Now that we are entering 2023, and the 2022 roller coaster has officially ended, it is time to deal with the after-effects. Despite the pandemic, 2022 started off as a good year for fintechs and capital markets on the back of a robust 2021. They rallied due to government concessions, buoyant investor confidence, and customer preference for digital. But the party has now ended. It ended when the markets slumped, and some of the biggest tech firms lost valuation and investor confidence overnight. The everyday layoffs are also a brutal reminder of what lies ahead in 2023 as organizations are cutting expenses drastically. Now it is time to deal with that nagging hangover.

So, here is how you can get rid of the post-party hangover both in fintech and literal sense!

Say No to Binging!

According to the CDC, binge drinking is 5 or more drinks on a single occasion for men or 4 or more drinks on a single occasion for women, within about 2 hours. (Source: CDC)

Now that the party time is over, organizations will have to be mindful of the excesses, and ensure that they do not yield to these in 2023. Here are some of the excesses of 2022.

  • Incurring expenses in moonshot projects
  • Leaving data in disarray that have become messy data swamps
  • Investing in multiple applications and no process optimization
  • Excessive reliance on manual when automation can do just as fine

Take Stock! Keep an Open Mind

Now here is how to deal with the hangover if you have not been careful enough. Hangovers do not go away on its own, you have to deal with it. How can you do that? The most failsafe way to avoid hangover blues is to increase the consumption of vitamins and nutrients and stay hydrated in the days leading to the holiday season and pre and post the party. This will not get rid of the hangover, but the effect will be less severe.

When it comes to the fintechs and financial services, despite the prophecy of grim times, due to the many excesses we indulged in, in the last couple of years, Wall Street Colossus, Warren Buffet, believes that there is opportunity to make money because “Money will always flow toward opportunity, and there is an abundance of that in America.”

The fintech and financial services market is vast and varied and is unlikely to stop growing. Niche domains like payments, stock trading, alternative marketplaces, money transfer and remittances, mortgage, and lending, and robo-advisory, despite the looming recession, have multiple avenues for growth. But first you must take stock of your strengths and weaknesses:

  • What problem are you looking forward to solve?
  • Do you have the skill set and qualified management?
  • How big is the market opportunity?
  • What positive early traction has the company achieved? Are there early or pilot customers?
  • Does the business understand the key financials and metrics of their business?
  • What are the potential risks to the business, especially regulatory risk? (Source: Forbes)

Up the Stakes! Look at What the Competition is Doing

If you have problem with the alcohol, check the alternatives. There are some plant-based like the GABA Labs’ Sentia, an all-natural herbal blend that recreates the feeling of a drink without alcohol or hangovers. It is always better to be safe than sorry.

How does one look for opportunity or seize the day “carpe diem” even in these unprecedented times, particularly the fintechs that have fared worse than the rest in 2022? The answer is giving up on the excesses, reflecting on internal restructuring, and brainstorming about how to move ahead into 2023 with our greatest strengths – technology, people, and process, without going over budget. You must be willing to up the stakes and your competitiveness and so, look at what we believe to be the top trends of 2023, where a lot of innovation is already happening.

Top 2023 Trends!

AI for automation and innovation: Artificial Intelligence will be the allrounder responsible for spurring growth and innovation.

Robotic Process Automation: Another key player robotic process automation will level the playing field by synchronizing back and middle office with front office and ensuring streamlined and optimized processes.

Microservices: Microservices have already become the next big thing when it comes to testing.

Big Data and Data Quality Management: There will be more stress on cleaning data as we have elaborated upon in this blog whether it be for meeting regulatory requirements or ensuring sustainability in the supply chain with ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance), or onboarding, compliance, and due diligence.

ESG: As the COP27 summit has vowed to revive global efforts in combating climate change, sustainability and diversity, equity, and inclusion your Environment, Social, and Governance (ESG) scores will play a key role when it comes to attracting investment opportunities. As a fintech company with ESG mandate, you are uniquely poised for rapid and exponential growth.

When in Doubt, Outsource! Realizing the Benefits

Holiday guilt trip is not just about alcohol, it is about food as well, as it is common to overeat and gain weight in the holiday season, but a strong support system can keep all the “weighty” problems at bay.

For fintechs and financial institutions, third-party vendors and partners are akin to a support system that can keep rising costs at bay.

As fintechs and financial institutions cater to stakeholders with differing interests or agendas like the regulators, stakeholders, customers, etc., while pursuing growth, profits, and revenue generation, it makes sense to delegate tasks that are not a part of the revenue generation cycle to a third-party vendor.

