Natalie Monko Lead Project Manager

    How to Find and Hire Fintech Developers With Experience in Building Great Apps

    Fintech is constantly transforming the financial services industry. The traditional brick-and-mortar banking concept is drifting towards the back burner with people increasingly using fintech tools to pay for goods and services in real-time, approve operations, and make their financial transactions more secure. Financial companies of all scales feel the trend and struggle to implement the innovations and remain competitive. According to some estimations, the global fintech market is expected to reach a market value of a record $324 billion by 2026, and will obviously grow further at an even higher rate. 

    The demand for fintech app developers is continuously growing, as more and more fintech projects — from mobile banking apps to cryptocurrency exchanges — are being launched throughout the world. Companies that aim at delivering a reliable tool that will meet their customers’ needs, increase sales, and boost users’ loyalty face a big challenge of finding fintech app developers. 

    We at Surf have broad expertise in building apps of varying complexity for both startups and corporate giants and know firsthand all possible nuances of hiring the right developers. One of the areas of our primary focus is fintech: recently, we’ve created apps for multiple banks and crypto exchanges. During more than 10 years we gained enough experience in the issues related to hiring fintech developers to tell you how you can overcome the challenge of assembling a reliable fintech development team. Let’s look at the main tips and recommendations from the Surf team. 

    What are the hiring options?

    When hiring developers for a fintech project, you can choose one of the three hiring options: employ in-house software developers, hire a development team or find a fintech freelancer. Below we compared these three variants highlighting their main pros and cons, so you can choose the most suitable option according to your project specifics.

    In-house developers 

    This option involves having full-time fintech developers in your office. In-house employees are usually highly motivated and directly engaged in your project’s long-term goals. This is a good option in case you already have a development team on site that is responsible for the core flow of tasks, have a relatively large budget for fintech product development, and can provide the in-house team with a constant workload.

    Pros of the in-house development

    • High level of control over the development process and costs. In case of employing in-house specialists, you can manage each task and fully control the work of the team of fintech developers.
    • In-house developers quickly delve into your company’s values and project scope, their onboarding is usually faster, and they have an opportunity to exchange knowledge with each other.
    • Day-to-day communication is easier, since you don’t need to schedule team calls and can discuss all issues in person. 
    • A high level of dedication, as your in-house developers work only on your project.

    Cons of the in-house development

    • High costs, as this approach to hiring fintech developers implies a budget for the recruitment process, salaries, accounting, equipment, and other administrative activities. 
    • You are limited to a certain geographic location. As an outcome, it can sometimes be difficult to find a local specialist with a specific set of skills and experience.

    Fintech development team 

    This variant implies that you outsource fintech development services and hire a dedicated team to fully curate your project development process. You don’t have to deal with all administrative activities, your development team will take care of everything.

    Pros of hiring a development team

    • Relatively low costs – you pay just for the amount of work that has been done by the team. No extra expenses on recruitment, company perks or the like. in contrast to hiring in-house fintech specialists. 
    • You receive access to a large talent pool and can quickly get a team of fintech app developers with the expertise matching your project requirements.
    • A development company usually provides financial and legal support, business analysis, and post-development maintenance of the product. 
    • Hiring a dedicated team is very time-efficient and allows business owners to concentrate on their core business.

    Cons of hiring a development team

    • You might face difficulties in communication if a development company is from another country, so you could not meet in person and have to adjust your call schedule to different time zones.
    • You don’t have complete control over the development process, as you trust the matter to a dedicated team. Of course, you will not be in complete ignorance regarding how the project goes on, but at the same time, you will likely not have an opportunity and actual need to go deep into every tiny detail. 

    Freelance developer

    Another option is to find a remote freelance developer or a group of developers for your project. 

    Pros of hiring a freelance developer

    • This is the most cost-effective option, as you don’t need to manage developers or a team, rent an office, purchase equipment, pay for sick leaves of fintech app developers, and so on. You pay only for the number of working hours.
    • You can choose among a large number of fintech specialists with diverse knowledge and experience around the world. You have every chance of finding a specialist who totally fits you.

    Cons of hiring a freelance developer

    • As in the case of a development company, you might face issues related to communication due to different time zones and lack of personal contact. Additionally, the language gap between you and freelancers might occur.  
    • Sometimes freelance fintech developers can be less engaged and less motivated. They may be focused on completing specific tasks, but not always on the success of the project as a whole.
    • You have to double-check a freelancer’s CV to avoid hiring a freelancer that will eventually fail their tasks, as you can’t be sure that all skills mentioned in a CV are proved to be true and confirmed. 

    Where to look for fintech developers? 

    Once you’ve defined what hiring option is the best fit for your project, another problem arises: where to find a reliable fintech specialist to build your app. In fact, there are plenty of options, everything depends on the type of specialist/development company you need. 

    • Personal connections

    Think about your existing acquaintances — maybe some of them could be a good fit for you or at least can recommend some talented fintech developers or a trustworthy outsourcing vendor. 

    • Events

    Industry-specific events provide good networking opportunities that could end up in beneficial cooperation. 

    • LinkedIn 

    A social network where you can find software companies and freelance developers for a fintech project. You can check their working experience, see what other people think about them and get in contact with them. 

    • B2B platforms

    Pay attention to B2B platforms such as Clutch, GoodFirms, and Appfutura. Business owners leave their feedback about cooperation with different companies there, and all the recommendations and reviews are being thoroughly checked and verified. 

    • Freelance platforms

    Freelancer, Toptal, Hired, Codementor, Guru, Upwork, and PeoplePerHour are freelance platforms where you can check fintech developers’ ratings from previous customers, portfolios. However, beware of fake accounts there.

