Beware What Hides Beneath the Surface
To avoid trouble, more attention needs to be placed on the platform that clients never see, but that supports the weight of their user experience. This underlying infrastructure is where rapidly changing product catalogs, flexible decision engines, automatic document generation, integration to new fintech services and the ability to start, save and resume an onboarding transaction are managed. These less visible elements constitute the hard parts of building a new banking platform, hidden from view but critical to the operation.
Following this advice, a bank can find a development path that allows them to offer differentiated, high- value digital features to their customers without getting caught in a risky, overdue project. Banks and their internal development and design teams should be focusing on the visible portion, “above the water”. That means the user experience (UX), the branding, and the style of engagement with their customers. Banks should focus on the design and style projecting how they want to be perceived by their customers.
Beneath the surface is the risky and hard-to-maintain infrastructure. Orchestrating the interactions with outside FinTech services, managing encryption and protection of customer data, rendering interfaces across multiple devices, and generating documentation for both the customer and for back-office systems are complex and maintenance heavy operations. This is the long hard work that does not attract customer attention – unless it goes wrong.
Put Internal Effort where it Adds Most Value
For basic infrastructure and core functionality, banks should make use of proven commercial digital banking platforms – where the software vendor spreads the cost of maintenance and enhancement across hundreds of customers, instead of the bank being burdened with development and maintenance internally.
This frees up scope for the bank to apply specialized, customer-focused expertise to build a unique UX on top of the commercial platform.
Remember, if you just focus on the look and feel, and don’t plan on how to build a scalable and flexible platform underneath, it’s a Titanic mistake.