find the best solution to the clients’ need. 

Whereas high-fidelity MVPs are helpful to: 

  • Assess the optimum price for your offer.
  • Get early adopters that’ll recommend your product.
  • Optimize your promotional strategy.
  • Spot further business growth opportunities.

Before you start building a minimum viable product, consider your main goals and risks, the potential time to market, and your budget and/or funding sources. These questions will help you to paint a clear roadmap of the MVP development process, hopefully, the one to success. 

Types and examples of an MVP

Now that we’ve covered the definition and the main benefits of our subject today, let’s look into the common MVP types along with some notable examples from history to back up the point.

Landing page MVP

Unsurprisingly, a landing page MVP implies creating a simple landing page to present your product or service. The goal is to provide potential clients with a general image of what you offer along with a call to action, whether it’s to sign up or make a pre-order.

In this case, you don’t even need to have the business going on. The idea is to smoke test your offer. Once people discover your “website” and begin interacting, you can evaluate the numbers to learn whether the target audience likes the solution at all.

Like that, your spendings are down to the cost of a landing page plus your ad campaign budget. It is the strategy Joel Gascoigne applied when launching his two-page LP (description & pricing) for Buffer, with no actual functionality behind it.  

Buffer's startup MVP development example - landing page MVP.
Buffer’s landing page MVP

Video MVP

Another option of a minimum viable product comes down to recording a promo clip or an explanatory video, putting it up on YouTube, and watching if it gets the views and feedback. The good news is that engaging videos often get viral, automatically launching a word of a mouth promo campaign. The bad news is that few videos hit that mark, and it’s impossible to predict which one will. 

You have to climb a tree in order to get the fruit. After all, producing a video clip is not nearly as cumbersome as developing a complete product. It worked for DropBox, so why wouldn’t it do the same for you? 

Btw, here’s the award-winning video: 

DrpoBox’s premier video MVP

Crowdfunding MVP

Another great way to get your project up and running without eliminating the family budget is to launch a crowdfunding campaign.

In this case, what you do is prepare a concise presentation of your idea, a prototype, or a visual design. Then, share it at either of the popular crowdfunding services like Kickstarter, SeedInvest Technology, or the one developed by our team – 4Friends.

A crowdfunding MVP is really a win-win option. If your idea gets the attention, you receive the funding to invest in something already favored by the market. If it doesn’t – you lose nothing. The only drawback here is that your idea can potentially be stolen and compromised. But hey, you don’t have to give away all the key ingredients. And plus, if the idea is that good – you’ll get the funding before the plagiarists jump out of bed. 

One of the most impressive crowdfunding MVP success stories is that of Pebble. Back in 2012, Eric Migicovsky decided to try his luck on Kickstarter after running out of the initial funding for his revolutionary smartwatch. Guess what followed? A $10M investment and almost half a million watches sold in two years.

Impressive, huh?

Actually, the brand repeated its success a couple of years later, scoring another eight-figure. 

Pebble's startup MVP development example - crowdfunding MVP.
Pebble Watch Kickstarter campaign MVP

And yes, it didn’t quite survive the competition as time passed, but that is the topic of a whole another discussion…

A Piecemeal MVP

A piecemeal MVP simply means using a free digital platform to provide your service. 

You can throw a promo campaign on social media, launch a special offer email campaign for existing contacts, or explore new audiences via mass-mailing. The key thing is to use a free platform to reach your customers. 

Uber is a great example of applying such a strategy, famously requiring the initial customers to email or SMS one of the founders in order to access the service.

As they say, all is fair in love and war… and business, of course. 

Uber's startup MVP development example - email & sms MVP.
UberCab email and SMS MVP

Similarly, you can leverage the power of social media platforms in the same way as Uber did with emails. With billions of users spending half of their free time on social media every day, who said a thoroughly worked out Instagram page can’t be your minimum viable product at the first stages?

Concierge & Wizard of Oz MVPs 

These two minimum viable product types imply using human resources to manage what should potentially be automated. 

With the concierge method, you act like a concierge – greeting guests in person and opening the doors on their way to the value provided. Meanwhile, you are able to collect direct feedback from working closely with the clients.

The Wizard of Oz scheme applies a similar approach. The main difference is that while using manual work to execute the task, it is visually indistinguishable from a complete, finished project. Therefore, users see it as an end product while it’s actually not so – behind the curtains. 

For example, you make a website with a catalog of products, without stocking it. Once an order comes in you get that item from the original supplier and ship it to your client. Believe it or not, this is how Jeff Bezos initiated Amazon back in the day. 

Amazon's startup MVP development example - wizard of OZ MVP.
Jeff Bezos’ Amazon back in 1995

Single-Feature MVP

Last but not least, a single feature product can be your best bet type of MVP. The idea here is to offer a service with nothing but one key feature.

Say, you want to make an online photo editing tool with lots of cool filters, albums, crop tools, etc. Just to kick things off and prove there is potential, you choose one supreme filter and develop an app where users can process and share one pic at a time. 

This will require minimum investments, low server capacity, and overall production simplicity. If people love it, you can always scale up. 

A good example of a successful single-feature MVP is the way Richard Branson’s Virgin Airlines took off by flying just one plane en one route between two major airports in London and Newark, New Jersey. You know where it’s taken sir Branson since.

Virgian Airlines' startup MVP development example - single-feature MVP.
Virgin Airlines’ original route map

How to build a minimum viable product for my business?

Now that you know everything about the concept and types of minimum viable products, it’s time to dive into the process of startup MVP development for your own business.

On this path, there are 5 main steps:

1. Allocate the budget

Before launching any product development process, it is crucial to assess how much exactly you will need (1) and are willing (2) to spend on it.

Speaking of MVP, we naturally imply a constrained budget. That said, everyone has their own limitations, and what may be just enough for a mobile application or a web service is probably way above the line for a simple landing page or online business card.

Therefore, evaluate your possibilities and set out a realistic budget for the project first!

2. Determine the type of MVP that suits your purposes the best

As mentioned above, different projects require a different type of MVP to kick-start, no pun intended. Which one suits your purposes is, of course, for you to determine, but here are some general guidelines:

If you promote a product or service and just need to reach your customers and provide them with web space to explore your offering – then a landing page MVP is really all you need.

Looking to mass-produce a product you already have or can make a prototype within your budget to present to potential investors? Then a crowdfunding MVP is the perfect choice for you to amass the funds needed to scale up.

Have a great idea and want to see whether it’ll rock the market? Consider a video MVP where you present the concept in plain words or with minor graphic design to let the world know about your idea and evaluate whether it has the potential to blast.

