Build, Buy, or Both? Choosing the Right Tech Stack

With more than 23.5 million U.S. households engaging in mobile banking, regional and super-regional banks have no choice but to explore ways that innovative technologies can help them set themselves apart in the digital world. The search for opportunities to elevate your customers’ experiences with your bank begins with investing in the right tech stack.

But when it comes to selecting new technology, banks often face a difficult decision: Should they build or buy?

Here’s how to make the right decision, the first time. 


The Hidden Hurdles to Building Your Own Tech Stack

As banks have built out their IT staffs and hired developers within their organizations,  it may seem like an obvious choice to create proprietary technology using those resources. After all, we’ve all heard the phrase, “If you want something done right, you’ve got to do it yourself,” right? 

But as tempting as a privately-owned tech stack can seem, there’s some inherent problems when it comes to developing your own software solutions.



There’s a lot to consider when you’re crunching numbers, like the cost of finding, hiring, and training an internal team to develop your software. Even if you’re already hired a team, there may be specialty needs beyond the scope of their abilities. Once the tech is built and beta-tested, you’ll need to retain a team of developers for ongoing updates and customer support. The long-term needs of building could leave you with a higher human capital cost than you expected. 



Time is another important factor—building brand-new customized tech isn’t typically a fast project. In fact, a recent study showed that companies that chose to build a tech stack rather than buy existing technologies were innovating at a nearly 20% slower rate than other, similar businesses.



An often overlooked hurdle to designing and building proprietary technology is connectivity. Beyond the basic solutions your software provides, you’ll want to determine what it will take for your team to integrate it with your other applications and systems so you can be certain of delivering a well-rounded customer experience. If not, what’s the potential cost and timeline of making that happen?


Betting on a Buy

If you’ve ruled out building your own technology, the other option may be to look at buying software that can deliver a faster and simpler experience—but is it the right option for you?

If you’ve decided to outsource your tech needs by buying an already-existing solution, how can you ensure that it fits your bank’s needs? Will you be able to implement feedback from your customers to improve their experience with an off-the-shelf product? Can you count on that connectivity to your other apps and systems? When you buy technology, those types of decisions can sometimes be dictated by how many other customers want the same thing. 

With so many questions involved in the buying process, you may feel like your bank is in a bind—so how do you move forward?


The Best of Both Worlds

There’s a third path: Choose a technology partner

The right tech partner can give you a “buy” solution to start with, and then partner with you to “build” what you need on top of their solution—providing you and your customers with the best of both worlds. 

Finding the right tech partner can give you a head start on what you need to do and can be the very best solution for your bank’s tech needs. From flexible solutions to long-term innovation, the right tech partner serves as an extension of your team.

So, you’re not sure whether to build or to buy? Give your firm a leg up on the competition and choose a partner to create a centralized and unified tech stack instead.


Find Your Perfect Partner

Ready to build your perfect tech stack with the right partner? Schedule a demo with Wealth Access today to see how we can take your systems to the next level.


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