    • Forums

    Stack Overflow, The Verge, Code Project, and XDA Developers are developers’ forums, where you have a chance to meet the best of the best in the industry. If you’re looking for experts in specific languages, you can search them in thematic forum threads.

    • Rankings and lists of development companies

    Leading business media often publish various rankings of best development companies, where you can outsource fintech development for your project if you’ve chosen this cooperation option. 

    • Fintech job boards

    Actually, the simplest and the most popular place where you can find a fintech developer if you decide to cooperate with a freelance specialist is to look over job boards. In this case, you will be able to choose among many CVs and contact all candidates you believe to be a good fit. 

    Rates and salaries of fintech developers

    Fintech app developer salary depends on many factors, including location, their technology stack, skills and experience, project roles, the app complexity and so on. By the way, Surf has recently created a useful guide on app developer rates depending on the abovementioned factors. 

    The important thing to understand while planning a budget for your fintech project is that the financial industry is one of those that ​​pay IT specialists the most due to its extremely fast development. For example, the average fintech full stack developer yearly pay in the US is approximately $144,641 (or $74 per hour), which is 33% above the national average. However, keep in mind the salaries and hourly rates of US app developers are some of the highest in the world, so hiring US developers is a good option if you have a solid budget for a project. 

    Let’s briefly look at the average hourly rates of fintech developers in different regions: 

    • Asia. Talking about Asian countries, India has an hourly rate of approximately $18-25. Thailand’s hourly rate is close to these figures — somewhere around $18-23. On the other hand, the rates in Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Malaysia lie between $20 to $30.
    • Eastern Europe. This region boasts of a large number of talented fintech app developers and relatively low rates for their services. Ukraine, Belarus, Poland, Bulgaria, Hungary, Croatia, Czech Republic, Romania are some of the eastern European countries that are popular for providing best-in-class software developers. Generally, the hourly developer rate ranges from $20 to $40. Another advantage of hiring a fintech developer from Eastern Europe is the convenient time zone. 
    • Australia. Australia has a much more secure economic situation and higher rates. Besides the high cost of work, the sizable difference in time zones compared to the US and other Western countries is also worth considering. In Melbourne, the hourly rates are around $45-$55, while in Sydney they vary from $50 to $75.
    • Latin America. Latin America is an emerging tech hub that tends to keep up with many countries in terms of delivering cutting-edge solutions. In Uruguay, Argentina, Peru, Chile, Mexico, Costa Rica, Peru, Bolivia hourly fintech developer rate is about $30-$50.

    Skills a great fintech developer should have

    Now, let’s explore some of the in-demand skills and competencies for fintech developers:

    • Solid coding expertise

    When it comes to the fintech job market, fintech specialists mastering such stack as Java, JavaScript, C++, C#, Python, and SQL are in great demand. Highly-skilled software engineers who can develop mobile apps, websites, and full-stack solutions are critical to the innovation-powered financial technology industry. Moreover, qualified programmers are needed to develop the Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) of new products and services.

    • Blockchain expertise

    While the cryptocurrency industry grows exponentially, the demand for experts, who can understand the ecosystem and build apps based on the relevant technologies, has also been rising really fast. Blockchain technology in fintech is used to provide better transaction transparency and asset tracking. This, in turn, provides independent assurance to users and ensures high levels of trust.

    • Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) expertise 

    As technology disrupts and redefines financial services, it also generates vast amounts of useful data that should be analyzed and interpreted. For this purpose, knowledge of technologies like AI, ML, Big Data, and Deep Learning is essential for fintech product developers. 

    • Cybersecurity expertise 

    Security is a cornerstone of any fintech product. Information systems are expanding every day in the financial sector, and from this comes a growing need for specialists with an understanding of cybersecurity basics. Below are the four key competencies of a fintech specialist related to the cybersecurity dimension: 

    • Strong data analysis skills

    Any fintech project should have an expert who can thoroughly analyze huge amounts of data generated and provide recommendations on how to use it in order to improve the business services. It helps companies to stay ahead of their competition.

    Fintech developer job interview questions

    Once you’ve made a shortlist of the most relevant candidates, it’s time for final interviews that will determine who’s the winner in this race. Here are some questions that can help you test the knowledge of your candidates, identify their skills and motivation to work for your project:

    • What is the most exciting recent development in fintech? Why?
    • How did you first get into fintech?
    • Which coding language do you consider the best? Why?
    • What technologies relevant to the fintech industry do you need to master?
    • What do you think you can bring to this company?
    • How much do you know about our products and services?
    • Tell us about a fintech-related problem that you’ve encountered. Were you able to solve it? If so, how?
    • Why work in fintech?
    • What are your short-term goals for this job?
    • Why do you want to work for us?

    Although it’s impossible to compile a universal list of interview questions for a fintech product developer position — too many things depend on the particular project, its specifics limitations, and required competencies — the abovementioned ones will help you to get a general overview of the fintech specialist’s expertise level. 

    Why hire at Surf?

    There are a lot of software engineers on the market, but it’s always a challenging task to find developers that will meet all your requirements and expectations. And even if you manage to do that, it might take much time to transform the skills and expertise of each developer into efficient teamwork. 

    For that reason, it’s always a great option to contact Surf: we will immediately get down to business, launch the development process, and then help you launch the product to the market and continue maintaining it, or hand the project over to your in-house team, as we did, for example, for Rosbank, a Russian universal bank that is part of the Société Générale international financial group. 
    Surf practices an individual approach to each client: be sure that we will pick a team with all expertise needed specifically for your case. Our developers have vast experience in different domains within fintech app development, so whatever app you’re about to build — from crypto exchange to a trading app – we know how to make a quality product. Surf app developers’ well-coordinated teamwork allows achieving the same or even better quality as in the case of hiring an in-house team and in a shorter time.

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