Case study

Incumbent bank sets its sights on revamping mobile app for fintech-worthy experience

Shiwaforce delivers proof-of-concept application and backend solution in cross-border project to support retail bank’s ambition to catch up with neobank competitors.

“Working in such a diverse team of people was an incredible experience. Everyone brought their own domain expertise, workflows, tools and needs, plus a good dose of openness and flexibility to make it all work.

The delivery was extremely smooth and left us confident in our ability to build great applications fast.”

Olivér Nagy

DevOps Product Owner, DevOps Natives

2 months

needed to deliver POC app and backend

4

vendors from different countries

The Story

Our client is part of a fast-growing banking group with operations and over 18 million customers in a dozen countries.

As many incumbents, in recent years our client has found itself losing ground to much smaller but all the more compelling competitors. Challenger banks, with their sleek mobile apps, minimal markups and customer-first thinking, have completely redrawn the financial services landscape – and how people interact with their finances.

The Challenge

And they’re here to stay. By BAI’s count, there are now more than 400 neobanks worldwide serving a whopping one billion client accounts. According to a Cornerstone Advisors study published in July, challengers and fintechs captured 47% of all new checking accounts opened this year. This means a growth of 11% compared to 2020.

 

Our client decided to beat the competition at its own game. First things first, they wanted to give their mobile application a fresh, streamlined look to better meet customer expectations. Going under the hood, the bank also set out to shorten new feature development and release cycles to just a few sprints.

 

The problem was that their current mobile banking solution didn’t offer much flexibility to either the bank or its customers. Time-to-market for new product builds also needed to become more competitive. The application was built by an external vendor, who was way too slow to respond to change requests and deliver new features.

The Solution

We were asked to deliver a proof of concept, or POC, for a mobile application and backend solution that showed users’ transaction history after login and allowed currency exchange using real-time currency rates. A POC is a crucial tool in software development to demonstrate the feasibility and real-world potential of a proposed idea or concept before committing to it. If it is successful, the project may be expanded to include other features based on user feedback and market demand.

The POC application and backend system was developed in line with agile methodologies, with a focus on rapid prototyping and iterative development to ensure that the project meets the required functionality and performance standards.

The process started with exploring the client’s business needs, defining the scope of work, setting a timeline and laying out roles and responsibilities. The latter was especially important as the project involved several collaborators from multiple countries, who have never worked together before. We established clear and consistent communication with remote teams early on, which helped us avoid misunderstandings, solve problems faster and stay on track throughout the development cycle.

The Result

The POC was delivered, including a fully functional mobile application for both Android and iOS, in just under two months after development started. It ticked all the functionality boxes required by the client, which was in no small part thanks to the weekly demo meetings we held. During these sessions, the project teams diligently gathered feedback and, if agreed on, incorporated it into the project.

The other reason, points out Olivér Nagy, DevOps product owner at Shiwaforce, was the client’s deep understanding of market and business processes as well as customer needs. “They clearly articulated what they wanted right off the bat, so the requirements specification was created super fast. They were also quick to iron out any hiccups that came up during development.”

The collaboration between the cross-border project teams, Olivér explains, was just as impressive as the outcome. “Working in such a diverse team of people was an incredible experience. Everyone brought their own domain expertise, workflows, tools and needs, plus a good dose of openness and flexibility to make it all work.

The delivery was extremely smooth and left us confident in our ability to build great applications fast.”

The results speak for themselves

After 20+ years with Central Europe’s leading IT and Telco stakeholders, we gathered a few instructive and inspirative stories worth sharing with those who are brave enough to dream big.