Should you have the initial budget to invest in a simple mobile or web app to present your business and are willing to take care of the back office work manually – then a concierge or wizard of OZ MVP is your best bet.

Finally, if you’re just starting out a side-hustle like a small retail shop or some sort of beauty nail studio from home, and especially if you target youth and young adults for the most part, then a Social Media MVP is a great point to start from in order to present your service and try to gain the initial client base, without eliminating your budget.

3. Define your target audience

Once you get clear with the budget and the best MVP type to fit your needs, proceed to paint a vivid picture of your target audience. What is your typical customer like, what are his needs and desires, and most importantly – how can your product or service help him achieve it? What features would appeal to your clients the most?

Think about the key benefits you can hook your potential clients with and focus on delivering those. The rule of thumb here is that of space travel voyages – only take the very essential on board.

4. Hire a qualified team

Now that you know exactly what kind of product you need and what does the target audience looks for in it, it’s time to bring it about.

At this stage, it is extremely important to have a qualified team or seasoned individual experts in the field of your project backing you up on the technological (and creative) frontier. Whether it’s a graphic designer, a video editor, a voice-over narrator, or a professional software development team – you’re going to need that expertise to make your MVP stand out and win the hearts of the crowd.

5. Invest in marketing

Last but not least – marketing. They say that a good product will sell itself, which is entirely true. Just think about Apple, for example.

That said, unless you’re making a world-leading digital gadget in bulk or anything of that grade, your product or service will definitely need at least the initial push before the word of mouth picks it up and carries your name around the world.

So, PPC, SEO, SMM campaigns, or influencer marketing – any advertising tool valid in 2021 is at your service, once again, highly dependent on your budget and targeting audience.

Your Minimum Viable Journey

All in all, creating an MVP allows you to save time, cut spendings, understand potential customers, and build up the initial client base. This is an efficient marketing tool not only for startups but for existing companies introducing new services just as well. 

A common mistake to avoid here is confusing the idea with a minimum value solution, which is a totally different thing. By implying a minimum product, an MVP actually offers ultimate value.    

Contact our team if you need help with minimum viable product development!

How To Choose A Tech Stack: Top Coding Tools and Technologies

If there isn’t a team of developers gathered around yet but you do need to choose a tech stack for the product-to-be – you are at the right place.

In fact, many entrepreneurs struggle at this stage. 

A software’s technology stack determines its fate. If you choose it correctly, it ensures smooth development, high product quality, and happy clients. Otherwise – expect budget overspending and multiple production issues. So, the subject is extremely important.

Sounds too complicated? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered on this one.

But first, let’s go over the basics.   

What is a technology stack?

Every product development project consists of several key stages such as:

  • concept
  • design
  • implementation
  • testing & integration
  • and maintenance.
a typical project's life cycle to consider when you choose a tech stack

A tech stack describes a number of core tools and technologies applied across that process.

Naturally, it depends a lot on the project’s goals and setup.

So, the first step to choose a tech stack for a product is to determine the device type you are developing for.

Top mobile development technologies

With mobile phones, your options narrow down to either of the two prevalent platforms (Android and iOS) or cross-platform development to get both.

Let’s look at them in detail.

Android development technologies

Android apps are traditionally powered by Java or Kotlin. 

Java is a classic coding language. It was the official language of Android apps before Kotlin took the stage. Now, Kotlin is the golden standard for building Android apps. A concise and streamlined version of Java, it is one of the main affections of mobile developers in 2020.

Brands like Pinterest, Netflix, Uber, and Trello rely on Kotlin. 

iOS development technologies

iOS development, on the other hand, runs on Swift and Objective-C.

Objective-C is a successor of the C programming language (one of the forefathers of software systems) and the backbone for Apple’s iOS and OS X. Swift is a successor of Objective-C developed by Apple.

These two are the technical foundation behind Hubspot, Lyft, Airbnb, Linked In, and Yahoo Weather iOS apps. 

Cross-platform mobile development technologies

Now, if you want to have your cake and eat it too, sort of speaking, then React Native and Xamarin are at your service. 

React Native allows you to create native, cross-platform mobile apps in a single environment. This is the tool we have used in most of our mobile projects. It saves a lot of time and effort by eliminating the need for writing separate sets of code for different platforms and is just very convenient.

Xamarin is a similar solution allowing you to share native interface code across multiple platforms including Android, iOS, and Windows.

Hybrid app development technologies

One more approach to building multi-platform mobile apps is hybrid development. It builds upon the duet of HTML5/CSS and JavaScript (later in this article), finished with auxiliary frameworks like Cordova, Sencha Touch 2, and Ionic. 

Mobile technologies – check. 

Web development tools and technologies

Web software development is much different from that of mobile apps. 

There are usually two parts of a web technology set: one on the client-side and one on the server-side. To provide a reference, there’s a house exterior with all of the eye-pleasing details and then there are the walls that hold everything up. Those are referred to as the frontend and backend of web applications, and together they make up a full-stack.

Here’s a fairly accurate representation of the software’s frontend and backend roles:

Front end web development technologies

We won’t go deep into the anatomy of a web page interface as there isn’t much insight to share. Just for the record, however, here’s a quick overview of the three building blocks of a front-end technology stack, which operate pyramid-wise: 

  • The founding father of web architecture and e-mailing – HTML (stands for Hypertext Markup Language). It serves the input of core page content & characteristics, describing internet pages structure-wise. 
  • On top of HTML goes CSS – Cascading Style Sheets. As its very name suggests, CSS is responsible for the design of web pages. It creates a visually appealing picture by influencing how the HTML code will look on the user screen.
  • Finally, renowned JavaScript takes the browsing experience to a radically new level by enabling interactive interfaces and highly personalized web applications.

Once again, the frontend is a wrapper responsible for everything users see on their screens.

Back end development technologies

Now, there’s much more to chew on when it comes to the server-side part of a software’s tech stack. This is where “ground” work is done, executing so-called CRUD operations (which stands for Create, Read, Update, and Demand). 

While these technologies vary a lot, some of the most relevant backend tech stack solutions to choose from in 2020 are:

JavaScript and TypeScript

A go-to choice for full-stack website development, JavaScript is a highly compatible coding language that has been topping the charts for quite a while. Traditionally considered a front-end development tool (as mentioned above), it has recently been adopted for server-side operations too, making it stand out in the crowd as a universal web engineering solution.

JavaScript is everpresent and backs a ton of prominent tech services including Yahoo, Amazon, and Wikipedia.