Likewise, if you are considering launching a new product or managing operations while remaining risk-averse, there are many benefits of using the services of an experienced partner like Magic FinServ which has been listed below.

Source: (jeff bullas)

Increase Reliance on Technology

There are hangover products that advertise quick relief, but the experts are not sure. Meanwhile for fintechs and financial institutions, the scenario is quite the opposite as technology is the key to success.

Navigating a Tough Year with Process Optimization, Automation (RPA), and Data Centricity

Like that last glass of wine, some of your pet projects might just have to wait. A suitable time instead to retrospect on what went wrong and ensure process optimization and last mile integration. With process optimization, changes in a system, process, or product result in a manifold increase in operational efficiency and effectiveness.

Whether it is growing in valuation or aligning your ESG efforts with demands of the investors and the regulators, here’s how Magic FinServ and our Fintech Accelerator program can be your partner in need.

How Magic FinServ can Help?

As a fintech or a financial services operator, we can help you locate not just the pain points but the areas where slight improvements or optimization can result in exponential gains. Process optimization makes processes sounder by eliminating time and resource wastage, minimizing unnecessary costs, and the bottlenecks and mistakes that get in the way of organizational and process efficiency.

  1. Streamlining processes with our experience in leveraging the right infusion of Technology
  2. Streamlining application landscapes with our knowledge of Agile and Dev Ops
  3. Ensuring that workflows are more efficient
  4. Resolving the tech debt – using microservices and APIs
  5. Leveraging the power of Magic FinServ’s DeepSight TM to reduce manual effort by up to 70% and accomplish task with higher speed and lower error rate, thereby reducing cost.
  6. Automation: Another powerful tool when it comes to streamlining processes and reducing excessive human dependency which in turn makes time to market faster, eliminates errors, and drives efficiency is automation. As a fintech, you can drive a competitive edge with Magic FinServ’s powerful automation fabric for process optimization and last-mile integration. We help you identify where it can result in better gains – i.e., in highly data-intensive, cumbersome, manual-labor oriented and mission- critical activities that are core to fintech functioning.

For millennial businesses, data is that powerful tool that opens the door to many opportunities. Mitigate the data hangover (the disarray and chaos) and whether it is ESG (Environmental, Social & Governance), or onboarding, AML, due diligence, or any other activity, you can find in Magic FinServ’s DeepSightTM a steady partner and a sure cure to many of your organizational data woes.

Magic DeepSight is a one-stop solution for comprehensive data extraction, transformation, and delivery from a wide range of unstructured data sources leveraging cognitive technologies of artificial intelligence and machine learning for the buy-side.

The Perks of Growing in Valuation with Magic FinServ’s Fintech Accelerator Program

Magic FinServ’s Fintech Accelerator Program is designed to suit your purpose and needs. You can choose between three models depending on the level of engagement required.

  • Model 1 – In-house Fintech: For building from scratch: If your requirement is comprehensive including core product development, Magic Augmented (in-house Fintech) approach is tailored for your unique needs.
  • Model 2 – Magic Owned (Outsourced to Magic): Our talent and skill sets are engaged for your activities from our premises and the end-to-end ownership lies with Magic FinServ as well. With services such as a shared service desk with customers, automated QA, release and deployment to the cloud, and cloud infrastructure including build and QA for quicker releases and smoother management.
  • Model 3 – Magic Assisted (Co-Source): Where your requirement is integrated with Fintech Ecosystem – Dev, QA, Support Production, and Distribution of Content.

With Magic FinServ’s Accelerator Program, you get the best in terms of consultation, and you can profit from the experiences of our consultants to navigate the complex global digital landscape with our rich pool of experienced enterprise technologists executing tasks creatively and achieving zero latency for our clients.

We can help organizations identify areas for improvement within their organization, allowing them to optimize their processes and maximize efficiency with the right tools and approach.

You can also benefit from our partnerships with the best including DCAM (Data Management Capability Assessment Model) and Magic FinServ’s distinguished network of global senior executives and venture capitalists across the financial services technology industry.

In conclusion, the times might indeed be tough, but a recession does not last forever and a bit of restraint and restructuring, we might all still sail through. Or as Warren Buffet indicates if history is any indication of the future, the economy always recovers. For more on how we can be of help, write to us

Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus are in a quandary.

Up at the North Pole where they have been working overtime, it is crunch time for Mr. and Mrs. Claus and their team. They know children across the world are counting the days when Santa will climb down their chimney and secretly leave them their favorite toys in the secrecy of the night. Children have been good the whole year in anticipation of the gifts they will receive. But as Christmas nears, Santa and Missus are not sure if they will be able to fulfill every child’s request anymore. A glitch has been unearthed.

