Becoming a Local Player in the Global Market
With today’s cloud providers like AWS, Oracle, Azure and Google, one can launch an instance of a financial software in any region of the world with just a touch of a button. But to create a truly global financial product a significant amount of planning is required. Early in my career I got exposed to these design principles while we implemented an auto finance product build for the US market for a customer in Japan. Ignoring the need for internationalization during the initial design phase of the product and then later trying to localize your complex financial software will be very difficult, time-consuming and costly.
Locale Changes are not Nearly Enough
Localization is not just about multiple language support or the flexibility to support the Local Currency Formats, Local Date, time and time zone formats Local Text direction and character encoding Local Name, Addresses and Telephone formats.
When localizing your software for a specific market, the most valuable thing you can invest in is feedback from the local business users. Effectively gathering this feedback by doing product workshops with local prospects and partners; Implementing this feedback correctly in the product will establish a solid foundation for a product in its target market. In addition, evaluating your product features by comparing your product with the local competitors helps bridge the gaps in your localization procedures. To minimize the risk of these types of issues occurring, it helps to have a local business partner, a Subject Matter Expert (SME) or an early software adopter be a part of your product development team.
Integrate into the Local Economy
A successful aspect of a global financial software system is smooth integration into the local eco-system. For a Lending/Leasing system it means integrating with:
- Local Credit Bureaus
- Local tax Systems
- Local Payment Systems
- Local Contract Documentation Systems
- Local Asset Valuation Systems
- Local Dealer / Vendor Systems
- Local Application Integrator
- Local Lien System
Focusing on these aspects to integrate with local systems will distinguish you significantly from your competitors. It really makes you a local player in the global market.
Compliance & Regulations
Achieving regulatory compliance is the top priority for financial institutions of all sizes. It is not easy for a product to meet these standards globally but partnering and collaborating with a knowledgeable local player significantly reduce the risk of non-compliance with local regulations and compliance.
If your goal is to globalize your product, then you must plan early, do your research, and diligently assemble the right building blocks to collaborate with local partners.
About the Author:
Vinay Bhatia is an experienced product leader, passionate about building financial products that delight customers. He has an extensive background in technology, cloud and agile software development.
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