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What it actually costs to build a fintech solution



By Eduardo Martinez Garcia, CEO and Co-Founder, Toqio


In the rapidly evolving landscape of the financial service industry, many companies are starting to consider launching their own embedded finance solutions so as to better cater to their customers’ needs. But where to start? And, most importantly, how much will a project like this cost?

Money and time to market are two of the most critical aspects of creating a project from scratch, so in this article, I thought we’d go over all expenditures in order. Bear in mind that many of these costs can lead to incremental savings year after year if used effectively, even though prices will likely increase as time passes. Realistically, the quicker you can get a project done, the cheaper it is.


The price of creating a full digital infrastructure really depends on whether you’re going to create one that’s physical and completely under your control or whether you’re going to use a cloud platform. Developing your own server structure can pretty much cost whatever you want and every single change you make is going to require an investment. A cloud solution that can easily scale with the flick of a switch is probably the best course. The most commonly used ones are Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud.

Toqio is built on AWS, so let’s go with this as an example. Regardless of where you are as a company, AWS pricing is based on how many resources you use which is based on your number of users. Annual costs are variable depending on site traffic and usage. At Toqio, AWS services represent our primary infrastructure costs, totalling around €345,000.


Eduardo Martinez Garcia

In general, many tech stacks are built on open-source software, a massive cost saver for most businesses. That said, proper development tools are a must-have. These stacks are best-of-breed tools that are scalable to be used by any size business. They include React, React Native, Java, Springboot, MongoDB, Docker, and others.

Once you have your technology stack chosen, you’ll need to consider the financial services you want to integrate, such as banking services, payment solutions, card programmes, lending products, and others. There are scads of pre-built modules you can pay for to be included in your embedded finance project, like real-time currency exchange rates, chat or call integration, etc. Many may be optional, it really depends on what you’re trying to build.

Though many of these tools may be free or low-cost, you’re going to need qualified people to handle development and testing, which normally amounts to two front-end developers, two back-end developers, and at least one QA testing specialist. If you already have a team of developers in place, you also need to consider how many of their regular tasks they won’t be doing while you build your new embedded finance solution, how much training they’ll need if they don’t have it, and what sort of hardware-software they’ll require to work efficiently. Bear in mind, that’s the minimum, you may need more staff to get things done more quickly or to create a dedicated internal squad. Based on what we spend on technology at Toqio, and considering the average starting pay for specific positions in the EU, we estimate a minimum spend of €200,000 for staff and around €77,900 for tech stack.

Product production

Once you have all the preliminary tasks done, you can actually get to work on building your solution. To do that, you’ll need someone to lead the initiative, like a Product Manager, and someone who can provide technical guidance on development, such as a Product Owner. To develop the interface and make it comparable in quality to other embedded finance integrations on the market, you’ll need a specialist in user experience (UX) as well as an expert in user interfaces (UI).

That’s the minimum number of people to get your solution across the finish line, and they’ll need tools in order to be able to work, including a project management suite like Jira, a documentation repository like Confluence, and a design system like Figma. All told you will need to spend on salaries, software licences per seat, and numerous sundry costs. For this, we estimate you’d need a minimum spend of €200,000 for staff and about €68,700 for tools.

Tech support

If you plan to offer an app or site to a multitude of users, they are inevitably going to run into technical issues. We think it’s prudent for a new venture to hire at least two tech support professionals to start, though some companies get away with one by having other technical professionals lend a hand until the volume of user support tickets hits critical mass. The realistic staffing spend for this would be around €160,000.


This is actually pre-work that needs to be done prior to building anything. If you skip this step, you’re probably going to run into difficulties with regulatory bodies and risk massive fines, loss of credentials, limitations on types and volumes of transactions, or all of the above. You can’t skimp on this.

Certifications – such as the Revised Payment Services Directive (PSD2), the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), and ISO 27001 – cost money and obtaining them includes a number of services, such as external auditor charges, employing consultants and senior level staff, numerous legal fees, staff training, rebuilding or rescaling architecture, and others, not to mention recurring annual costs like renewal fees, consultant charges, and periodic audits and penetration tests.