Thanks to the five Naughty Elves, quality levels and deadlines have not been met. With the quality checkers and regulators breathing down their necks, Santa is worried that there would be more toys in the Island of Misfit Toys and not enough for his reindeer sleighs that would be racing overtime on the eve of Christmas.

Exposing Santa’s Naughty Elves

Bad Boy Billy and Bad Data Throwing a Spanner during Xmas Merriness

Bad Boy Billy: Bad Boy Billy, the naughtiest elf in Elfland has been up to no good. He is most likely to be shelved by Santa. Due to his carelessness, the toy-making factory missed several deadlines and Santa is likely to face a bad rap as children across the world question his credibility when they do not get their favorite toy. There is no one who can make Bad Boy Billy realize that when you use poor-quality raw materials you will only get low-grade toys. No matter, the best 3D technologies are at your disposal.

Similarly, for Financial Institutions and Fintechs, Poor Data Quality is the Bad Boy Billy. Too often, they have not bothered to improve their data quality which is bad for their businesses.

Source: @DiegoKuonen 

Here’s what counts as poor-quality data

  • Data that is entered wrongly at the entry-level primarily due to oversight and overwork
  • Incomplete data or data missing certain details in forms and invoices
  • Data coming from websites and other third-party sources can also be fallacious
  • Poorly labeled or unlabeled data – data that is lacking in metadata
  • Data that is unstructured and difficult to organize – requires digitization
  • Data inconsistency and disjointedness due to its existence in multiple silos or emanating from different channels and sources.

If you retain bad-quality data, you cannot create Magic. So as an organization if you are not doing something about your bad data, you will make poor decisions, business inefficiencies will continue no matter the cutting-edge technologies incorporated and implemented, you will miss out on opportunities, and ultimately you will not meet the expected revenue targets. As today’s business demands last-mile process automation, integrated processes, and a cleaner data fabric that democratizes data access and use across a broad spectrum of processes, good-data quality is imperative that you can ill afford to ignore.

Another Naughty Elf, Trixie Trouble, makes Santa Less Jolly this Christmas by not following Process Automation

While 3D is a major disrupting trend in toy making, Trixie Trouble with her penchant for carelessness has gone ahead and made Santa less jolly by not enabling 3D – the process automation of toy making.

Many organizations resort to automation without realizing that without reaching the critical mass of process automation, they cannot achieve the desired results. Today, process automation has become quintessentially associated with Banks, FinTechs, Hedge Funds, Asset Managers, Brokers, and others dealing with a massive and steady flow of financial, business, and operational data that must be parsed on a day-to-day basis.

Here are some of the common mistakes that organizations make when it comes to automation and which must be rectified at the earliest for desired results:

Financial Institutions and FinTech that have not optimized their critical processes, most of which exist in silos, are like Father Christmas less likely to be jolly this Christmas as well because they have squandered away the opportunities.

If trying to become a Duplicate Santa to steal gifts was not enough, Grinchy Grinch Face tried stealing the Christmas Spirit as Well

Grinchy Grinch Face tried stealing Santa’s identity. He tried to become a duplicate Santa and steal the gifts and the spirit of Christmas, but he failed.

Duplicate Data is any data shared with other data in the database. Apart from increasing storage costs, duplicate data results in missed opportunities and comes in the way of the delivery of personalized content to consumers.

Not just duplicate data, fintech or financial institution you must be able to leverage the power of unique customized solutions, and not cut corners with a one-size fits all solution (which unfortunately is a common experience). However, Magic FinServ’s advisory and fintech accelerator program facilitates customized solutions tailored to varied business and organizational needs.

Bah Humbug nixes Christmas once again because of incorrect deliveries

True to his ways, Bah Humbug has once nixed the Christmas spirit. Santa is worried that the delivery of the wrong toys would result in unhappiness and spoil his name. All because Humbug did not cross-check which gifts had to be delivered to whom. Same in case of FIs, they should be thorough with the testing – whether of the APIs, the infra and the environment. When you do not test APIs, the environment and the infrastructure for efficiency and performance, the costs rack up higher, the user experience is poorer, and you get a rejection or an extremely disappointed child by delivering wrong gift to them

Nuisance Nelly fails to follow DevOps practices in its right spirit, and angers Santa.

Nelly has failed to avail the benefits of cloud and platform engineering and so scaling up the production of toys will take time – resulting in unmet demands.

Santa is angry at her because she has the habit of saying Done when she is not actually ready. In DevOps and Project Management Methodology, being ‘Ready’ to start a project/sprint is vital as indicating you are ‘Done’.