TypeScript is a superset of JavaScript designed to address the issues of large-scale application development associated with JavaScript without sacrificing the general program architecture provided by it. Although largely similar in nature and backward compatible, the two “scripts” are actually separate coding languages.


One of the top backend tools for web services and apps in 2020. It offers a pool of benefits from intuitive workflow and great libraries, to impressive productivity and powerful frameworks. It is also the #1 language for projects dealing with advanced technologies like Machine Learning and Big Data.

YouTube, Instagram, Dropbox, Reddit, and Spotify all make use of Python.


Another admired back-end language with one of the warmest user communities in the set. It is the foundation for the favored Rails framework and is perfect for small-scale projects and MVPs.

Ruby is associated with many tech startups as well as reputed industry names like Twitter, Airbnb, and Spotify. 


A powerful cross-platform coding language perfect for dynamic websites and applications. Although extremely popular, it has a mixed reputation among devs and is not recommended for new projects due to the risk of a large code debt (the cost of unnecessary rework).

All that said, PHP backs a lot of well-known services like WordPress and MailChimp.


Slightly less popular than its rivals, yet still a great choice for building both large networks and microservices. Go provides rather wide development capabilities (similar to the C family) along with high operational speed.

Built by Google, Go is one of its core technologies.

Traditional backend coding languages

Other server-side coding languages worth a word include:

  • C – a true forefather of coding, who at 48 years old remains among the most prevalent programming languages. C powers a lion’s share of modern OS’s like Windows, Linux, Mac, Android, and iOS.
  • Java – a common choice of developers for a long time now. It is the classic solution for both Android and web apps and is the technical backbone for web giants like Twitter, LinkedIn, and eBay. 
  • C++ – similar to C, it offers a smoother coding experience due to a combination of modern-ish object-based programming and traditional syntax. C++ is behind Mozilla Firefox and a lot of Adobe and Microsoft software.
  • C# – a flexible and multi-purpose mixture of C and Java, it enables the development of a wide range of digital products from games to complex server structures. A lot of Windows desktop apps are written in C#.

Are you still with us?


Now, let’s look closer at what makes up the fine finish of a web development technology stack.

Top web development frameworks (& Node.js)

Just like any field of technology, software engineering approaches constantly evolve and complexity.

This is where web frameworks originate. 

At the core of it, frameworks add further capabilities to pre-existing functionalities of web software. They are like the utensils in your household that help you to fulfill particular tasks efficiently, improving everyday life. 

These tools are also divided into frontend and backend groups and depend on the coding language they add up to. It should be noted that while being quite versatile in application and workflow, most frameworks are quite equal functionality-wise. As they say – to each his own, and every developer has his favorites when it comes to various software tools. 

However, here are some of the top choices in the community:

Best frontend frameworks:

  • React.js – although technically a front-end library, many consider it a full-fledged framework. React.js can be used for both server-side and client-side functionalities, providing massive full-stack development opportunities
  • Angular and Angular.js – a couple of vibrant and capable frameworks perfect for creating rich single-page web apps

    *The .js part in the name typically indicates that a framework is JavaScript-based. Angular is a younger, faster version of Angular.js due to it being based on JavaScript’s superset – TypeScript.
  • Vue.js – a rather new, highly compatible framework that can be implemented within already existing projects without much integration pain. Being not as bulky (yet just as performing) as its aforementioned competitors, Vue fits in perfectly with small and mid-size apps.
  • Backbone – a featherweight and minimalistic JavaScript library ideal for MVPs and small projects. Although its popularity is slightly declining in recent years, Backbone is still a great frontend framework for developing simple web apps.
  • Ember – named #1 frontend framework back in 2015, Ember incorporates some of the best JS practices to maximize productivity and has a huge user community.
  • jQuery – yet another lightweight JavaScript library used for simplifying the programmers’ workflow by wrapping complex coding tasks into single-line-of-code instructions.

Best backend frameworks:

  • Express (Node.js based) – a powerful web framework that has gained a lot of attention thanks to Node.js (mentioned below). It packs all of the backend engineering features one can wish for while being fast and flexible, although somewhat complex. Express is in the tech arsenal of such big companies as Uber and IBM.    
  • Django (Python-based) – a capable and sophisticated framework with some high-level security features onboard. A great choice for executing big, complex web projects
  • Laravel (PHP-based) – somewhat less ambitious than the previous two, Laravel is a powerful solution for small-scale projects. Considered heaven-sent by beginner developers, the only drawback to Laravel is that it doesn’t fit for mobile applications
  • Rails (Ruby-based) – with over 800.000 websites (including Airbnb, GitHub, and Groupon) in the portfolio, RoR has an enormous user community. Great at handling complex algorithms and cloud-based apps, it enables a smooth and quick development process, although often troublesome at the deployment stage.
  • Spring (Java-based) – a popular framework for creating basic high-performing applications, which simplifies a lot of the manual work. Powered by Java, it is often used by services processing large volumes of data, such as Wix and Ticketmaster. 
  • Flask (Python-based) – a great choice for building simple web applications with NoSQL databases. 

Just to give you some heads-up, below is a visual chart representing the share of developers using particular frameworks, according to StackOverflow. Keep in mind that devs rarely stick with just one technology*.

graphic showing whcih tech stacks do developers choose

One of a kind

  • Node.js is off the charts since being neither a language nor a framework. It is a runtime environment utilizing a Chrome V8 engine to execute the JS code server-side, which gives it super-framework capabilities. Still, it isn’t enough to be classified as an independent language since operating in the tracks of the JavaScript syntax.

    Notably, Node.js backs a lot of the software developed by MintyMint, including a recent microservices-based project – 4frineds.

Woof… A lot of information, huh?

Keep calm, we’re almost through with the guide! A few more tips and you can be safe and sure on how to choose a tech stack for your next IT project.

Software databases

Another group of technologies worth mentioning in our comprehensive guide on how to choose a tech stack is databases

If you ever worked with or read about software development, you probably came across terms like SQL and NoSQL, which refer to different types of databases. Now, what role do DBs play in a tech set composition and what are the main options?

Let’s find out. 

What is a software database?

As its own name suggests, a database is essentially a collection of data. In computer science – it is one specifically organized and accessed electronically.

Databases store various application data such as user information, transaction records, inventories, or any other operational data, which makes it a rather important piece of the software! 

Databases are usually classified by their organizational type, into: 

  • Relational
  • Distributed
  • Cloud
  • and NoSQL 

Let’s look into each group separately. 

Relational DBs

The most common type of database is a relational one.