Compliance really depends on how much you can DIY, the stage of maturity of your company with regard to processes, and how much you need to do to get your company in shape for audits. At Toqio we spend around €160,000 yearly on ensuring compliance, including certifications, renewals, audits, and other related items.

The final figures

Looking at the numbers, if you were to try and develop an an embedded finance project from scratch with absolutely no existing assets at your disposal, you’d have to invest a minimum of about €980,000 to launch something that’s passably viable. More likely, you’d need about €1.66 million to do it well. If you already have professionals in place, the cost of building a new solution obviously goes down but then the issue becomes one of how much time your team can actually dedicate to a new project.

Recurring annual costs need to be factored in, including salaries for tech support and other staff, compliance certification renewals, infrastructure and hardware upgrades, and perhaps even research and development. Long-term total cost of ownership (TCO) is going to bring figures up for every year of operation.

Companies considering embarking on this journey should investigate on their own to come up with figures they think are reasonable according to their current situation. Consider that when you’re running through the numbers and trying to figure out how much an in-house embedded finance project will cost you in terms of money, time, and the impact it will have on your day-to-day business.


How technology can help win the war on financial crime




By Andrew Doyle, CEO of AML compliance software, NorthRow


Financial crime is on the rise and the stats are alarming. In the UK alone, 64 percent of businesses (according to data from the Global Economic Crime Survey) have experienced fraud, corruption or other incidents of financial crime within the last 24 months, while ONS stats show there were 3.7 million incidents of fraud in England and Wales in the year ending December 2022.

So it’s no surprise that financial institutions and other regulated firms are under increasing pressure from regulators (and the ever-evolving legislation they must adhere to) in the battle against dirty money. Regulators are imposing crippling fines for any compliance breaches, not to mention the significant reputational damage that comes with non-compliance.

Historically, financial firms have employed large numbers of staff to combat money laundering, but regulators are now expecting to see digital solutions in place to counter the risk of financial fraud, and with good reason. Technology can be the deciding factor in the war on financial crime and here’s why:

Better risk detection

Technology platforms can analyse historical data to predict potential incidents of money laundering, enabling organisations to take preventive measures, while also identifying unusual patterns or changes in customer risk profiles, which may also indicate suspicious activity.

Advanced analytics can help companies identify complex patterns across large datasets, making it easier to detect networks of fraud. It is also possible to assign risk scores to transactions or entities based on their likelihood of being associated with money laundering. This helps in prioritising high-risk cases for investigation.

Andrew Doyle

Enhanced customer due diligence

Automated software platforms can analyse customer information, public records, and other data sources to perform thorough due diligence on clients, identifying potential risks or suspicious behaviour before they are signed up.

RegTech automates the process of verifying customer identities and conducting enhanced due diligence on individuals and on companies, ensuring compliance with Know Your Customer (KYC) and Know Your Business (KYB) regulations, both vital components of anti-money laundering efforts.

More accurate identity verification

Biometric verification is a powerful tool in enhancing anti-money laundering and fraud detection. It involves using unique physical or behavioural characteristics of an individual to verify their identity. Traits like fingerprints, facial features, iris patterns, and voiceprints are unique to each individual and are nearly impossible to replicate or forge. This makes them highly reliable for verifying that clients are who they say they are.

Biometric verification can also reduce the number of false positives in fraud detection by providing a highly accurate means of confirming the identity of a customer. This leads to more reliable results and lessens the need for manual intervention.

Continuous and real-time monitoring

Real-time alerts allow for immediate action when suspicious activity is detected. This can prevent or minimise potential financial losses and damage to a company’s reputation. By identifying and acting upon suspicious activities in real-time, financial institutions can reduce the risk of financial losses associated with incidents of economic crime.

