Golang – an open-source programming language developed by Google in 2009 – is fast taking over from Java as the industry standard for FinTech businesses that want to get to market fast and need a technology backend that is simple, scalable, and easy to maintain.
Top fintech companies like Paypal, Nubank, Chime and American Express are already using Golang as their go-to programming language because it is so well suited to running high load, distributed applications built on a microservices architectural foundation.
Also called Go, the programming language was introduced by Google’s Ken Thompson, Robert Griesemer, and Rob Pike who set out to develop a language that combined the best features of other mainstay programming languages, like Java and C++.
According to Przemyslaw Potoczny, in his analysis of why to use Golang versus other programming languages, these include:
ensuring maximum use of multi-core power,
ensuring enhanced performance for networking,
ensuring high-level efficiency together with static typing,
providing state-of-the-art productivity with ease of use.
He concluded that Golang is “great for developing projects that require high modularity, high security, and high speed”, one great example being the FinTech industry.
Velmie has used Golang and microservices for its digital banking platforms and has found numerous benefits over other programming languages. Says Sasha, Velmie’s CTO:
“With the fast-paced innovation in the FinTech industry, it’s important to have a programming language like Golang that is straightforward to enact. Together with the microservices technological infrastructure that underpins our banking applications, Golang unlocks the scalability and efficiency of distributed networks”.
Velmie’s Senior product engineer Alex adds:
“Golang is our preferred programming language because it is specifically designed for FinTech applications that are differentiated from their competition because of their speed, flexibility, error-handling capabilities, and scalability”.
Golang’s main attributes over other programming languages – and reasons to choose it over other languages – are as follows:
Built to manage high load services. In the FinTech industry, applications need to run smoothly 24/7 and errors are identified and resolved swiftly. FinTech apps typically offer high load services, such as online chats and messaging, and requests that come through the need to be processed and addressed efficiently and effectively. Golang is well-suited to meet these requirements because it allows multiple applications to operate simultaneously and addresses each responsibility separately.
Simplicity. One of the main reasons American Express uses Golang is for its simplicity. The payment giant says Golang “is a simple as well as straightforward language to learn,” which means developers can quickly develop a good understanding and basic experience of the programming language and “jump on one project in a month or so”.
Concurrency. The ability to run programs independently of each other was one of the main premises on which Golang was built because it allows multiple applications to operate simultaneously, resulting in better performance and use of resources. Golang does this through simple built-in goroutines, which provide speed and flexibility not offered by Java. According Soft Kraft’s Paweł Dziubałka and Sebastian Karasiewicz say concurrent programs have been difficult to write in the past because it requires coordinating multiple resources. But with new, more powerful multi-core processors, Golang has been able to incorporate this as a core feature of its programming language.
Single Responsibility. Each task within a specific microservice has single responsibility for its functionality, which contributes to the simplicity and effectiveness of ensuring different modules within the application do what they are tasked to do.
Memory management. Memory management is the process of ensuring computer memory is optimized by assigning blocks to different running programs and controlling and coordinating these at a system level.
Static typing. Programming languages that use static, in contrast to dynamic, typing languages are easy to learn and failures in the code are immediately picked up rather than later down the line, which is the case with dynamic typing. This enhances the speed at which code can be written and its accuracy of it along the development journey.
Cross-platform compatibility. 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.
Together these attributes are a powerful motivation for choosing Golang over other programming languages when developing FinTech offerings. For these reasons, Velmie uses Golang, together with microservices, to develop groundbreaking and industry-leading digital banking platforms that are sufficiently scalable and flexible to adapt to new and changing customer needs.