Dating back to the 1970s, these DBs represent sets of data categorized in columns and rows. They are easy to work with and do not affect the systems that utilize them when modified.

Relational DBs use the so-called Structured Query Language (SQL), which is why many of these types of tools have it in their name, like MySQL and PostgreSQL. 

Distributed DBs 

Distributed databases are something we’ve already referred to in one of our recent articles about blockchain.

This type of database is hosted and maintained independently by a web of nodes, which makes these databases extremely secure and efficient. These are rather complex systems, so you might want to explore the aforementioned article in order to get a clearer picture of the notion. In general, though, a distributed database is nothing but a blockchain.  

Cloud DBs

Cloud databases are simply a subgroup of relational DBs that are meant to run in virtual environments and are designed and optimized accordingly. The only difference from the mentioned above SQLs is in the type of hosting and the array of features that stem from it. 

In particular, cloud databases allow to sync data across multiple platforms for collaborative, real-time projects.  


Last but not least on the list of database types is the so-called NoSQL.

NoSQLs are meant to replace relational DBS when dealing with big-data tasks which the good old SQLs are inefficient for or simply can’t crack. As our software keeps using more and more data stored across multiple servers, NoSQL databases come right in handy to effectively process the information. 

Here’s a rough example of the main structural difference between SQL and NoSQL data systems:

structural difference between SQL and NoSQL databases

Some of the most popular NoSQL solutions include heard-of names like MongoDB, Apache, and Oracle NoSQL database.

Moving on. 

Popular Web Tech Stacks

Now that we’ve covered individual technologies, let’s move on to the frequently used tech sets themselves. 

In addition to the languages and frameworks mentioned above, indispensable components like servers, libraries, and platforms all make up a tech stack. Depending on the project type and goals, different technology combos fit better or worse.

Some of the most popular tech stacks to choose from are MEAN, MERN, LAMP (and its derivatives), WINS, and Ruby on Rails.  

Let’s take a closer look at each.

MEAN tech stack

MEAN stands for MongoDB, Express.js, Angular.js, and Node.js.

It is a powerful and convenient full-stack development toolkit, perfect for creating dynamic JavaScript-based pages and applications. With all of its elements running on the same coding principle (JavaScript), MEAN stack is a popular choice due to simplicity and all-around consistency provided along with impressive flexibility. 

Internet heavyweights like YouTube, Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Netflix, etc. have MEAN in their web development arsenal. 


MERN stands for MongoDB, Express.js, React.js, and Node.js.

This stack has gained a lot of attention recently and is almost identical to the aforementioned MEAN stack, its only difference being in using React.js instead of Angular.js. 

MERN is a highly popular choice for creating powerful and sophisticated web applications. It carries all of the benefits offered by MEAN plus the advantage of using React products, preferred by many. 

LAMP tech stack

LAMP is a classic full-stack. It traditionally consists of Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP.

Fully open-source, it allows cutting some of the production costs while providing impressive development flexibility. Today, LAMP remains a prevalent software bundle on the market, even though it requires some higher grade expertise, as compared to MEAN/MERN. 

Frequent combinations of LAMP include: 
LAMP* & LAPP (with MongoDB and PostgreSQL instead of MySQL)
XAMPP (with FTP Server and Perl or PHP)
WAMP & MAMP (with Windows and Mac OS)


WINS stands for Windows Internet Naming Service.

It is a reliable full-stack development solution that operates on Microsoft technologies, such as Windows Server, IIS, .Net, and MS SQL. Although its legacy is well-spread on the internet, it is not the most popular choice among entrepreneurs since being quite pricy and inferior to js-based tech stacks integration-wise. 

Other than that, the WINS stack packs a lot of capabilities in the set, especially if you plan to work with MS products.

Ruby on Rails

This one is the already-mentioned pair of the Rails framework and the base Ruby language itself.

Ruby on Rails is widely applied by startups & MVPs and is perfect for small-scale projects

In general, those are the industry’s most popular options when it comes to choosing a tach stack.

To sum up all the findings, here’s a graphic technology map for you to breeze through the main dev tools associated with each platform once again: 

platfrom to technology map outline to choose a tech stack

Now, let’s move on to some additional factors to consider when you choose a tech stack.

Additional suggestions on how to choose a tech stack

Indeed, there are lots of things to ask yourself before sticking with a particular technology set. Here’s a cheat sheet for you to check with, whenever puzzled:

Project type

The size and complexity of a project largely determine which tech stack you should choose. The tools that perfectly fit a simple website (Ruby on Rails, MEAN) may not be as good of a match for an interactive web page or big data project (LAMP). 


Thinking ahead has failed no one so far and is especially true in the fast-changing world of IT. Depending on the issues your product resolves, different tech combinations will work better or worse for meeting the users’ needs. 

That said, it’s better to avoid constraining yourself software-wise and leave the opportunity to scale up when the time comes.  


Similar to the previous point, the speed and responsiveness of your service lie at the core of a positive user experience. Therefore, factoring this one in to choose the right tech stack is crucial.  

Another factor affecting the choice of a server-side solution is the amount of data your system will have to handle. You don’t want your website to stall once you get too much activity going on, do you?  


Unsurprisingly, cyber-security is another key thing to consider before determining the right technology stack for your project.

Although most modern software offers a decent level of data protection, some development tools (like Django) clearly stand out in the crowd. 

Talent Pool

If you already have a dev team then this will largely determine your technology stack options. However, outsourcing is always at your service if you need to extend the team’s expertise or mitigate the workload.


Highlighted in every business plan, budget is one more crucial factor to consider when choosing a project stack. A rule of thumb here is to go for the open-source options and avoid Microsoft products whenever possible. That is, of course, if saving a few extra bucks is among your concerns.


Finally, it’s never a bad idea to research the products you personally like and favor, or check your competitors and see what type of technology has worked well for them. 

Final word

Finding the right technology set for a project or startup is not nearly the easiest task on the schedule. Nevertheless, it pays back 100%. SPend the time to choose the right tech stack and save your time and budget, take a bag of pressure off the dev team’s shoulders, and leave space for scaling and flexibility. 

Good news: all you have to do to strike gold is apply the insights from this article!

Need help choosing the best technology to meet your needs? Feel free to consult with us!

Digital Transformation in the Insurance Industry

It’s fair to say that the insurance industry has never been an early adopter when it comes to tech innovation.

However, the conservative and traditionally product-centric insurance market is steadily becoming technologically advanced, even though this transformation takes time. Insurance companies, as well as banks and other financial providers, are facing new challenges and are forced to respond to digital disruption by providing a new kind of customer experience.