Continuous monitoring with real-time alerts can also help refine the accuracy of anti-money laundering systems over time. This reduces the number of false alerts and decreases the need for manual intervention.

To the future

According to data from Capgemini, 68 percent of UK institutions are already looking into real-time anti money laundering monitoring systems to stay ahead of potential threats while 86 percent, says Refinitiv, agree that innovative digital technologies have helped them identify financial crime.

So the data tells us that companies are already heading in the right direction when it comes to fighting fraud, but as the landscape of financial crime continues to evolve, financial firms must ensure they do the same.

By leveraging the right technology, businesses can ensure they not only meet regulatory requirements and safeguard their operations, but also protect their reputations and crucially, maintain that all important customer trust.

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In 2024, payments will evolve to broaden accessibility




Attributed to Roy Aston, COO at Paysafe.


As we look to 2024 and beyond, businesses will need to adapt experiences to changing consumer needs and demands, working with payments providers to increase accessibility, offer broader choice, and more.

We break down some the forces driving evolution in payments over the coming years.

Payments need to be available to everyone, everywhere

Regardless of their location or situation, consumers do not want to wait when it comes to payments. The proliferation of smart devices has given users access to everything, all at once, and this is also expected when making transactions.

In 2024, banks and financial institutions will continue to push ahead with this journey to offer smooth, secure payments to everyone, everywhere, delivering services at the lowest possible barrier to entry. This also means ensuring consumers, even those that are unbanked or underbanked, have access to remittances and cross-border payments.

The first step in achieving this goal will be to improve reliability, security and availability, which may see traditional payment methods like debit and credit cards – still the most popular payment methods – become less dominant, while alternative payment methods (APM) like eCash and digital wallets will grow.

This is because, with the right payment provider, merchants can ensure these APMs are available anywhere in the world – eCash, for example, does not require a bank account to use. In addition, digital wallets and online cash can offer swift, secure transactions, helping users overcome security issues by not requiring them to enter their financial details.

Financial companies will embrace collaboration in 2024

While businesses can address consumer payment concerns using APMs, they must also look to bolster their own defences as the threat landscape changes. Increasingly advanced technology, like AI models, are now accessible to far more people, including threat actors.

To combat this escalating threat, it’ll be no surprise to see more financial companies collaborate in 2024 as they seek to improve cyber risk mitigation. This makes perfect sense – and would be a positive step for the industry – though it is easier said than done.

Businesses must share data legally, while aimed toward a positive purpose, rather than for pure profit. For example, if a financial organisation gains intelligence on a cyber group, they could share this with other companies to protect against bad money movement.

Ideally, collaboration could help improve anti-fraud, anti-money laundering, and cyber security measures, and more broadly reduce risk for businesses and consumers alike. But first, thinking around data governance may need to change.

Existing trends will evolve

While exciting new trends will emerge in 2024, we’ll also see the evolution of some that have yet to reach their full potential.

Embedded payments, for example, will continue to develop, with more businesses bringing together financial products with features like loyalty schemes to offer more added value to consumers.

Decentralised finance, too, should continue to build momentum in 2024. While decentralised finance, and specifically NFTs, have faced challenges this past year, it will be no surprise to see companies get to grips with changing regulatory requirements and continue to build in this area.

Open banking could also see a big 2024, with more APIs becoming available, and companies starting to develop new solutions to enhance customer experience and reduce friction in the payment ecosystem.

And while evolution rather than revolution is a necessity in technology, it’s always exciting to look ahead to the big trends that could shape the future – perhaps not in the year ahead, but beyond.

The future is quantum

Quantum computing is a trend that is as exciting as it is potentially frightening. Able to perform computations that are exponentially faster than ever before, quantum computing represents a new frontier and it will be thrilling to see how it is used in the years ahead.

Combined with AI, for example, quantum computing could optimise processes at a speed and scale never seen before – with serious benefits passed onto consumers.

In the nearer term, however, ensuring payments are available and accessible for everyone must remain the focus in 2024.

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