Articles

Playing in a Fintech Sandbox

How to use a fintech sandbox to build experiences

Amanda Kilmer
Contributor
Date Published
(
April 8, 2022
)
Read Time
(
min
)

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Make it a sandbox…but for fintech

Fintech sandboxes aren’t actually built in the sand but it provides the freedom to test tech freely. Developers are probably quite familiar with sandbox environments — where they are able to build new products before pushing them live to their customers. A developer sandbox is not a simulation or a replication of what might happen when an application is tested; it’s a real testing environment that’s separate from production where developers can test their code and then deploy to production. The ability to safely develop and test applications before they're deployed into a live, production environment is essential for developers.

It’s no different in fintech.

There's even an argument that there’s a larger need for fintech sandboxes to exist because of the very nature of the product that handles sensitive information such as Personally Identifiable Information (PII data), moving people’s money, or utilizing credit. And a fintech sandbox means that developers can build financial products and services, test them in a variety of ways (including running simulated transactions that do not actually use real money), and finally integrate them. Using a clean, isolated sandbox environment can be a great, easy way for a non-financial company to build and integrate financial services for their customers to use.

An example of a comprehensive sandbox is an environment that allows developers to build their whole product within the sandbox from start to finish. They can take advantage of numerous tools and run tests such as mock transactions tailored to a variety of different use cases or ensure that their KYC is integrated correctly. After the product is built and testing has been completed, developers can switch to production just by switching a few simple tokens. Bond’s fintech sandbox can provide all the sandbox and integration tools needed to develop, test, and integrate financial products and services.

But we can ask: what is fintech sandbox, exactly?

Financial sandboxes

Financial sandboxes are essential to both fintech companies and non-financial companies to maintain a high degree of product quality — and a list of financial sandboxes aren’t hard to come by. A financial sandbox example is one where, as companies develop new products, they can test and vet new features before they're pushed live into production. A financial product can be built in its entirety using a financial sandbox and then put through various simulations in order to test it. When the testing reveals a problem or a way in which the product could be further improved, development can continue within the sandbox until the product is ready for more testing. This way, developers can use a financial sandbox for the entire cycle of building, testing, and making changes before starting a new test environment.

Additionally, developers can use Bond’s sandbox as an isolated space in which to experiment with the development of financial products and services. Once the product has completed the necessary testing and is ready for integration, the application that has been vetted in the financial sandbox and can be deployed to production easily by flipping just four tokens, which takes under ten seconds.

Regulatory sandboxes

While financial sandboxes are built to test applications in a particular development environment, regulatory sandboxes are built to see how an app or product functions in a particular regulatory environment. A regulatory sandbox supplies a live testing environment within which developers can experiment and innovate. However, this only works according to a predefined set of parameters regarding duration and space which works well for a fintech regulatory sandbox.

For example, developers want to make sure they’re staying compliant and working within regulations that govern their fintech product, but it's difficult to account for those variables if you're managing them manually. A regulatory sandbox is a digital railing that developers use to make sure they don't violate any regulatory best practices determined by a governing body. Using regulatory sandboxes, developers are able to vet, test, and iterate on their applications to ensure they're functioning well and complying with regulations because compliance is imperative to fintech and finance overall.

One of the biggest differences between a fintech sandbox and a regulatory sandbox is that the regulatory sandbox utilizes a live environment, whereas a typical fintech sandbox exists as a virtual environment. Both kinds of sandboxes allow developers to experiment with their financial products and to make changes easily and as needed. Any problems with a financial product or service could be identified using regulatory sandbox examples and fixed before the product or service is fully integrated outside of a sandbox environment and used by customers. Developers are able to take advantage of regulatory sandbox benefits by choosing from a list of regulatory sandboxes and then using it to experiment with the best ways to improve their fintech.

Fintech applications

There are a multitude of fintech applications that could be beneficial to a non-financial company that has a desire to build and integrate financial solutions into their offerings. Bond has powered customers like Qoins and Texas Medical Center, amongst others, to make fintech work for them using powerful APIs on an intuitive platform.

With an end-to-end software infrastructure platform that is designed to help non-financial brands implement fintech solutions, Bond connects banks to clients and vice versa. Using Bond to drive revenue and access a variety of financial services like Know Your Customer (KYC), money movement, account opening, and card issuance, clients are able to build their own fintech apps from scratch. Bond can also integrate with a client’s existing app, like with Squire. One of many fintech applications examples that were utilized to put cash in the pockets of barbers and barbershops faster is money movement and bank accounts — all tested in a fintech sandbox environment before deployment of the Squire Debit Card.

Bond Portal acts as a system of record that can turn program data into visually appealing formats like graphs. This could make managing your business easier since you can track data from revenue, to usage, to active cards, and more. The Bond platform leverages award-winning technology to provide developers with tools they can use to design financial services and products in innovative ways that serve their customers.

The difference in developing fintech products

Fintech partner companies like Bond provide tools and resources that are valuable to organizations that want to provide customized financial services to their end users. Bond combines all the capabilities that a developer would need to build their own fintech on one unified platform — without any third-party integrations or additional vendors. This saves developers months of time evaluating financial institutions and infrastructure vendors, navigating complicated contracts, and fighting with subpar APIs and inadequate documentation.

Bond provides powerful APIs to help brands implement their vision for offering financial solutions to their customers. With these modern APIs, developers can build these financial services more easily than if they built it themselves. Bond helps verify the identity of customers or businesses and organizes a hierarchy of accounts while balances are conveniently managed across multiple products, including payment cards, cryptocurrencies, and bank accounts. Bond’s APIs can also be used to transfer funds to and from linked external accounts and to design better customer experiences with the use of automated reports on customers and financial products.

Fintech sandbox requirements

Bond includes a developer sandbox that enables financial products to be constructed in an isolated, controlled setting. Using test transactions, financial products can be vetted and tested across a variety of use cases like money movement or forbidden transactions. Changes can be made and implemented directly in the sandbox environment for further testing. Not all fintech sandbox examples are exactly the same; one feature of Bond’s sandbox, in particular, is that it allows products to be seamlessly deployed to production by changing just four tokens.

Another feature is the developer dashboard that is used to troubleshoot and manage the integration. Conveniently embedded right into Portal, developers can generate API keys that are used both for the developer sandbox and production. Switching from the sandbox to production is as simple as changing the API key.

Sandbox lessons learned

Providing non-financial brands with the ability to build and integrate financial products is something Bond strives for, as it leads to financial inclusion; the very mission and meaning of fintech is to provide financial solutions to those in need. Bond is the connector between brands and banks. That helps diverse companies drive revenue growth and improve their overall customer experiences. Bond builds a financial network that will move fintech into the future with a developer-first approach.

Non-financial companies that consider implementing financial services and making them available to customers can find fintech sandbox partners like Bond.

If you’re asking, “What is fintech and how can I build one?,” contact us! If you’re eager to get started, access our (fintech) sandbox.