Fintech as an industry has always been very receptive to new technologies. The huge volume of transactions, the low tolerance for risk, and the need for instant processing made software a perfect force multiplier and the main competitive advantage for Fintech companies.
While choosing a Fintech software businesses are considering many criteria such as price, scalability and opportunity of API integrations, reliably high performance, compliance, security, time to market, etc. But all these indicators are primarily impacted by the programming language used.
Each programming language has its pros and cons. Some of them can enhance efficiency, flexibility, and security. Older backend techs are becoming less valuable and can expose Fintech software applications to operational and safety risks. In this article, we will discuss the top 5 programming languages for Fintech software development and describe the pros and cons of each.
Java is an object-oriented language known for its portability, scalability, and enhanced security features. Java is used in many Fintech systems because it is an established language with an extensive library of third-party components, making it easy to develop complex Fintech software.
Java has robust and easy-to-use security APIs and applies OOPs concepts like encapsulation, abstraction, and inheritance, which increase security and prevent unauthorized user access.
The programming language provides high stability and can operate on any device.
Let’s look at each of the cons that Java has separately.
Slow and Poor Performance. Compared to some other programming languages, Java requires more memory and is relatively slower due to the additional work required by the interpreter to convert code into machine language. The Java Virtual Machine performs various backend functions, including automatic garbage collection, that can decrease program speed and affect performance.
Poor Graphical User Interface. The Graphical User Interface builder in Java is poor and unable to build complex UI.
Cost. Due to its higher processing and memory requirements, Java is a little more expensive than other options.
Given its popularity worldwide, it’s no surprise that Python significantly influences the Fintech industry. Google searches tracked by PyPI indicate that Python ranks as the
most popular programming language globally.
Python has gained popularity because it’s simple, flexible, and one of the easiest coding languages to learn — especially for beginners. Python’s clear and easy-to-read syntax is crucial in writing programs and applications that address complex financial challenges. It can also be scaled to meet the needs of diverse financial companies, from small startups to large banks.
The extensive collection of tools and packages in Python’s library greatly simplifies the life of programmers by eliminating the need to build projects from scratch, thus saving valuable time and effort. Python is popular in data analysis, machine learning, and AI.
Python does not have lots of cons, but there are some limitations you should be aware of.
Speed limitation. Python is a dynamically typed and interpreted programming language, thus the program is not fast when executing code. This can be a problem if speed is a crucial point of the project.
Mobile development limitations. Python performs poorly when used to create mobile applications because of slow program processing rate and below-average memory efficiency.
Security issues. Python’s database access layer is comparatively underdeveloped with certain limitations when accessing databases. Therefore the programming language is vulnerable to security issues, and its usage comes with inherent risks that one must bear in mind.
Golang, also known as Go – an open-source programming language developed by Google in 2009 – is fast taking over other programming languages for Fintech businesses that want to get to market fast and need a technology backend that is simple, scalable, and easy to maintain.
HackerRank Go stands out as one of the fastest-growing languages. Go’s popularity is growing at a rate of 190% and employer demand for Go increased by 301% (as of December, 2022).
Go has lots of attributes over other programming languages. is designed to handle high-load services, making it an ideal choice for building Fintech applications. It’s simple and compiles at ninja speed. Concurrency allows multiple applications to operate simultaneously, resulting in better performance and use of resources. Cross-platform compatibility is a crucial functionality in Fintech applications; one which Golang offers. It allows devices or software to operate across more than one hardware platform or operating system. Thus, Fintechs can gain access to a much larger audience by offering access to applications across different platforms or devices, including tablets, smartphones and laptops.
Fintech companies like Paypal, Nubank, Velmie, Chime, Capital One and American Express are already using Go as their go-to programming language because it is so well suited to running high-load, distributed applications built on a microservices architectural foundation.
One of the main drawbacks of Go is its relative newness in the market, which means it may have fewer libraries and resources available compared to more established languages. Additionally, finding experienced developers who are proficient in Go may be challenging.
Ruby is known for its simplicity and productivity, which is why many startups in the digital finance industry use it in conjunction with the Ruby on Rails framework. The built-in security features of the framework and the language’s ease of use, which saves time and money, are some of the main reasons developers prefer it. Ruby is also known for its security, and flexibility, making it suitable for building various financial products, including payment systems and dashboards, and is a strong choice for creating an MVP (minimum viable product).
Among the main cons of Ruby can be identified:
Slow performance. Ruby’s performance is not as fast as some other programming languages, which could be a concern if you are developing a high-performance project.
Lack of flexibility. Ruby’s strict adherence to standards and paradigms may limit flexibility when it comes to changing the core codebase, as many of the set objects are pre-configured and cannot be easily modified by developers. This is one of the biggest disadvantages of Ruby.
Improper Documentation. The documentation for some libraries and tools used in Ruby application development may not always be up to date. This may result in wasted development time and effort as developers try to find and implement the required functionality.
Fintech is a highly competitive industry that is continually evolving, and using the proper programming language can give businesses the competitive edge they need. Each programming language has advantages and disadvantages, and Fintech businesses must choose the language that best fits their requirements.