Why financial software should be sold on a pay per use basis

January 12, 2017

Financial institutions, at least in the Nordic region, is still used to buying core business software like back office and broker solutions that are delivered to them on a server of their own and installed by a team of consultants while paying a large up-front fee. In 1999 Salesforce was launched and the way business software was sold was at least in my mind changed forever.

I am myself a Software as a Service junkie and an avid user of Atlassian, Salesforce, Office 365…you name it. In my opinion there is no reason for every “buying” software where you get a DVD or some other form of deliverable because the value of this piece of code has already depreciated to almost zero.

There is absolutely no value in software if it is not being constantly developed and has a team of developers behind it to make automatic upgrades and increase the usability of the software. This is for the same reasons why you should never own any asset that is depreciating because that is in fact a liability. For example, don’t own a car, lease it! Don’t own software, lease it!

This is why we at Bricknode are offering a completely online based software platform now without any contract terms. You sign up for almost nothing and you can cancel the service within the first 30 days and get your money back. If you want to cancel later, fine, just send a cancellation and you are off the hook.

Now, back to actually paying for what you use. My colleagues know that I absolutely love Atlassian, I use it for most of my companies that I participate in. For my smallest company I pay $30 per month and for my largest company I pay $2,000 per month and guess what, those fees correctly reflect the value I am getting from the subscription for each company.

The same thing goes for Bricknode, where else can you get a complete brokerage solution including back office, broker interface and customer portal for $70 per month? If you have 20,000 customers and you use a lot of add-ons you will be paying above $10,000 per month but that should reflect the value that you are getting from using the software or something is wrong with your or our business model.

Imagine that a financial institution would like to offer a new product, maybe they would like to offer online trading of shares to their customers or distribution of mutual funds. For $70 per month they can have a complete system up and running with Bricknode the same day it is ordered. They can try it on a few customers, see if the business is promising, if not they can just discontinue the service and cancel the software.

I think that everyone building a FinTech company should think in this manner and work with monthly fees like this, remember, if the incentive is not there for developers to incrementally improve their software service there is no value for customers or the company producing the software. Without ongoing development and with the current speed that the financial world and regulatory environment is moving any financial software will be dead in 3 months. Well…maybe a little bit exaggerated but you get the picture!