You need to test your requirements and validate that not only can you write test cases against each requirement but also ensure that the definitions are clear and without ambiguity for good code, and a defect-free production environment. Get it wrong and you will face large costs due to rework and possible system outages and damage to your company’s reputation and be burdened by tech debt.

Also, when it comes to installing a production ready environment for quicker and more efficient work, cloud-native approach and platform engineering facilitates the capacity to easily grow horizontally, which in the case of FinTechs and financial organizations might even lead to more revenue generation.

Don’t Worry! Good Elves still hold up the Christmas Spirit…

As Santa frets, few good elves hold up the Christmas spirit. Like the three wise men who bore with them gifts for baby Jesus, the good elves have been working overtime to ensure that there is a smile on every child’s face.

Some of the good Elves who have been working overtime are:

Holly: This good elf is responsible for last mile process automation and RPA (Robotic Process Automation) to ensure that customer experience, in this case, millions of children are blessed with benefits realization (the toy they desire for being good).

Happy: This elf works closely with Holly to enable the building of frictionless CI/CD pipelines. At Magic FinServ too we have a proprietary automation fabric framework to build frictionless CI/CD and automated testing pipelines, using custom or open-source tools; thus, enhancing the time-to-market and a happier client experience.

Merry: Merry is at the helm has the responsibility to ensure things (fall in line) without fail – a proactive SLA-driven support / maintenance of applications, environments, and infrastructure (cloud) to ensure scalability, stability, and availability. She is also making it easier for Holly and Happy by cleaning the back and middle office operations by automating the acquisition, consumption, and distribution of data.

The happy elves will not allow duplicate data to get in the way of Christmas Cheer. Here is how they find and merge duplicates using an AI and ML powered tool (DeepSight TM ) and applying data governance best practices when it comes to fulfilling their requests on a worldwide scale without glitches.

The good elves know that collaboration in the right spirit can get the work done – the toys made, packaged, and delivered to their rightful owners, with ease impossible otherwise – hence they follow the DevOps approach with testing involved right from the outset along with other best practices for Product Backlog refinement and sprint planning sessions, and much more.

In a Nutshell: Long Story in Short

The above tale is of course a work of friction. But we guarantee that should Santa ever be in dire need of automation support for scaling up his toy-making factory, we would be delighted to help, just as we would be glad to be of help to any financial organization or fintech planning to scale their digital transformation initiatives with automation, artificial intelligence, cloud, and robust DevOps practices without costs spiraling out of control in these troubled times. For more on how our good elves – our experts in finance and technology, and our Fintech Accelerator program can help reach desired potential reach out to us at

We all at Magic FinServ wish you and your family Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year! Cheers!

“The second vice is lying, and the first is running in debt.” Benjamin Franklin, The Way to Wealth

While no organization wants to run into debts, lack of foresight, poor coding practices, and equally poor-quality code, patchwork, existing legacy architecture and increasing pressure to remain competitive means that unerringly they end up in the black hole of tech debt.

According to American programmer Ward Cunningham, “Accumulating technical debt is similar to the accumulation of monetary debt. It simply escalates if you do not act in time.”

What Causes Tech Debt?

Even today, many organizations are still relying on applications that were written several decades ago. There is no question that these have become obsolete. The application’s lifecycle has run its course and both from a technology perspective as well as from a business perspective where the organization must assimilate dynamically fluctuating business needs, the application’s utility, or its ability to match pace with changing needs has eroded. However, as the cost of migrating to the tech stack is extremely prohibitive, and because there is a chronic shortage of skills required for implementing that migration, organizations have stayed manifested with redundant tech stacks. To make matters worse, employees who had knowledge about the intricacies of the platform are either leaving or retiring and so over a period of time organizations have fewer and fewer people to understand what is was going on. They were also operating on very limited information.

How does Tech Debt Build Up?

Two industry examples to illustrate how tech debt builds up to the point of crashing application or making any new feature or value addition prohibitive

  1. A large commercial bank involved in payments had hardcoded some counters which are affected by the volume of payments transactions going through. Typically, during times of uncertainty or upheaval such as an election where the incumbent could get defeated or let’s suppose a scenario such as the one that happened in Great Britain where a sudden shock announcement of a mini-budget sent the economy into a tailspin and the currency crashing, resulting in a lot of payment transfers, a tech debt build-up due to some variables hardcoded in the system, could cause the system to crash as it is unable to handle the increased workload. In the process, people will not be able to transfer money to meet the liquidity or safety requirements.
  2. While some technical debt is manageable, as perfection even in the technology realm is near impossible, the accumulated weight of maintenance costs when things do not work as planned can be a constraint as observed in the case of a prominent insurance company. The company was utilizing an extremely old and archaic policy administration platform for processing. Problems cropped up every time the insurer came up with a new insurance product or feature addition primarily because the product was managed on the archaic administrative platform. As the platform was saddled with tons of tech debt, extensive changes had to be made every time a new product or new features were added making it an unsustainable exercise.