GIF about insurance companies (digital transformation).

As customers prefer digitalized communication, clarity, and transparency, this is the right time to be a part of the trend. Gone are the days with 30-page application forms that clients fail to understand. Previously, consumers could hear from insurers once a year about the renewal of their policy not even understanding the coverage provided. Now, with a customer-oriented business focus, they are aware of every change that is going on. 

Of course, no transformation is easy.

Insurance leaders are having a tough time responding to this new set of needs. Nearly 40% of them feel uncomfortable and are extremely concerned about the pace of shifting to the new approach. In addition, AI, ML, IoT, Blockchain, and other emerging technologies are enabling InsurTech startups to enter the market. While insurers still have an advantage in knowledge and expertise, they can’t sit still and walk a fine line in order not to lose their bread-and-butter businesses.

Insurance challenges 2020

People don’t look for insurance, they want to protect themselves and the stuff they care about. Insurance companies constantly face regulatory changes, macro-economic uncertainties, innovations, decreasing loyalty, and commoditization.

That said, in 2020 they will have to deal with the digitalization of business processes. This leads to the following challenges:

Grow business via customer experience.

Many insurance carriers fail to meet policyholders’ expectations. 84% of customers are looking for immediate accuracy and responsiveness that they receive in other markets. 40% of them continue insurer relationships based on the quality of experience. Attracting new customers and keeping existing ones is crucial so easy-to-use friendly solutions should be at the top.

Maintain legacy systems.

Many companies, especially established ones, trust their business to complex disconnected legacy systems that require major financial and human resources. Another problem lies in finding the right talent: 65% of insurance organizations find the process long and expensive.

Information and workflow management.

Insurance carriers struggle to handle manual process steps including repetitive tasks, creating reports, managing claims, and requests. Finding and processing the required data becomes harder, longer and less efficient;

Staff lack.

In the US only, just 2% of university alumni plan to work in insurance. It means that many insurance companies lack the skilled staff required to follow, apply and develop new insurance innovations;

Fraudulent claims cost.

Fraud costs the insurance industry $30 billion annually, pushing insurers to seek smarter, effective, and more secure solutions. Today, fraud analysis is mostly done after-the-fact and includes rather conventional management approaches. In other words, nobody is trying to invest in fraud prevention.

Cyber risks management.

As technology evolves, understanding cyber threats will help companies meet their customers’ associated needs. Things like covering the value of losses from data breaches, loss of reputation, settlement costs, and cyber extortion.

Rise of digitalization.

With tech giants already entering the market, insurers need to take care of web and mobile-first platforms and brands. As 68% of consumers buy auto insurance on the web, an online presence is a must in this niche. It means delivering solutions via web/mobile, call centers, and chatbots anywhere and anytime. In line with the global regulations, of course.

In 2020 the balance of power is shifting from product to consumer.

Social trends are going to disrupt traditional business patterns and strategies in the insurance industry, mainly due to technological innovation. Although the insurance sector has a bad reputation for falling behind with tech advancements, it is important to stay up to date for your company’s growth and your customers’ satisfaction.

Not every technology needs to be used, but being knowledgeable of the trends will help you be on the same page with your customers. And when you share their concerns, you can offer relevant solutions.

Insurers and InsurTech

With companies like Amazon, Google, and Apple providing their customers with rich digital experience, users are demanding the same individual approach from insurance companies.

Now more than ever they feel the presence of newer startups that meet customers’ expectations in the shortest terms – the InsurTech. New technology-led players are entering the insurance sector to provide coverage to a more digitally savvy customer base. They create a competitive threat and potentially valuable opportunities for partnering on the changing terrain.

InsureTech areas (digital transformation for Insurance Companies).

In response, insurers must embrace change and rethink their business approach to move forwards to an agile, digitally-enabled, customer-centered experience and achieve competitive advantages by meeting tomorrow’s customer needs.

Although insurtechs have not yet paved their way in the field, they are growing fast enough to capture a good share of value pools within a few years. The size of insurance companies’ share depends on how quickly they can adapt to the new market rules and become scalable.

Now, there are two primary types of insurtech, with a number of others rapidly catching upon:

Insuretech type 1: Blockchain

Insurance firms have started to slowly but surely integrate Blockchain in their processes over the last few years, and 2020 expects to see this flow sped up a few times. Blockchain enables creating a digital ledger that cannot be changed, becoming a giant audit trail of all transactions. With its help insurers can reduce admin costs that come from numerous claims and billing usually made by third parties. 

Blockchain technology ensures sharing, protecting, and verifying all data via smart contracts, saving insurance companies around $5-10Bn yearly by excluding a lot of unnecessary actions. The main value here is to avoid fraud and make customers’ claims resolved much faster.

Try to think of insurance as a smart contract which is exactly what it is: people pay money to be covered on the terms specified in a contract.

Breaking down blockchain for fintech

To understand better how it all works, let’s imagine you’ve decided to buy a house from a retailer:

  1. A customer adds all house information to Blockchain to create a smart contract and indicates their preference with the insurance company X. Prior to closing, a smart contract integrates all the data about the house (number of floors/rooms, location, quality of construction, etc.) with the insurance company X;
  2. Insurance company X uses these details to underwrite the policy, generate a binder, and a payment request, which adds as a block to the customer’s chain. The invoice request then adds to the closing costs and then paid from the closing proceedings;
  3. A customer creates a block that has the following information: the date, dollar amount, and other details of the transaction. Using all this data, the system generates a complex encrypted hash function with a unique digital signature. This block adds to the public chain interlinked with previous blocks of this chain;
  4. A hacker wants to change the past data. To do this, he/she has to change not only this block but all the previous and following blocks at the same time and stay undetected by the network, which is nearly impossible;
  5. Both the retailer and customer are protected with a smart contract of the insurance company X which is activated based on a set of conditions or business agreements. If any claim appears in the Blockchain network and the terms are met, a decision is made instantly. It happens because X uses Blockchain to automate large parts of their manual processes keeping their customers and wallets satisfied.
Traditional contracts versus Blockchain contracts for insurance companies (digital transformation).

Usage statistic

According to statistics, 44% of insurers have no idea how Blockchain can be useful. 21% are thinking about implementing it to simplify the claim process and reduce fraud. Only 2% actually apply technology.

Using Blockchain in insurance can cause a fundamental shift in all processes. Although its future still depends on legal hurdles and public acceptance, it is too powerful to ignore.

