Case Study
8 minutes

With internet banking quadrupling in Malaysia in the past decade, the financial sector started developing rapidly to improve the offer and quality of financial services.

The coronavirus pandemic has led to a wave of entrepreneurial efforts worldwide. With millions of new companies entering the market, it seems that there's a lot of interest in new services, especially in Southeast Asia.

The SEA region’s largely unbanked population and growing economy has become attractive for new market players offering fintech services. The growing middle class in Malaysia now has better access to the internet, and they're leading government-supported digitization.

Digital payments and digital wallet apps are paving the way for other services, followed by blockchain, digital remittances, crowdfunding, and other financial technologies. Given all this, it should be no surprise that fintech now plays a central part of Malaysia’s financial sector.

Discovery Phase for Startup Product Development

Discovery Phase as a Pathway To Future Funding

Our client is a Malaysian-based startup that needed assistance to develop an idea, check its viability, and find the necessary technology to make it work. The company soon realized how costly it would be to create a solution from scratch and focused on the fastest way to get to a prototype.

Here’s the roadmap that we suggested:

After analyzing the expense management market and its players, our client discovered needs not met by those companies. They saw this as a chance for themselves to get more involved in that niche.

One of the biggest roadblocks on the path of many startups, including our client, is, of course, financing. For this reason, we always recommend starting with the discovery phase and using all the insights acquired during this process to plan further phases and future decisions.

At Softjourn, Everything Starts with Analysis

Our Malaysia-based client decided to develop a new expense and management prepaid system. They wanted to make a clickable prototype by going through a product definition phase. Before committing to any white label system, we advise assessing all the risks only to understand the product and its impact on our client's business.

Previously, our client had worked with a white label e-wallet solution that came with many development risks, so they moved towards the idea of building an in-house solution. This would bring more benefits and increased control. The main functionalities client was looking to develop were expense management, invoice management and virtual/plastic cards.

When a company wants to base a new product on previous solutions, in-depth analysis is crucial to understanding how to incorporate everything into fully functional software.

Before choosing to work with a white label system, you need to analyze:

  • Assess payment provider APIs and their platform capabilities to understand which one will fit best.
  • Do a detailed architectural overview and thorough analysis of user roles and flows, and a final scope feature breakdown.
  • Evaluate all possible roadblocks and provide an estimate for building and deploying.

Benefits of a Discovery Phase

What makes project discovery phase for startup so valuable

Architecture and Discovery Phase Deliverables

With a sharp focus on what actually matters—the architecture analysis and discovery phase deliverables—development becomes faster and more cost-effective. Even if it's easier to use existing white label solutions in certain niches and industries, the discovery phase shows if that's the better solution compared to custom software development.

We need to understand the client’s needs to assure that:

  • MVP addresses the critical functionality needed to differentiate the client's service in the market.
  • MVP service is scalable to meet the longer-term plans.
  • The third-party services that have already been chosen, and those that are yet to be determined, are used in the best way to provide ultimate value.
  • There is a way to determine how to best break down functionality in the MVP phase and future phases.

At the end of the process, our team provided the client with:

  • Software Requirement Specifications (SRS)
  • Technology stack
  • Product functionalities
  • Detailed architecture definition
  • Wireframes
  • User journeys

The Software Requirement Specification (SRS) document included written documentation of all user workflows, all use cases for developing an MVP, and wireframes of all the screens/flows needed.

Another important document Softjourn generated was a detailed architecture definition that included architecture scheme, technologies involved, infrastructure setup, integrations, and detailed high-level system overview.

Our Malaysia-based client can now provide potential investors with detailed information about their product and ask for funding.

The Challenge: White Label vs. New Software

All software needs to evolve. Our client needed a partner with enough industry experience to guide them through the discovery phase, provide information about what technology would work best for them, and provide a mockup of their future solution.

The initial step for our teams was to collect and analyze old app flows, architecture, user personas, and mockups. Once we got all the necessary materials, we could analyze all the problems and come up with solutions.

White Label Solutions

New Software Development


● Cheaper development process

● Big time saver

● Get investment faster for further development

● Develop a product without backend

● Better solution in the short term


● Complete control over the product

● Clear timeframe for integrations

● Reduced technical risks

● Easier maintenance

● Better long term solution


● Not knowing the impact of a new feature

● No time estimate for integration process

● Problems with maintenance

● No control over the system

● Unknown technological risks


● Higher development cost

● More time needed to develop software

● Need for frontend and backend


The Complete Build Checklist for Startups
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Softjourn: Working with Startups to Jumpstart their Business

While white-label solutions are a solid option for many startups, one of their biggest benefits is allowing a young business to focus on core development and avoid beginner’s mistakes. Once companies have their feet firmly on the ground, they often outgrow white labels and their limitations. If you want to fully exploit your business’s unique offer, the best way to do it is to develop your solution.

Softjourn’s people have experience on both sides: helping our clients implement white labels and supporting them in developing custom solutions.

In addition to creating documentation and participating in real-time sessions with a potential build company, our teams provide clients with a solid foundation to further develop their products using defined milestones for timely delivery.