The road to a successful Fin Tech product launch
is long and demanding. Many promising ideas never
make it to the end of the journey—or even past the
drawing board. Fin Tech may require significant investments in technology, product development, compliance, contracts, quality assurance, and marketing. It takes a unique
team and a lot of perseverance. And yet, to stay competitive
banks must be prepared to run this gauntlet.
Because it is key for compliance officers to understand how to
review Fin Tech products, let’s walk through the life cycle with a
focus on creation, launch, and maintenance of a consumer product.
Compliance needs to be integrated into every aspect of the product
lifecycle. While this can be challenging for banks, it can be much
more challenging for a newer Fin Tech that has not had a long-
established history of a “compliance culture.” Compliance profes-
sionals have been known to joke around about being
brought into the new product process too late
in the conversation. Many have felt the pain
of being asked to sign-off on a new offering
only to find out that the product is already
scheduled to launch very shortly, or worse yet,
has already been launched. Compliance, for any
highly regulated company, should be thought of
as the central hub on a wagon wheel. Other areas
of the company (Credit, Technology, Servicing,
Marketing, Acquisition, etc.) are spokes that all flow into the
central hub. Without that central hub, the wheel is weak
and doesn’t function properly.
Every great new financial product begins with an idea. For
hundreds of years, banking services have existed throughout the world. At its core, banking is a very easy and simple
process. Customer X puts their money in a safe location (a bank),
Customer Y borrows money from the bank on the condition that
it will pay back the amount plus a borrowing fee (interest). The
bank then pays Customer X a small portion of interest, since it
was really Customer X’s money that was loaned to Customer Y.
Wash, rinse, repeat. This basic process has traditionally evolved
based on two factors: What a customer needs (a safe place to
To create the roadmap,
the company must define all of
the features it wants to enable in
the product and then prioritize the
features in the order that it wants to
roll them out to customers.