Insuretech type 2: Artificial Intelligence

Insurers believe that AI will significantly transform the industry in the next three years. Functions like fraud prevention, price and risk identification, and policy and claims processing are based on removing the human factor. It allows to access data faster, predict risks, produce more accurate reporting in tight timeframes, improve turnaround cycles, identify new revenue sources, and change the underwriting process fundamentally.

In the insurance world, machines that can learn independently are becoming game-changers in several important areas:

Autonomous vehicles.

Autonomous (driverless) vehicles are no longer the future as they slowly integrate into society, changing the face of auto insurance. These days, in case of a car accident the fault lies fully on either of the human drivers, but with fewer people involved who will be guilty then? Google, Mercedes, Tesla, and Volvo already stated they would accept liability for any accidents with their cars while Uber created a need for ridesharing insurance instead of typical auto coverage. It makes insurance agents reconsider their current policies to bridge the gap between them and technologies;


In 2020 personalization and customer-centered approach will prevail which means that insurance companies need to supply personalized premiums. That requires diving deep into data: 77% of customers are ready to provide it if they can benefit from a cheaper premium package. For example, smart home technology that allows people to monitor their electricity and water usage and check the cameras while they are away is the case to provide a personalized premium as there is less chance of theft. Another case is wearables that are used for health insurance personalization: if a person takes 10K steps a day it may be a reason for a cheaper premium as the risk is lower;

Enhanced customer experience.

AI will keep improving customer experience across all sectors in insurance:

  • In claims settlement, there is no place for manual work: in addition to processes automatization for employees, AI allows customers to manage their claims via self-service. For example, in case of a flight cancellation that becomes a reason for a high volume of claims, customers can log in to the AI-powered platform to check the details of cancellation and be instantly paid on the claim. Only if the request fails, it involves a human’s review;
  • Chatbots. As insurance is usually pretty complicated for customers to understand, it leads to a great number of clarification requests. This problem can be solved by trained conversational AI bots handling customers queries: by 2025, 95% of customer interactions will be powered by them. The ability to work 24/7 significantly cuts the costs compared to human employees and immediate reaction improves customers’ experience. Some companies even think of chatbot agents integrated into the process;
  • All-in-one. Traditionally customers have different insurance providers for travel, auto, residential, life, health, pet, and legal insurance. By data analysis, companies can gather all customer information in a single profile and provide a single package for all insurance types.
Digital transformation components for insurance companies: Innovation & Insurance; on-demand insurance, telematics, property insurance, wearables & AI.

This is just a short list of basic AI values for insurance companies.

Additional values

We can also add the use of telematics in car insurance to collect real-time driving data. It encourages safe-driving drivers and penalizes those that are speeding. Natural language processing can extract necessary data from unstructured piles of documents, emails, chats, and other sources of our day-to-day interaction, reducing the time for processing the claim. 

At the same time, the computer vision used by 20% of insurers already allows us to extract meaning from visual data.

For example, users take pictures of the damaged vehicle. Then, an AI Auto Damage Estimator (trained on thousands of car accident photos) can assess the damage and costs of the claim within seconds. All this is supported by real-time analytics, fraud prevention, and smart suggestions to deliver better service and increase incomes.

Thinking ahead 

Although AI-based insurance is still in its early stages, insurers have to already start thinking about its implementation in their current processes in order to stay ahead.

Reasons to outsource insurance software development

These technologies are just the tip of the iceberg with more coming soon. The internal processes across the industry are overly complicated right now. Over 1 million jobs in the US alone can be automated, saving costs by up to 40%.

Of course, transitioning from paper to online is not easy. 9 out of 10 insurance companies say they are struggling to develop the technology infrastructure they need, blaming legacy software and outdated IT systems. However, digitalization is not always enough as it requires the complete transformation of existing business models.

To overcome these problems and enable new efficient offerings, insurance companies are developing modern solutions using offshore talents. To boost data-harvesting capabilities, internal workflow automation, and keep the right balance, they focus on building customized software solutions. These can be claimed processing functionalities, claim and policy management platforms, peer-to-peer insurance, APIs, personalized pricing, chatbots, fraud detection software, and even insurance marketplaces.

Getting the most from insurtech

Insurtech has shaken up the insurance business with new solutions and better experiences. One of the biggest challenges for the traditional insurers is to combine their years of experience (something insurtech companies lack) with new ways of interaction between customers, agents, and partners. That said, almost 90% of insurance executives state that they have a clear long-term plan for technology innovation.

Of course, this is not done overnight, but some of the companies have already started the process:

  • In 2019, almost 80% of insurance companies’ CEOs agreed that AI should soon become a part of their business model;
  • Increased use of IoT sensors, AI, ML, and Blockchain combination has already helped businesses move forward towards proactive operations;
  • Over 30% of insurers already use these technologies in their business.

Tranformation limitations

However, the integration of innovative technologies and reconsideration of current business models isn’t the logical next step for everyone yet.

Understanding the essence of the customer-centric approach has been a struggle for many insurers. They have to get the necessity of breaking their legacy shells to grow with the changing times. What does it mean?

  • What used to be a sign of success may be not so anymore. Large companies no longer mean trust and stability;
  • Speed matters more than ever. Customers require next day delivery and claim decisions in less than a minute;
  • Being agile is a must. Successful digital transformation means implementing agile ways of working not only in IT departments but beyond.

Yes, data is the king: being able to collect, clean, store, transmit, protect, predict, and analyze data is essential. Making use of this data, there are priorities to set off from:

Understand your customers.

Discovering the customers’ needs is still the heart of any successful innovation. Speak the language of Millenials to have a relevant approach based on their behavior;

Make a SWOT.

In addition to understanding your customers, you need to have an idea about your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. It is crucial to stand out and offer your customer a different service in terms of innovation and customer experience;

Explore your business model.

Say hello to insurance as the industry with multiple business models. The ability to build supply and demand chains, revenue models, and control points is as crucial as underwriting today. However, there is a difference between the model on paper and the MVP with initial customers to target;

Create a connected digital ecosystem.

A variety of insurance companies expand their businesses and broaden markets by accepting other companies in their ecosystem – the so-called big to small collaboration. Both startups and insurers have strengths and both are hungry so why not work together for a mutual interest based on agility?

Digital transormation goals for Insurance companies in 2020.

Build the right platforms.

To ensure that your business can support tech change, you require the right digital architecture and cloud infrastructure. Today many insurers have a pile of complex outdated  IT systems, so the idea of changing it seems risky and expensive.

However, this is the first step to build a technology foundation ready for the future. As many traditional IT departments struggle at this stage, insurers often find help in hiring an offshore development team.

