Modern banking

Developing a digital bank

Johannesburg, 09 Sep 2021
Read time 2min 50sec

One of South Africa’s first digital-only banks, designed to improve the money management of clients and built around behavioural economics.

The challenge

When the bank was announced, the company put a great deal of work into developing infrastructure, operating processes and the customer value proposition. However, the digital-first, mobile-first approach required a great deal of work on the back-end, including putting the appropriate systems in place, as well as development.

While the company’s development team was making good progress getting everything in place for the bank’s launch, they found there were elements of the mobile and web applications that they were not going to complete in time. Even working around the clock, the development team realised there were no guarantees that they would be able to provide customers with the high-quality solution the company wanted to provide.

The quality of the applications and a great customer experience were the primary goals, so the company’s management decided to supplement the internal development team’s capabilities with external resources, rather than delaying the launch. Unfortunately, timelines remained extremely tight, so they had to find extremely skilled developers on very short notice, who could deliver with very fast turnaround times.

The solution

The bank chose us to augment their development capabilities with staff on demand. Not only did iOCO have extensive experience working with banks, and so an in-depth understanding of all the regulatory and other requirements they had to abide by, but individual members of the banking team had worked with the iOCO team in different capacities in the past, and they knew that iOCO was capable of delivering high-quality results in a very short space of time.

Most importantly, the iOCO team’s ability to work with – and integrate with – the bank's team meant there would be no “them and us” mentality to hinder delivery. Within a few days of the initial conversation about iOCO’s involvement in the project, a variety of skilled individuals were working with the team to help them meet their launch deadline.

Our team consisted of user experience (UX) designers, developers, testers and analysts, depending on what the project needed at any given point, scaling up and down as necessary, with between three and 10 iOCO resources augmenting the bank's team. iOCO worked closely with the bank to ensure all deliverables were met, and was constantly looking for new areas where value could be added and where iOCO’s assistance could add benefit

In addition to working on the mobile app, the iOCO team helped develop the additional web and payment solution, working with the internal design and development teams to facilitate back-end integration. The team was responsible for the maintenance of these applications for two years, after which the bank took over. iOCO is still actively involved, augmenting its development capabilities.


  • Staff on demand, enabling deadlines to be met;
  • High-quality work with extremely fast delivery;
  • Innovation and added value as a result of the integration of the two teams; and
  • The bank essentially gained a technology partner, providing an extra arm for its development team.
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