Platformization of Banking — Part 2 — Journeys

Chris Shayan
5 min readOct 11, 2023

The pre-reads:

Disclaimer: I do use several references however the one that I use the most is Backbase because of we implemented all these items for Retail & Business banking. I have also used another technology vendor (vnpay but quite limited capabilities) but concept is the same.

Ways of Working

A platformized bank does not work like a normal bank and must have its own ways of working which is more inspired by Spotify operating model & Platform Engineering Squads, a blurred line between technology & business. I won’t go into details of how to scale agile & product teams and platform engineering squads should be (for details refer to related articles), I will be more focus on what is the organization structure and how to set the technology directions.

Each initiative must have at least 2 and max 5 OKRs that are connected to the dimensions of Value and Flow. Each OKR must pass the following quick test:

  • Are our OKRs clear, measurable and ambitious?
  • Do we have metrics to measure our progress?
  • Do we have 2 to 5 key results per objective?
  • Is OKR backed by leadership?
  • Is OKR committed by the entire team ?
  • Is there anyone managing the OKRs?
  • Have we had OKR grooming sessions (setting OKRs, scoring OKRs, OKRs retrospective)?

Example Objectives Key Results

  • Active customer base grows from 10% to 30 % of registered base
  • Number of new accounts opening increase 10% month on month
  • Number of credit card sign-ups increase 5% month on month
  • Number of banca sign-ups increase 5% month on month
  • Number of bond/fund sign-ups increase 5% month on month

We are building a one single source that includes all bank-wide initiatives. Each initiative must have a leader and only focus on getting the initiative to go live. I do highly recommend a follow approach on how to decide what initiatives to take on:

  • Flow. The most important element of an initiative is the flow, if this initiative has what is needed to have a smooth execution, for example:
  • Human Resources Capacity — In simple terms, the supply and demand matching of needed resources are matching.
  • Timeline — Is there any timeline criticality that is waiting for something to happen? Like pending for budget approval, pending for procurement, etc.
  • Value. If we implement this initiative what is the value that is generated for users (customers or employees or partners), for example:
  • Increase number of customers
  • Increase CASA
  • Increase Credit Product Usage (credit card, loan, overdraft)
  • Increase number of mobile users

We score each initiative based on these dimensions:

There can be some exceptional initiatives like EVP from HR or PlatformOps by IT that are more foundational however, we can still apply some value metrics relevant to its users.

We will basically do a simple dependency mapping and map set of initiatives to each year. As part of sequencing and planning, each initiative before it starts its execution there is a need to have a workshop and define the required artifacts together as a team.

Credit goes to Khuong

Ways of Architecting

Foundation Journeys

There must be following key shared services:

  • DesignOps
  • API Portal and API Community Portal
  • Developer Kits for mobile and web
  • SDKs
  • Foundational shared services: gateway, registry, ability to deliver an offer or message, audit, service discovery and digital marketing capabilities
  • Security shared services: authentications & authorizations, impersonations, device management, user management
  • Communication shared services: notification & nudges, customer segments, campaign management, chat, video & calls
  • Process automation shared services: workflows, case management, history, decisioning, document management, KYC, AML, Fraud, Transaction monitoring and more.

Retail Banking Journeys

There must be following key shared services:

  • Onboarding: (self-service) T&Cs, drop-off optimization, customer data, KYC, AML, ID & V, product penetrations and offerings and (branch onboarding) Identity verification (ID & V), AML, approval workflow, product offering
  • Originations: Credit Card, Personal Loan, Auto/Bike Loan, and pre-approved journeys
  • Accounts & Transactions: managing accounts, disputes, Open Banking account aggregations, search & filter, transaction enrichment, transaction managements, deposits
  • Loan Management: schedule of repayments, transactions, pre-pay, escrow, property pre-purchase,
  • Self-service: device management, password management, step up management, biometrics, passwordless, OTPs, profile management, language management, menu personalization, entitlement & identity driven navigation and persona/profile management.
  • Dashboard, Account and balance aggregations, latest transactions, quick journeys, marketing, personalize ordering, and more.
  • Card Management, acceptance & activation, Add to wallets, card details (pci-dss compliance), lock and unlock per channel, spend limit management with entitlements & identity, travel & abroad notices, card replacement, emergency card, PIN management.
  • Financial Health, Credit Scores, Insights (Turnover, Spending Analysis, Income Analysis and Budgets), Saving Goals Management
  • Money Movements, Bills (bill details, history, autopay, payee management, schedule bills, multiple bill payment, ) & Payments (credit card, internal & external, loan, addressings, transaction signing in & out of band, biometrics, step up), Beneficiaries, Transfers, etc.
  • Customer Segments, target management for marketing, include/exclude, operators, custom logic, estimate the reach and more.
  • Wealth, Private & Priority banking, portfolio (dividend payouts, investment instruments, order management, performance, details & summary, positions, transactions), statements, products, trading (alerts, order, order flow, actions, discovery), dashboard & login personalizations

SME/Business Banking Journeys

There must be following key shared services (won’t repeat the similar parts of retail):

  • multi company management, Enrollments (very complicated topic and Backbase has done a great job)
  • Sweeping, schedule, transaction, management
  • Cashflow, erp integrations, AR/AP, forecast
  • Positive Pay (ACH)
  • Batches

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Chris Shayan

Purpose-Driven Product Experience Architect. I’m committed to Purpose-Driven Product engineering. My life purpose is Relentlessly elevating experience.