The Role of Coding in Fintech

The world of finance has been transformed beyond recognition by digital technologies.

Once, you would have to send a letter to approve a transaction, or at the very least, to pick up the phone. Now, the task can be done on your behalf with the help of software. Consequently, vast numbers of transactions can be carried out in any given second, and the modern financial ecosystem can exist as it does.

Of course, this technology is made possible only because the computers carrying out our instructions can actually understand them. Unfortunately, machines can’t (yet) understand natural languages, and so we have to convey those instructions in code.

What is coding?

Coding is the practice of writing instructions for computers. On a fundamental level, all code is a series of zeros and ones, which reflect the on-and-off states of very small transistors. By manipulating these numbers, we can perform increasingly complicated mathematical feats.

Coding directly in zeros and ones would naturally be very difficult. And so we have coding languages which represent that binary information in ways that human beings can understand. This might mean the HTML and Javascript that power the modern web, the C# that powers our favourite video games, or the code that we often find behind the scenes in fintech.

How is coding used in fintech?

Without the right code, fintech wouldn’t be possible. But there are plenty of different varieties to choose from, and the optimal solution will vary depending on the firm in question. A fintech law firm might recommend something that’s extremely secure, but you’ll also need to think about how the application being developed is actually going to work on the devices being targeted.

For the most part, there are four languages that fintech developers tend to favour. They come with their own pros and cons.


Not to be confused with Javascript, Java is well-established and comes with extensive support and third-party components. It’s also highly compatible with a range of devices, which is important in a world where the hardware is continuously shifting.


Python is enormously popular and very easy to learn. The syntax is easy to get to grips with, which makes code written here easy to read. This is a virtue that doesn’t just apply to beginners: when teams have a strong understanding of the language they’re writing in, mistakes can be spotted much more easily.


Golang (or ‘Go) was developed by Google in 2009, and it’s now among the fastest-growing languages, thanks to its simplicity and scalability. It can cope with high loads and distributed applications – in other words, it’s ideal for fintech. Since it’s been around for only a decade or so, it’s difficult to find truly experienced golang engineers – but this apparent drawback actually points to significant growth potential.


Ruby, along with the hugely popular Ruby on Rails framework, is preferred by many fintech startups. It comes with impressive security features baked in, and it’s extremely flexible and easy to use. On the other hand, the performance tends to suffer for some applications – so, if you’re working on something where every microsecond matters, it’s likely a good idea to go for something more performant.

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