Product Roadmap for 2019
We made our product roadmap public last year. To continue that tradition, we decided to do the same this year. Here is what we plan to accomplish this year:
Card Issuance (Q2)
We are building our direct processors with both Mastercard and Visa. This will help not only speed up API calls around card issuance, but will also open up features like Just-in-Time funding, MCC restrictions, Dynamic Spending Controls and Credit BINs¹.
Brokerage Accounts (Q2)
We will launch v1 of our Brokerage product this year. Last year, we spent a lot of time working on our RIA product only to realize that where we really can add value is at the brokerage account API level². So we will launch brokerage this year and probably work on RIA next year.
Last year we launched our loan origination and servicing product. This year we will do the following to make it better:
- Make it easier for developers to apply for a warehouse line of credit directly through us so that they do not have to go to third-parties to seek it.
- We also will be adding automated loan collections as a part of the offering that would include text and phone reminders for payments.
Europe and Canada (Q4)
Our goal is to launch our services in Europe (including the UK) and Canada this year.
Version 1 of Canada and Europe will include: payments, deposits and debit card issuance. Lending and Investment products will most likely follow next year.
KYC and Risk (Q1-Q4)
We expect a lot of improvements to our ID verification and Video Auth stack in general along with lots of new add-ons around duplicate profile detection, fraud and transaction monitoring, and improvements to SSN, phone number, email and IP data.
Chatbot Platform (Q4)
A lot of our customers want us to help them with end customer support. So this year we will launch a chatbot platform that will be able to take over support for developers. So something like Intercom, but with added automation around actions since we can perform read and write to user profiles³.
Self Service (Q4)
Our goal is to make Synapse self service by end of year, so that developers can shop, build and launch all our products online without needing to talk to us. I do not think we will be able to get to 100% self-service here, but I think we will come super close. And if we can accomplish this, expect significant cost reduction to our services.
Seed Financing (Q4)
We will do our very best to launch a seed investing program this year. Our goal is to connect companies built on top of Synapse with enthusiastic seed investors to help facilitate seed rounds, which will be a mix of Synapse credits and actual cash.
Since 2019 is our first year doing expansion, we do not want to take on too much at once. But after 2019, our goal is to add support for two key markets each year plus one underserved market where we will build consumer-facing products until developer ecosystems are built⁴.
 We did not make our credit card issuance product public last year precisely for this reason. We wanted to launch credit BINs with our direct processors just to make things easier for us. But expect to be able to launch credit BINs on top of our loan products to either launch a credit card or for doing point-of-sale financing.
 Last year we were supposed to launch an RIA API, but we realized that basic brokerage APIs are not democratized yet. So we started working on brokerage instead. Once we’ve launched brokerage APIs, we’ll do IRAs and then a financial advice product on top of our chatbot platform.
 Another thing that we did not deliver on last year were our behavioral science products. The reason for not doing them last year was because it would’ve required heavy lifting from our platforms and the outcome would’ve had significant variance based on the implementation. So we put a pause on that and will be doing those products inside our chatbot platform instead.
 If you want to visualize how we would build in underserved markets, Branch and M-Pesa with open APIs come close. Our goal here is not to compete, but to only go to markets that others are not attempting.
Originally published at Synapse’s Blog on Mar 26, 2019.