8 Essential Tech Skills For Developing a FinTech App

8 min read

The digital revolution has made on-demand access to financial products and services not just a perk, but a necessity. 

Both traditional financial institutions and fintech startups are working tirelessly to develop apps that cater to this growing demand for mobile banking and financial technology solutions. As a result, fintech app development is booming, attracting talent from various technical backgrounds.

What is the average salary for a fintech app developer? Fintech app developers can expect an average salary ranging from €85,038 to €104,795 per year, though this may vary slightly depending on the European country in which they reside. 

To excel in this competitive field, developers must possess a diverse fintech skill set that includes expertise in machine learning, artificial intelligence, software development, data science, UX/UI design, and cybersecurity, along with essential soft skills.

The financial industry's complex nature sets fintech app development apart from other app development processes, making it a challenging yet rewarding endeavor for those with the right technical skills.

If you’re looking to break into the fintech industry as part of an application development team, here are some of the most important hard skills you’ll need to master.

1. Machine Learning & Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Machine learning is essential for achieving efficiency and accuracy in fintech app development. Having the technical skills for machine learning enables developers to perform comprehensive, near real-time analysis and decision-making. 

Integrating machine learning into fintech software is crucial for incorporating functionalities such as:

  • Algorithmic Trading: This process utilizes advanced mathematical models to execute pre-programmed trade instructions.

  • Financial Modeling: A method for summarizing current accounting, finances, and business metrics.

  • Forecasting: Generating financial projections from big data to inform future decision-making for both customers and businesses.

  • Logistic Regression: Models designed to predict credit risks and probabilities of default.

In addition to machine learning, artificial intelligence (AI) plays a vital role in enhancing fintech mobile applications. As AI technologies like ChatGPT continue to evolve, many apps are adopting chatbots to assist customers within the app. 

Beyond serving as a valuable customer service tool, robotic process automation (RPA) can streamline repetitive and data-intensive tasks, providing near-instant results.

2. Blockchain & Distributed Ledgers

Blockchain technology is often associated with cryptocurrency due to its role in providing a secure and decentralized transaction record. Fintech companies seeking to offer crypto solutions must possess expertise in blockchain technology, distributed ledger technology (DLT), and in some cases, directed acyclic graphs (DAG).

Blockchain is a type of DLT that involves digitally recorded ledgers stored across a network of separate yet interconnected devices. This creates a decentralized ledger. 

Directed acyclic graphs represent another form of DLT; however, instead of validating transactions block by block, DAGs branch out by nodes. This approach consumes less energy, scales effectively, and eliminates transaction fees since there are no miners involved.

As the fintech industry continues to expand globally, so does the acceptance of cryptocurrencies. Once a novelty, cryptocurrencies are now becoming mainstream. Developers with a strong understanding of blockchain, DLT, and DAG data structuring tools are in high demand.

3. Data Analysis

Fintech mobile apps cater to a wide user base, making the data collected from users invaluable for mobile app development teams. Proficient data professionals can uncover insights that enable them to deliver better customer experiences, personalized fintech solutions, and tailored product recommendations.

By using tools like SQL or MongoDB for queries, data analysts can identify gaps in the product and address them proactively before they become issues. Data analysis can also play a crucial role in evaluating risk and preventing fraud.

4. Fintech Regulatory Compliance

One of the most significant challenges in creating a fintech app, particularly those that span multiple regions, is adhering to various regulations and laws. For example, China has a complete cryptocurrency ban, rendering mobile applications involving Bitcoin impermissible in that market.

Whether developing an app in-house or collaborating with a development company, we recommend having legal advisors work alongside fintech professionals. Compliance is crucial when offering mobile banking or other financial services.

Fintech application developers in the European Union face the ambitious challenge of creating apps that comply with the regulations of all 27 member states. There are 4 main regulatory bodies for EU financial services:

In addition to these bodies, policy groups like the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) work to integrate the economies of the member states. As the fintech industry evolves, new regulations emerge. 

For example, in 2022, the EU Council and the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs approved the Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA) regulatory framework for asset-referenced tokens, electronic money tokens, and other crypto-assets not previously covered by EU laws.

Furthermore, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a data security law designed to protect users' online privacy. All apps and websites must comply with this regulation.

Fintech encompasses more than just crypto and data, and no single piece of EU legislation covers all areas of fintech services. This is why we strongly recommend enlisting the services of a legal expert during the development process.

5. Cybersecurity

Financial applications handle various sensitive data inputs. During the onboarding process, customers provide their confidential information, and the banks and companies behind the apps store transactional data. A misconfigured system or a backdoor in the program can expose this data. 

That’s why proficiency in cybersecurity is a highly sought-after skill for fintech app development.

Cybersecurity measures must be implemented to protect the sensitive information stored on servers and defend it from malicious agents. Data breaches can lead to lawsuits and damage the trust and reputation of the company. Proper risk management, including regular assessments, can help identify weaknesses in the system before they become problematic.

6. UX/UI

Finance can be complex and sometimes dull, which makes creating a user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) that captivates a wide user base quite difficult. Poorly designed UX/UI can hinder your app’s success by making users give up before they’re fully engaged.

When designing apps in the fintech ecosystem, designers must possess the skills to simplify complex financial topics into easily accessible and engaging experiences through just a few clicks and swipes on the screen. Users should be able to complete transactions and send payments effortlessly.

While most UX/UI designers aim for a frictionless experience, it is essential to maintain a degree of friction in fintech apps. Accidents within a fintech app can have significant financial consequences. Incorporating small roadblocks can help slow users down and prevent costly mistakes.

7. DevOps

In a rapidly evolving industry like fintech, being the first to market is crucial. DevOps is a project management approach that unifies the development and operations teams, enabling continuous integration of new code. The DevOps team collaborates on planning, coding, maintenance, testing, and tools to deliver applications and updates as quickly as possible.

DevOps thrives on collaboration. Besides a solid technical background, excellent communication skills are essential for shorter software cycles.

8. Programming

Programming proficiency is absolutely essential in fintech app development. 

There is no "right" tech stack, API, or coding language for fintech, as the industry encompasses numerous components. A fintech app's full stack will involve multiple languages for both the front-end and back-end. The client-side must be programmed for Android, web browsers, and iOS.

What are the top programming languages for fintech? The top programming languages for fintech include Python, Java, Rust, and even C++. The server-side languages will depend on your team and objectives.

Python is a popular object-oriented programming language due to its versatility in machine learning, data science, and programming. Java remains a favored coding language even after two decades, thanks to its adaptability. Additionally, there are database languages like SQL essential for data analytics.

In fintech, the speed to market is crucial. The language the DevOps team works with most efficiently should be considered when choosing your back-end tech stack.

Find Top Tech Talent Anywhere In the World

Fintech apps are disrupting traditional financial services. This demand continues to grow, and tech talent is in-demand. If you have the programming skills required to transform the financial industry, apply to join MVP Match as a freelancer.

The developers at MVP Match are equipped with top-tier programming skills and cybersecurity know-how. They are ready to work on the next innovative app to change the way people manage their money. Speed up the time to market your fintech app by hiring an MVP Match expert today!

About the Author

Kate manages content marketing for talent acquisition at MVP Match. Her job? Attracting the best and brightest tech talent into our community where they are matched with rewarding roles they deserve. She's a copywriter at heart, and has spent over 10 years in marketing for tech, healthcare, and consulting firms. An avid traveler and workation pro, Kate both embraces and advocates for a future where everyone is empowered to define work on their terms.