FintekNews is pleased to offer our weekly feature column 3 Questions. Each week, we feature a thought leader within a unique sector of fintech and ask them to answer just 3 questions for our audience in their vernacular. This week, we’d like to introduce you to our friend Vasyl Soloshchuk, CEO of INSART, a FinTech & Java Engineering company that develops and reengineers Java software products for the FinTech industry. INSART has headquarters in New York, and R&D labs in Ukraine, which is famous for its highly skilled software engineers.
NAME: Vasyl Soloshchuk
WEB ADDRESS: www.insart.com
How did you personally become involved in FinTech?
I’ve got two master’s degrees, one in computer science and system analysis, and another in finance. Thus, since university my professional interests have been heavily related to software technologies and finance. In 2008 I became CTO at INSART, and since 2010 I’ve been the company’s CEO and co-owner. I’ve always believed that effective management of personal and corporate finance is a crucial part of everyday life for both people and companies. This is why we began focusing on working with financial services clients and delivering projects such as over-the-counter trading; risk-exchange platforms; holistic online payment technologies, including e-wallets, payment processing, and fraud detection; online fundraising; cryptocurrency exchanges; real estate financing; and, finally, wealth-management and robo-advisory solutions.
Thus, our mission at INSART is to help FinTech and financial services companies wisely leverage technology and benefit from what it can deliver by designing and implementing financial software products. To stay abreast of the latest news, technologies, and developments in FinTech, I attend top financial and software conferences, and participate in FinTech & software meetups. In addition, I run WealthTech Club, which conducts dozens of interviews with WealthTech companies and experts annually.
What does your firm do/offer within the FinTech sector?
At INSART, we help our clients get ready to scale their business on the technology side. We work closely with FinTech founders, CEOs, CTOs, and CPOs to help them scale their companies with the help of our FinTech Engineering Approach. Our core expertise is related to:
• Wealth management & robo-advisors
• Payment systems & payment processing
• Lending & fundraising solutions
• Trading platforms & algorithms
• Insurances & InsurTech
• Online & cyber security
• Blockchain & cryptocurrencies
• Big data analytics
First, we help to reengineer software and minimize technical debt gained by FinTech startups in their early stages. This is about splitting monolithic software architecture into microservices, establishing a mature CI&CD approach, improving data models, and enhancing UI/UX.
Second, we introduce project management best practices and establish cross-functional agile team structures. Each agile team is responsible for its own business area within a FinTech product. The agile Release Trains approach works pretty well for an expanded team size to minimize communication and managerial overhead.
Finally, the last pillar we implement is extensive training of software engineering teams in the financial business domain within INSART FinTech Competency Center. The goals of this training include creating a common language between business and engineering, enabling all team members to understand the industry for which the software product is being built, decreasing the amount of documentation from product management, and increasing software engineers’ confidence and success. All these allow us to add new features to the software product at an increased pace, without massive regression and rework.
What are the biggest problems facing the FinTech industry in the future?
Today, we are seeing many FinTech startup companies whose business model has been validated, who have achieved success; VCs are ready to invest in these companies and in incumbents that are large, established financial institutions with solid resources, that are ready to partner and bring new users and clients. Here is one of the most crucial problems as I see it—not every company is able to scale its business, to achieve exponential growth.
Early-stage startups usually have a minimal viable product created by a small team. Owning that software is the backbone of FinTech companies; they need to develop new features quickly, but this is often impossible as they are not ready to scale. Existing software requires reengineering considering security, usability, performance, and other issues.
When expanding a development team, regardless of whether it is in-house or external, startups often lack experience in establishing project-management processes—but without them, software development becomes messy and chaotic. Moreover, new software engineers don’t even have the basic financial knowledge required to avoid miscommunication during software development. However, when software engineers have enough business domain knowledge, they speak a common language with financial and business teams, need less documentation and clarification, and reduce the time needed for rework. This is why at INSART we train our developers in FinTech terminology, solutions, and processes.
Vasyl Soloshchuk, CEO and co-owner at INSART, a FinTech and Java engineering company, has helped more than 30 software companies in the US and Western Europe to meet their long-term software-development goals. Vasyl is also author of WealthTech Club, which conducts research into Fortune and startup robo-advisory and wealth-management companies in terms of the technology ecosystem.