By Thomas Rahman, Business Product Officer at Multitude Bank
Have you ever considered how much service providers like Netflix, Uber and Amazon have changed our daily lives? Personal, on-demand, seamless, always-on. Not necessarily keywords you’d associate with banking.
When Multitude Bank (part of the international fintech, Multitude) set about establishing SweepBank, we had a bold and disruptive vision – to bring the ‘Netflix experience’ to the banking industry.
We had a clear idea of the type of personalised, quality customer service we wanted to deliver but building the technology that would enable it was less easily defined. For a forward-thinking bank, we needed forward-thinking technology. That, however, posed a key strategic question that many companies from established industries looking to innovate can relate to:
Do we want to be the kind of business that builds these solutions themselves?
Or do we want to stay true to our vision and focus on delivering value to end-customers, while someone else supports with the heavy technical lift?
Now, SweepBank supports a growing list of 38,000 customers and is operational in three countries. But let’s rewind to explain how we got this digital-first customer-centric bank from concept to consumers.
The brief: targeting a younger audience
With over 15 years as a successful lender, SweepBank was an opportunity to expand our portfolio and offer customers a higher variety of services and greater value – from credit cards and a super-smart personalised app to tailored push offerings. Crucially, we wanted to onboard a new, younger customer set – a customer profile who notoriously demand both seamless digital solutions and a higher quality, responsive level of customer service. A recent survey found a third of Gen Z consumers were likely to change banking provider if they didn’t receive the level of customer service they expected, compared to a 20% average across age groups.
Taking inspiration from the likes of Amazon, Spotify, Uber, and Netflix and how they have changed the way we shop, listen and travel, we defined the SweepBank brief.
To outsource or not to outsource?
Reviewing several vendors to plug in the services we wanted revealed that white-label solutions were tricky to fit with our overall vision and model. There is no one-size-fits all when it comes to banking technology off the shelf.
But weighing up our options, it made sense to outsource the bulk of the technical lift from a cost and resource perspective. After all, our team are product development and customer service experts, not developers at the cutting edge of banking technology.
To overcome the limitations off-the-shelf presented to us, we decided to go with a partner that could work more closely with our team. Tuum was the best of both worlds – the speed of a plug-in solution, combined with the flexibility and bespoke value of developing in-house.
Utilising Tuum’s banking core, lending, payments, and card capabilities, we were able to significantly reduce the time needed to develop our core banking infrastructure. In fact, SweepBank was able to go live with its first capabilities – banking core and payments – in just five months.
In addition to the broad functional coverage of the core banking platform, it also offers great flexibility and is easily configurable, making it simple to access new services over APIs. We’ve been able to integrate some advanced, value-adding services, such as the ability to deliver multicurrency loans, meaning we can use one platform for all currencies across the twenty different ones we operate in. With a target customer base that is always hungry for the latest and greatest innovation, this ability to be super agile is invaluable.
By plugging in Tuum’s platform also means we benefit in real-time from their innovation – as the company constantly updates and improves its platform, we get default access to the latest updates and service extensions. This means our bank’s core will, effectively, never be legacy again with the technical and ongoing maintenance shouldered by Tuum. This also releases a huge internal resource burden, allowing us to keep our eyes on business strategy.
The ‘start up’ mindset we shared with Tuum in creating this solution can also be seen in the iterative approach we have taken. With some new functionalities, we would begin discussing these in the morning and by the evening, they were live. We remain agile and constantly open to small changes and improvements to make sure the end-products we deliver meet the high standards we envision and that our target customers expect!
The future of banking – streaming now
Today, we offer a digital banking platform, a convenient smartphone app for easy access to everyday savings accounts, a free virtual debit card to shop in-store and online. Most recently, we launched SweepDeals, a new savings and deals portal targeted at young adults that allows you to save and collect loyalty points from selected brands in one place.
We’re proud of where we are. But the future of banking isn’t a one-time film. With the power and agility Tuum’s platform offers us, our team is focused on business strategy and product development, so we can keep releasing the next episodes of SweepBank.