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Learnings Developing a Fintech App in Canada

Learnings Developing a Fintech App in Canada
Ty Sinclair

At the beginning of the month we expanded access to the Billi beta and since that time, we have received over 300 unique pieces of user feedback. As you can imagine, all of that feedback made the first 2 weeks of November very interesting and illuminating. Several things have been brought to light for both myself and the entire Billi Team; I have noted my Top Five Takeaways below:

1. The overwhelming feedback around our simple yet thoughtful design has been wonderful and we’ve been given several gems to help us level up. We are pleased to note that design preference and ensuring accessibility functionality offered by the OS will be supported with our design framework in the coming month. Similarly, expect to see Light or Dark mode — I was surprised to learn how popular this function is!

2. When two-factor authentication is enabled with the members’ associated institution, the reconnection process can be painful and frustrating. Identification of this pain point led to some great internal conversations and resulted in a design session about how to reduce the steps required from the member. I’m happy to say that we’ve come up with (what I think is) a great experience and I look forward to “releasing” it into the wild in the coming month. I’m surprised other products that require a consistent connection haven’t taken a similar approach.

3. The bar has been raised in terms of what consumers expect throughout a mobile app experience. One of the shortcuts we employed that enabled us to get to market quicker, revolved around our login/authentication. We opted to use Firebase instead of rolling our own and using multiple packages to support biometric authentication. Although it shaved development time off to help focus on core functionality, people are expecting a more native experience. As a result, we’ll be retooling this over the coming months to ensure a smoother experience.

4. A large group of our members have multiple income streams. Whether it’s from investments, solopreneur/micro business, or gig work, we’ll need to revisit the visualization of how income and expenses are displayed within the Category section. This becomes an interesting UX problem when a) members want to create custom categories and b) want to track business expenses separately. If we can nail the execution, we can help bridge that gap for the growing segment of folks who have multiple income streams and who thus require more flexibility from any finance-tracking tool.

5. All things crypto! Not surprising but it’s nice to see our hunch reinforced. People want to be able to track their crypto assets along with their broader fiat holdings. We’ve had some early conversations internally and a few broad-ranging conversations with members about what an on/off ramp could look like for web3.0 within Billi. There is a lot of greenfield to explore here!

My personal takeaway can be boiled down to Value-Exchange.

Meaning, at Billi, we need to ensure we are providing the appropriate Value for what we’re wanting in exchange from our members. Given the state of OpenBanking in Canada, it’s clear that the infrastructure for what we want to build has not yet been created.

Far from concerning us, we find this exciting. We get to be pioneers!

At the same time we need to be mindful of what features we bring to the market that can be accommodated and supported by the plumbing currently available and what tradeoffs people are willing to put up with.


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