The adoption of new fintech is held back by concerns about loss of control, the burden of regulatory requirements and the cost of implementation. Potential customers are suffering from vendor management fatigue in an increasingly crowded landscape.
Access Fintech recognised this need for a platform to simplify risk management, and allow customers to manage vendors without extensive configuration or expensive commitment. Roy Saadon at Access Fintech approached Fathom as a design and technology partner to become part of their product journey.
His brief was to create an intuitive, self-serve risk management platform to work across devices and require no instruction manual. A priority was to prototype quickly and start developing on day one, with technology and design simultaneously driving one another towards his vision.
The initial phase of the project involved unpacking the product vision and defining all the key parts through rigorous UX design and analysis. This required the creation of a completely new data visualisation language. Through intensive cross-discipline workshops Fathom brought the product to life in ways their client never previously imagined.
A dedicated development team at Fathom immediately got to work on a prototype, taking key data visualisation screens as their initial brief, rather than a list of technical specifications. Where the client expected initial mockup designs, we delivered interactive application screens. Through a simultaneous design/code/test process these prototypes very quickly allowed the client to stretch and pull at the fabric of their product. This in itself uncovered new opportunities and features, shaping later versions.
At Fathom everyone is a designer. Even those who are writing code here are building visuals and interfaces and so have a deep understanding of aesthetics and usability.
This unique mindset of our team led to a major pivot in the project - moving from one technical framework to another, halfway through the project. It was a tough decision to transition from Angular to React - one that required circumspect justification. But in an interface offering control of real-time data every millisecond counts.
To offer maximum flexibility within the product, and allow users to compile the perfect mix of fintech services, we introduced a sandbox where new vendors and systems can be tested without the risk of investment. Today, this testing environment is key to differentiating the Access Fintech product.
Through an agile testing cycle and rapid iteration we brought a product to market in a fraction of the time and cost that building an in-house team would have required.
Our deeply collaborative approach demonstrably improved Access Fintech’s processes, data handling protocols and APIs. We worked independently of their in-house database team, whilst providing clear requirements and frameworks which allowed them to work efficiently.
In allowing this freedom to plug vendors in and out, the platform has become a valuable distribution channel for smaller systems, a way for them to overcome traditional resistance to adoption. Access Fintech launched to an oversubscribed beta program in early 2017, and is now completing its global roll-out in all major financial centres.