Developing a Digital Banking Solution
A case study of developing an innovative banking solution for a leading Middle-Eastern bank
Although Bank al Etihad was already in possession of a banking system that enabled their regular brick-and-mortar operation, their principal goal was to establish a new digital customer channel from the ground up, and start providing the same service offering digitally. They wanted to allow the bank’s customers to conduct a wide and diverse spectrum of banking transactions via a mobile app and a Web-based application.
Therefore, the solution the Client needed to implement consisted of a backend, a Web-based application, and a mobile app. The development of these three applications was handled by three different software development providers. Backendless was tasked with creating a feature-rich and highlyscalable customized backend for the solution.
Since its inception 2 years prior, Bank al Etihad’s digitalization project has been steered by their Director of Digital Channels. Correspondingly, he has been directly managing our development team assigned to the project. The number of developers on this team ranged from 3 to 6 during the project’s different stages. As the three applications that make up the Client’s solution have been developed in parallel, we’ve established a close working relationship with the two other development teams to ensure proper communication and a smooth information flow. For most of the project’s duration, we’ve also acted as the driving force behind its implementation and the principal connecting link between all the parties involved.
As a banking institution, Bank al Etihad is to adhere to very stringent security-related industry regulations. Installing the solution in compliance with these regulations required additional effort on our part. In order to ensure the required level of security during the installation, we worked very closely with the Client’s technical staff and tasked our Product Development team with supporting the process. At present, we have completed the delivery of all the backend functionality required by the solution’s Mobile application. The Client’s Mobile application went live in September, 2018 and has since been increasingly used by a very large number of Bank al Etihad’s customers. Currently, our team is working on developing the backend functionality for the system’s Web application. The powerful and intricate backend functionality we have developed has given Bank al Etihad’s mobile banking app an impressive array of advanced, sophisticated, and, sometimes, even unique features. The user can make money transfers, manage their card accounts, and pay for utilities. The app makes it possible for the user to request another user to make a money transfer in their favor by sending them a QR code, or by sending a link to their email. The mobile app’s Spending Analysis functionality can analyze the user’s expenses, associated with a specific account. It aggregates data for a predefined period of time, and makes it easier for the user to do budget planning.
Furthermore, the application is integrated with the Kingdom of Jordan’s centralized system that keeps records of all the utility payments that are due, or have been made in the country. In case any utilities-related debt arises, the app sends the user a push notification, and they can pay this debt with just one click. The Facial Recognition capability the app includes allows one to become a customer of the bank without ever physically visiting it. The latter became of utmost importance with the onset of the Covid pandemic. The Client’s Web-based application that our project team is currently developing the backend for is geared toward corporate clients. The purpose of this application is to provide centralized financial management of the different departments of a company. The company becomes officially registered as a client of Bank al Etihad, while the various business units within the company or the officers that represent them appear in the system as employees. The Client’s application is extremely feature-rich and limitlessly scalable. One of the main capabilities it provides is the ability to make payments in favor of multiple beneficiaries at once. The application allows one to view the current total amounts of the customer’s incoming and outgoing cashflows and aggregate data on these cashflows for a selected period of time.
Although a significant part of Bank al Etihad’s Web-based application is still under development, its first version was released by us in the summer of 2021. Presently, several thousand of the bank’s corporate clients use this software.
Our technical solution for the project included the following technologies and tools:
Data Storage and Caching:
- Backendless Postgre
- AWS S3
- AWS Kinesis
- The Backendless nocode platform
We have encountered several major technical challenges while implementing the project. The most significant of these was associated with creating sufficiently secure APIs for a wide array of transaction types. In addition to security, it was quite challenging for us to provide the required scalability in relation to this functionality due to a very high number of concurrent users. Implementing the app’s Spending Analysis functionality posed another formidable technical challenge for our project team. We needed to implement extremely data-intensive real-time calculations and calculations for a predefined period of time that involve massive amounts of data.
We have delivered the complex backend functionality, required for Bank al Etihad’s Mobile application to function, in fine quality and in a record time.
The Client has been able to not only set up a new and vastly important customer channel, but also to become the Jordanian banking industry’s leader in the provision of Digital Banking services.