Imagine you have just been granted a license to launch a Neo / Digital / Challenger Bank and now have a tight deadline from regulators and financial backers to launch your shiny new Digital / Platform, Deposit / Lending Product, and an accompanying App. Your product strategy is clear. Your deadlines are clear. The clock is ticking on the technology strategy & delivery….. The CTO is busy trying to find and recruit the talent that will create the new Tech…. The list of questions that need to be answered is piling up…and maybe there are plenty of other questions you have not thought of yet…
If you are one of those Neo / Digital / Challenger Bank CEO or CTO who has already launched your tech platform, you will be very familiar with the above scenario. If you have not yet started your journey, this article will hopefully give you some insights and alternatives that can make your life a whole lot more easier.
Finding great tech talent is tough. Assembling a team of like minded techies who can bring your dream to life is tougher. Most Digital / Neo Banks that we know of, have spent in excess of 18 months to build & launch their MVPs to market — and in most cases, it has taken much longer. Why?
So many questions to answer…
Let’s consider those questions that keep coming…
- What is the Architecture of the platform?
- What Cloud platform should we use?
- What level of security controls should we implement? What is the best practice?
- What technology stack should I use?
- How do I manage the code build & deployment?
- How do I ensure high-availability of services?
- What APIs do I need to build?
- What Apps do I need to build for customers / relationship managers?
- What are the operational support processes? How do I implement them?
- How do I get sufficient insights and analytics to drive platform adoption?
…you get the picture!!
Getting your priorities right
Unfortunately, more often than not, this ever growing list of questions distracts you from the main game — getting the business & product strategy right, keeping the regulators and investors happy, and ensuring your product has the best chance of success in the market.
The rise of the Neobank SDK
Whilst the technology platform may be a key element of your Digital / Neo Bank strategy, a significant percentage of it is common / commodity components. We observe many businesses re-inventing this technology over and over again. The technology stack does not differentiate you from the rest of the pack. We have built and launched several Neobanks over the last 5 years and learnt a great deal about what is common and what is differentiating.
This is why we created the Neobank SDK. Everything you need to power your Neobank in one simple package.You are up and running on day 1 without the need for an army of engineers.
So, what exactly is the Neobank SDK? Simply put, it’s all the common tech components and processes, pre-integrated with working Apps & Products, so that you can simply extend the components to create your unique offer.
The Neobank Platform Architecture
What is in the box?
Multi-Cloud IaaS — all of the infrastructure that you need to run your neobank on your choice of public cloud (AWS, Azure, or GCP)
Secure — Bank grade security at the network & infrastructure level and application level and DevSecOps processes and tools to ensure application layer security
24x7 — High availability infrastructure and application architecture that ensures your platform is fault tolerant and highly resilient
Banking Services — a collection of APIs that can be used to manage fully digital customer onboarding and account origination for Deposits, Wallets, and Loans
Marketplace Services — a collection of APIs that can be used to present various products, product comparisons, and associated B2B and B2C ecommerce services
Core Services — a collection of core capabilities that are key to understanding customer’s needs via advanced analytics and serving them meaningful tips and recommendations
Open Banking Services — a collection of Open Banking & Aggregation APIs to enabling Open Banking compliance and new business models
Pre-built Apps — we package in the source code to several apps targeting Retail and SME consumers. These apps are designed to be accelerators that you can easily whitelabel and adapt for your own needs, which will save you months of development effort
Analytics Portal — allows you to gain insight into the activities of your customers on the platform, whether it be the features that are key to them or other products and services that they may be interested in
Admin Portal — a comprehensive portal that can be used by operational teams supporting the customers or relationship managers to gain a better understanding of the customer needs and service them better
API Portal — provides access to all the great APIs on the platform, for the developers and partners, together with the examples and use cases to get them up and running fast
DevOps — DevOps & DevSecOps processes that are required to simplify the end-to-end design, build, deploy, and manage activities on the platform
Monitoring & Alerting — processes & frameworks necessary to support a highly available and resilient platform including resource & service monitoring, transaction monitoring, & alerting etc.
What’s left to do?
To switch on the production platform, you will typically need integration into a core banking ledger system and / or payment rails (payment providers). This is typically an 8 to 10 week implementation. That’s it!!
So, what does this mean for the Neobank CEO & CTO?
- You have a working Neobank platform on day #1
- You have significantly reduced the technology delivery risk
- You have significantly improved the time to market for your Digital / Neo Bank & associated products
- You have a clear line of sight of up-front & ongoing costs
- You can now concentrate on refining, customising, and fine tuning the features that differentiate your proposition (instead of building the commodity components)
- Your teams can add on any missing or differentiating features by adding new APIs or extending the existing apps