Online bank in 2 months - using our API Tiit, 04 Apr 2016
There are 2 main approaches integrating online banking with back-end systems - directly or via API. Our first projects were based on direct integrations. Now we offer our API as an alternative for integration.
It is faster, gives the customer better economics and offers more flexibility in the future steps. That has been the case in 2 projects already.
Just two months after the start of one project, a new online bank for private customers was ready for customers with the basic functionality - accounts, cards, payments. Next weeks the focus was on the mobile version.
That speed was possible thanks to integration using our API. So far in our online banking projects we had integrated with source systems directly. In some instances that was more than 5 separate integrations. Core banking, card system, email system, CRM, etc. That takes some time - in our practice, integration can be more than 50% of the time spent on project.
Customers are different - some want that the integration is done by Codeborne, some are willing to do the integration works themselves. This particular bank has skilled IT personnel and they chose the latter.
Looking from customer’s shoes, this approach gives higher speed of development, i.e. quicker time to market. We could focus more on customizing UI and various features and the customer on integration issues as they know thoroughly bank’s back-end systems and product specialities. Such sharing of tasks eventually translates to more efficient use of available resources and better economics of the project. Joint responsibility of the end result increases the involvement of bank employees in the process, thus giving the bank increased knowledge of the new online banking system.
Important to note that the vast majority of this project was done by 3 persons only - 1 at the customer and a pair from Codeborne. Good speed considering that this project had quite significant customization requirements, both in UI and functionality.
Developed with the customer
We worked out the API together with the first customer, who was very flexible and willing to work in this Agile flow. Since our API is public, one of the challenges was naming that had to be universally understandable and consistent. In our internal collective code reviews we often reviewed the next developments of the API and synced naming etc and customer made respective changes.
Integration using our API gives the customer more flexibility and independency both today and tomorrow. The bank can migrate and change internal components without involving us or changing the online banking code. A good example happened in this particular case, when the customer was switching from one card processing solution to another, without the need to make changes in the online banking.
- integration using the API is faster (given the bank has internal or partner team for the work inside the bank)
- it is more economical for the bank
- it gives the bank more flexibility in the future.
Continuing in the same Agile tempo, our customer has today a fully functional online bank for both private and business customers and mobile versions for both of them.
We have used this approach already with 2 customers. Will you be the next?