“One in four retail branches to close in Europe,” predicted a study mid-last year. This comes as no surprise given that there are a number of challengers to traditional banks today. For instance,
neobanks — mobile-centric retail banks, often without physical branches — have tripled in number in the last three years. Over 30 neobanks went live in the middle of a global pandemic, including niche ones like Daylight, a US bank for LGBT+ members. This isn’t euro-centric either; there is a significant boom in digital banking across Asia and Africa too.
As the pandemic forces customers to do as much interaction as possible online, “70% of account openings, deposits, consumer loans, and credit card applications will happen remotely over the next three years.” Enabling digital experiences of existing offerings is only one part of the story. To truly emerge successful in the 21st century, banks and financial institutions also need to devise innovative new offerings for the digital world.
More importantly, this needs to be rapid, agile, adaptable, and scalable. It is here that low code software development will play a crucial role.
What low code can do for banking and financial services
#1 Build new apps swiftly
Low code accelerates the app development journey significantly, often by over 50%, while also reducing costs proportionately. This can be game-changing for banks and financial institutions that wish to offer innovative services to their customers.
Whether you need an app that lets users buy cryptocurrency or simply complete their Know Your Customer (KYC) compliance remotely, a low code platform can help you develop and deploy it within weeks, if not days! In fact, that’s what a Fortune 100 insurance company did with WaveMaker. They used the WaveMaker platform to swiftly develop innovative applications, with 80% less coding than traditional development would have needed, and without any additional investment in skilled resources.
Low code achieves this with:
- Framework-driven approach: Component-based UI, prefabs, and repeatable templates ensure consistency, even at scale.
- Seamless integration: APIs, connectors and CI/CD integrations enable new and existing applications to work together effectively.
- Democratizing development: Low code eliminates the need for specialists, be it in design, development or DevOps; and saves businesses from outsourcing innovation/differentiated offerings.
#2 Modernize existing apps or refresh UI
One of the biggest costs associated with application development tends to be technical debt.
With rapid advancement in technology, banks and financial institutions are expected to deliver a sleek and enjoyable experience for the end user, forcing them to regularly modernize their applications. They must do this without compromise on the complex and highly secure backend technology that powers it.
A low code platform can help banks achieve this, while also minimizing technical debt in the long term. It does so with:
- Cloud-native technology: Session-less architecture, decoupled front-end and back-end layers, and configuration-driven models make it easier to modernize legacy systems in small parts, without disrupting the business.
- Performance and scalability focus: Auto-containerization, microservices architecture, and optimization for code assets boost application performance, bringing legacy apps to modern standards.
- Adaptable integrations: SOAP and Java-based connectors offer custom integrations, that facilitate applications being modernized to function effectively with existing practices.
- Reusable UI: Once designed, low code allows users to reuse UI elements such as layouts, widgets, navigation, styles, etc., enabling consistent experience and performance across the board.
#3 Offer limitless personalizations
Studies show that “80% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase when brands offer personalized experiences.” The risk of not personalizing is high too: Gartner found that brands risk losing 38% of customers to poor personalization efforts.
Enabling unique, personalized digital experiences for customers will differentiate leaders from the laggards. Same goes for the various B2B customers of independent software vendors (ISVs) in the banking industry.
Low code can make such personalization not only possible, but also scalable and effective. For instance, a 65-year old, California-based credit scoring and financial data analysis company personalized the lending experience for over 1,500+ banks with WaveMaker. Low code powers this with:
- Powerful customization capabilities: Low code vs. traditional development isn’t an either/or equation. A open standards-based low code platform not only enables customizations, it also allows the application to accommodate developer-written code for complex functions.
- End-user personalization: ISVs building financial platforms can offer their end-users (Banks) personalized user experiences based on markets, geographies, languages, accessibility needs, etc. with low code development.
#4 White label low code for custom solutions
Not all banks and financial institutions have the luxury of large in-house technology teams to build their applications. Several specialized ISVs who develop apps exclusively for the banking and financial services industry, are in need of efficient ways to build and reuse application components.
It is here that white-labeling of low code platforms like WaveMaker can help. Low code platforms can be customized for different user personas and can help by:
- Empowering citizen developers: With drag-and-drop functions to build complex enterprise applications, business users can also contribute, without knowing to code.
- Building differentiated applications: Templates, prefabs and reusable components ensure that the basic functionality exists, for developers to only work on personalization and feature extensions.
As we speak today, the financial services industry is going through a sea change. From being a supporting function, IT today shapes business models, operations and even service delivery entirely. And as PWC recommends, simplifying legacy systems, taking SaaS beyond the cloud, adopting robotics/AI, and preparing enterprise architecture to connect to anything — from enterprise databases and big data to IoT — will become top priority for global players in the financial services industry.
Low code can offer the speed, flexibility, and customizability needed to create personalized banking experiences for customers.