These are some very good waves for change-makers to ride in the market and future-proof the insurance venture. Customer expectations for real-time communication, individual approach, convenience, and transparency are re-shaping the industry. So, wherever you choose to place your bets, don’t expect a change and new status to emerge right away.

Keep in mind that:

  • Great products are still essential. To build one you need a deep understanding of who your customers are and what they care about;
  • Servicing claims still matter – you just have to use real-time data to keep the consistency;
  • Underwriting is still crucial – you just need more complex data to fuel it.

Final word

Digital transformation is the journey from existing legacy systems to a customer-centric approach and one of the biggest challenges on the way is to trust technology and integrate it into daily operations. The fear of job loss still exists while the goal is not to replace a human but to make them focused on high-value tasks allowing customers more direct access to the information and self-service.

Insurance companies still have many hurdles to overcome as they look to remodel their businesses and retain market leadership status. That is why they need to have a coherent strategy, understand the cultural fit, and manage innovation.

3 Main Fintech Challenges in 2020

As digital becomes mainstream, a collision of two worlds is unfolding: finance and technology. As the lines between them blur, fintech companies have to embrace digital transformations to stay competitive on the market and meet the challenges they are facing in 2020.

Financial institutions can launch digital-only products and services and eliminate a number of costly branches and field agents to improve customer experience. However, they still need to update their strategies, combining new data processing methods with advanced analytics and cybersecurity tools.

Finance and BigTech

One of the key challenges determining the destiny of fintech has always been constant competition.

In 2020, it gains even more influence as non-financial companies are entering the market, setting new standards. Titans of technological innovation are turning their attention to the financial sector, becoming the so-called BigTech. They bring a variety of app-related services, from banking to ride-sharing, built in a single app under one roof. 

Like that, Facebook created Facebook Pay and introduced its own cryptocurrency Libra to make global payments cheaper and faster. Apple has already presented a credit card, and Google plans to introduce consumer bank accounts later this year. Meanwhile, Amazon and Airbnb are partnering with JPMorgan to provide e-wallets. Uber is also moving further into finance with Uber Money and new financial products.

FaaS Benefits

All of them provide finance-as-a-service which has the following obvious benefits:

  • APIs that allow to scale fast and open up multiple markets simultaneously;
  • linking today’s tech-forward businesses with legacy financial systems that drive the majority of global commerce;
  • unlocking a new playground for fintech innovators;
  • delivering exceptional customer experiences for localized and cross-border commerce.

However, it doesn’t mean that these data-rich businesses have plans to become regulated financial institutions. Given the headache of getting and maintaining a banking license (which is also a big risk), they will mostly operate with licensed partners instead of switching to full-stack banking. In fact, they will probably just try to keep users hooked on the app to drive revenue. 

That said, BigTech has a massive pool of users whom they understand better than anyone else. This allows changing the competitive finance landscape, forcing traditional institutions to rethink the way they do business.

To keep up with BigTech and withstand the competition, financial companies need to focus on and meet the following challenges:

Challenge #1: Data breaches and cybersecurity

Sensitive data and interconnected systems with millions of transactions handled every day makes financial firms the primary targets for cybercrime. In fact, they and are hit 300x more than any other type of business, with one hacker attack happening every 39 seconds. So, fighting off cybercriminals is a daily task for the fintech industry.

IT security specialists from western companies provide worrying reports on the security of operations. In the past year alone, 48% of financial institutions were breached and 52% experienced a cyber attack or signs of suspicious behavior in their infrastructure.

Common threats.

It happens for a number of reasons:

  1. Use of third-party solutions;
  2. Rapidly evolving, sophisticated, and complex technologies;
  3. Cross-border data exchange;
  4. Increased use of mobile technologies, including the rapid growth of IoT;
  5. Heightened cross-border information security threats.

By 2024, cybersecurity spending will increase by $224 billion. On average, one cyber-attack costs a financial institution $1.8 million. Notably, smaller companies experience the biggest losses (due to lower investment in IT security).

Meanwhile, a loss of data can not only result in negative repercussions for businesses of all sizes but even bankruptcy. In fact, 60% of them close operations within half a year after the cyber-attack


This makes financial companies come up with the integration of innovative solutions to stay ahead of cybercriminals:

  • Data encryption and data loss prevention solutions (encoding a message or information to be accessed by authorized parties only);
  • End-to-end data protection (protecting data during transmission);
  • Blockchain and distributed ledger technology (as it requires both a public and a private key);
  • Endpoint Detection and Response (deployed on devices to provide continuous monitoring and automatic response to advanced threats).

Security should be built into all aspects of the business. So that when it evolves, the cybersecurity strategy can evolve along with it. With the digitalization of the industry, financial companies should be quick and agile to update existing systems. This will help to fight fraudulence, identity theft, espionage, money laundering, and avoid the lack of customers’ trust.

However, heavily invest in technology is not enough. Companies still have to train employees and customers on how to react in case of a cyber-attack. Another option is to hire ethical hackers to detect and fix loopholes in the system before real hackers jump in.

Ethical hacker duties (fintech challenges in 2020).

Challenge #2: Complying to regulations

As the fintech revolution goes on, companies have to operate between the financial and technology sectors. This makes them deal with many strict regulations. Therefore, customer concerns over sharing data with unknown third-parties become the main stumbling stone for financial services in 2020.

This is no bombshell, of course, and financial institutions are already well-equipped to stay compliant. At the same time, smaller companies often have fewer resources to meet all the data security and financial regulations, which creates certain risks. 

Introducing an innovative idea to the market and getting government sign-off is a highly time-consuming process. And expanding internationally opens up a whole can of additional regulations. One of the biggest rule changes for fintech became the 2018’s GDPR. Failing to comply, enterprises in the UK have already received fines totaling £300 million.


The main goal of all these regulations is to boost innovation and competition, improve security, and provide customers with a wider range of financial products. As it’s nearly impossible for a human to keep up with, the so-called RegTech tools help financial companies standardize and automate compliance processes. These solutions are based on a bunch of technologies like AI, Blockchain, and Big Data Analytics. They can perform activities like:

  • Real-time searching and reporting new or reviewed regulations;
  • Analyzing the collected information and sharing its impact with the stakeholders;
  • Updated data processing and validation;
  • Ongoing tracking and monitoring;
  • Predictive problem-solving;
  • Robotics-automated workflow, regulatory and risk management. 
Rapidly developing RegTech solutions (fintech challenges in 2020).

Leading banks like Deutsche Bank and JPMorgan spend over $1 billion yearly on regulatory compliance control. More so, 64% of small companies have already implemented RegTech tools to bridge the gap between authorities and the financial service market.

