How Banks Can Innovate Like a Startup - Servoy

How Banks Can Innovate Like a Startup

6
Oct 2020

Faster Fintech: From Idea to Production in 6 weeks 

Over the last decade, innovation in the traditional banking sector has been bogged down by regulatory compliance and slow decision-making. Fintechs have taken advantage of this gap by using digital channels to get closer to customers, quicker and at lower costs. 

Unfortunately, access to these new services is not yet universal. This was the case in Honduras, where COVID — and the strict lockdown resulting from it — caused banks’ revenue to drop by 60 to 80%. This is why SAF Soluciones (please find the Spanish version of this announcement here) one of our clients that specializes in core banking software, came to us with a proposal: “We want to build a new fintech that tackles this issue. We’re doing it from scratch. Oh, and we need to do it in under 6 weeks.” It was an outrageous plan. Naturally, our reply was: “we are all in”. 

 

SAF Soluciones, one of our clients that specializes in core banking software, came to us with a proposal: “We want to build a new fintech that tackles this issue. We’re doing it from scratch. Oh, and we need to do it in under 6 weeks.”


LOI: The Secret to Success 

Here’s how SAF Soluciones went about getting customers on board. First, they identified the need for easier loan prequalification and decisioning. Next, they sent their bank customers an email with an overview of their new fintech’s solution, and asking anyone interested to reply with a letter-of-intent (LOI). To the surprise of almost everyone, three banks returned with LOI’s within 24 hours, signed by their respective boards. Wow, even @ElonMusk doesn’t move that fast!  

 

But Would They Make the Deadline?

SAF Soluciones asked whether we could support them in their efforts to build a minimum viable product (MVP) in SIX weeks. That’s when we showcased our Appsurance program to their development team, which helped map their upcoming challenges and ensure they stayed on track and on time. 

The requirements of the MVP in phase 1 were defined as:

  • Ready for a controlled launch of the app internally in the banks
  • Deployed on tablets operated by bank personnel in the bank branch (wifi) and for in-person customer visits (via the mobile network)
  • Able to feed pre-qualified leads back into the core banking system

 

For phase 2, SAF Soluciones agreed to deliver: 

  • A mobile app available to the external public, including new prospects and existing customers, on banks’ websites
  • This all within a deadline of only 4 additional weeks

 

In summary, the banks were asking for a lot, in a very compressed timeline. They wanted a mobile and web-based application, APIs and a solution with fairly complex business logic–all in a highly secure banking environment. 

 

Commitment and business success

From Servoy’s perspective, our main question to the ISV was: Suppose we all commit to this tight timeline, will you and your customer be able to get everything approved, tested, deployed and train banking employees by the deadline? How do we ensure real business success?

In only ten days later, while sprint one had not been finalized, the ISV had:

  • Involved the customer and demoed the first screens 
  • Impressed the customer, who only asked for minor tweaks
  • Created a testing and deployment strategy, which the customer agreed to

This week, the application went into production and the bank employees are being trained! 

 

Lessons learned

Move fast. Involve customers from day 1. Get their commitment to a deployment plan. Define and chase commercial success! 

Stay tuned!

How will this all turn out? Come back soon for more details about this true #Fintech #Agile #BusinessValueFirst #MVP story! 

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