Tech Debt more than a Manifestation of an Engineering Problem – A Pictorial Depiction

Primarily a manifestation of an engineering problem, but there’s a cultural angle to it as well as multiple teams and stakeholders are involved often holding diametrically opposite views in the decision-making process. Technical debt arises when a project takes much longer than expected to ship. That is to say, it metamorphizes from a sound-looking plan on paper to a source of never-ending expenditure (a black hole of spend), with project delivery nowhere in sight.

So, here’s a question for you. Can you spot how one can end up accumulating technical debt taking cues from the illustration (courtesy: vincentdnl) below?

Clearly, there is a dissonance between what is expected and the end result.

  • The leaky roof cannot be just patched up. That’s an example of poor engineering strategy. A band-aid or patchwork approach is only useful in the initial stages, when projects scale, it is simply not enough.
  • Someone has clearly not paid attention to the foundation. Alignment problems exist. (In software it translates into code defects) In software it translates into code defects. Not enough attention is paid to the testing of code, and inconsistencies, bugs, and legacy code defects have spiraled into a humongous never-ending problem.
  • There are pillars but clearly not functional.
  • There is an obvious lack of responsibility and poor technical stewardship. The pressure of early release has resulted in quick fix testing.
  • The team has been using a band-aid or patchwork approach to getting the work done.
  • We also think that the definition of “done” is clearly not understood or ambiguous. Standards evidently do not exist.
  • End result: Delayed timelines, Spiraling costs, technical debt Black Hole

Reasons for Tech Debt

  1. Technical debt is generally thought of as an application code problem. Sometimes either deliberately or inadvertently, some gaps are either introduced or allowed to remain as is as it is more important to release a product than make it picture perfect. If the underlying code issues are not addressed in time, teams could end up confronting a “code smell” which is a signal that things would have to be worked all over again.
  2. Documentation debt: This is yet another significant yet underestimated cause of technical debt. This occurs when teams create code but forget to pay attention to supporting internal documentation, such as code comments that explain how the program works and what was the intent behind it. Also, code comments should be in a form that dispels confusion instead of creating new ones. There are long-term repercussions and costs arising due to poor documentation. Each new member would have to start all over again in the absence of proper documentation.
  3. With new age born-in-the-cloud institutions like Monzo, Starling, Robinhood, etc., giving stiff competition to the bigger players there is increasing pressure to revamp the crumbling legacy architecture and give it a new look by hosting their legacy applications in the cloud. However, if you simply rehost the application on the cloud as-is without considering other factors that might affect its performance and functionality you might end up with elevated costs and significant operational issues.

Our Magic FinServ’s Accelerator to the Rescue

We understand the complexities of the Fintech and the Capital Markets business and have a thorough understanding of the current scenario. We go through source code and whatever limited documentation is available to understand what is happening and the gaps that exist therein.

Our strength happens to be our very strong QA automation practice. And of the key aspects of QA automation practice is to follow the functional feature from start to end.

  • Adopting an Agile Approach to and following a continuous cycle through design, coding, testing, and analysis.
  • Catching the bugs early with automated regression tests whenever the code is altered
  • Introducing test automation incrementally through the development cycle.
  • Having room for quick ramp-ups

We can use all these techniques to understand what is happening.

We can take care of documentation debt and once it has been identified and is under resolution, we then take care of tech debt.

We also take care of technical debt, for instance by building code on microservices. Microservices are ideal for developing, testing, deploying, and updating services independently, resulting in faster deployment.

Replacing front-end UI/UX modules with better UI/UX modules using microservices and connecting it to the backend platform using APIs.

Gartner has defined three application categories, or “layers,” to distinguish application types and help organizations develop more-appropriate strategies for each: Systems of Record, Systems of Differentiation, and Systems of Innovation. This is ideal for applying what to retain or which is most valuable in the existing application, and simultaneously carving out and replacing things that add to the tech debt by replacing it with microservices and connecting to APIs.


Technical debt is more than house cleaning. It causes damage in more ways than one. It demotivates teams, creates chaos, and most importantly slows down the modernization process. The best way to deal with it is to quickly underwrite a strategy to cut technical debt costs before a stink is raised. For more on how we can help, write to us at

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