Flexible, easy-to-integrate, and cost-effective analytics tools developed by experienced dedicated technical teams allow financial institutions to identify non-compliant cases within the organization’s activities, compare scenarios, and predict potential full-scale market problems instead of resolving their consequences.

Challenge #3. Technology trends change

Being one of the most conservative industries, the financial sector faces many challenges and concerns in implementing new technologies.

2020 will see more adoption of Blockchain, AI, and Big Data in other industries. As for the fin sector, there is still not enough action in this direction. Just think about mobile banking apps, IoT-based insurance services, payment systems, AI-powered customer support digital assistants, and trading bots serving as high-tech advisory outlets. While many companies already understand that digital transformation is essential, some are still failing to achieve this. 

With the number of connected devices reaching 40Bn by 2022, financial institutions have to adopt a digital-first strategy in order to stay competitive. Investing more in AI, ML, robotics, and other workflow automation tools can help to increase efficiency and reduce the costs related to risk management and compliance. It also means modernizing current data storage solutions and updating existing platforms to provide more friendly customer experience and enable more progressive solutions

All in all, there are 4 key technologies financial companies should implement to effectively manage their operations and become digital-first:


The number of fintech companies that adopted a cloud provider is steadily growing.

IBM has already announced its collaboration with Bank of America to develop a secure fintech public cloud solution. Although only 22% of them currently run on the cloud, 2020 will become a tipping point for the industry. The majority of fintech starting today are cloud-native, which lets them be agile and scalable. 

It quickly became the mainstream in banking, providing a blend of IT, public and private clouds. This results in such benefits as compliance, governance, reduced costs, enhanced innovation, security, and operational efficiency. The ability of fintech firms to quickly innovate and offer customer-centered services lies at the core of the fintech revolution, which is impossible without cloud computing migration.

Big Data.

The financial industry has become a leader in the adoption of advanced data analytics.

71% of finance organizations are already seizing the benefits of more personalized products for B2C and B2B clients. Although Big Data is a necessity for fintech companies, it is also a real challenge. Increased volumes of data created by a number of sources are often too much for legacy data systems to handle.

By 2020, there will be 44 trillion gigabytes of digital data to sort through. Doing it, financial institutions need to take advantage of Big Data solutions that offer customer segmentation (gender, age, economic health, location, online behavioral patterns), fraud detection (prevention of suspicious activity), and risk management (predictive analytics). 

Artificial Intelligence.

With 5G’s stable connection and IoT’s explosive growth of unstructured data, there is more information to be analyzed in real-time. This makes finance companies turn to AI/ML algorithms. Therefore, they can become more mobile, gain insights into customers’ behavior, and tailor their products and services more effectively.

Suddenly, finance organizations can work with large volumes of data and improve business processes using smart help.

AI makes chatbots provide informed financial advice, helps to detect fraud, and guides customers’ investments that led to the creation of such terms as machine intelligence and augmented finance. In fact, 54% of bank customers demand personalized real-time advice, while 41% state that they don’t mind taking it from an AI, and this demand keeps growing. According to statistics, 45% of frontrunner firms that invested $5 million in AI initiatives increased their revenues 3 times. Meanwhile, 25% of those who invested $10 million have also noticed a great change in customer experience level. In general, AI lowered operational costs by 20% which definitely makes it the future for financial services.


Experts say that Blockchain has a transformational impact on the fintech industry throughout the entire spectrum of financial services.

Apart from cryptocurrency use, it helps with information exchange, automating processes via smart contracts, global payment transactions, security, fraud detection, verification, KYC, and loan processing. From monetary transactions to transferring contracts, financial institutions will be applying Blockchain technology more as popularity grows.

2020 offers digital-only banks, APIs use, fintech mobile wallets, online global transfers and other opportunities for business growth. Financial institutions have to understand the full use case for these technologies and apply it to offer better products and services to the end-users. Using this driving force, financial organizations can redefine themselves, stay more competitive and responsive to the market needs.

Technologies that boost FinTech (in the time of 2020 challenges).

Notably, today over 51% of the US and UK companies experience a lack of professionalism to put tech into practice.

Partnering with a reliable technical development team may be an efficient way to mitigate the talent shortage. Remember that even a small step like app development or website redesign can boost your sales and attract new customers.

How to prepare for digital transformation?

Taking into account all the challenges, there are 6 key priorities for financial institutions to achieve success in 2020:

Update your current system

…as well as the IT operating model.

Even if the system serves you well today, it should be updated regularly to keep up with a technology-driven world. Think about modernizing the platform, adding features, implementing automatic regulatory tools, or applying AI-powered algorithms. This will increase performance and provide your customers with more options.

Slash costs.

Financial institutions spend twice as much as they need on IT operating costs, regulatory fixes, cybersecurity, and fraud prevention. Meanwhile, it is possible to cut expenses by simplifying legacy systems, adapting robotics and AI, and using a reliable technical partner.

Use technology capabilities.

Get more intelligent about your clients’ needs and act in real-time. This is one of the key points affecting the financial industry as it drives more revenue and profit. You need to change the way you interact with your customers using a smart balance of human and machines;

Prepare your architecture.

Be ready to connect to anything and anywhere: enterprise databases, cloud services, B2B (partners systems) and B2C (individual mobile devices) connections, IoT sensors, third party sources of big data, etc. There are many complex and diverse systems that can coexist and cooperate;

Take care of cybersecurity.

Fintech has been suffering from security risks for decades and many financial institutions rely on an outdated model. However, the traditional approach no longer works as IT risks constantly evolve. Thus, keeping abreast with it becomes a priority;

Get the necessary talent and expertise.

Make sure you are ready to meet all those challenges with the right technical execution team. Partnering with a third-party talent to create the right solutions and manage the operations is essential in the finance field.

Implementing these strategies, companies should also pay attention to three C’s: credibility, collaboration, and customer experience.

Customers are always skeptical so building trust becomes a necessary task, especially with new technologies integrated. Partner with similar businesses to create a network of like-minded people and produce perfect, clear, authentic, and informative online experience for your customers to build positive long-lasting relationships.

20 actions to successfully meet the fintech challenges in 2020


Transforming the finance industry is certainly not an easy task. Lack of specialists, tools, budget, and knowledge are the main roadblocks for the financial sector. However, reshaping financial services creates a lot of opportunities for companies to reinvent their business models through innovation.

Looking ahead, the blend of technology, regulations, investor capital, and globalization will lead more fintech developments in the coming years.

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