At the achingly cool Electric Cinema, Shoreditch, Chelsea Apps Factory hosted the first of our ‘Breakfast Briefings’, titled ‘How to Build a Five-Star App in Financial Services’.
The event was well attended, with around 40 representatives of financial institutions eager to hear what advice we could share about the best approach to building a banking app. Whilst they munched on the cinema snack of choice - popcorn - we got on with the show.
Chris Bishop, business director and MC of the event set the scene; no longer are apps merely appendages to a company - for many they are the company.
We showed a quick video showcase of CAF’s recent hackathon, which resulted in clickable prototypes of the new product ideas generated by teams over 48 hours, fuelled by caffeine, pizza and palpable competitiveness.
Introductions over it was time for the main event, in the form of a 'fire-side' chat between Experience Director, Adam Scott and Esther Hollingsbee, Head of Digital at Vanquis Bank. This was a no-holds barred discussion about the project that started in 2016 and culminated in the 5 star app currently on the App Store.
A successful client partnership like this strikes the right balance between developing great features and getting the app to market in good time. In the process of developing the app for Vanquis, CAF ‘streamlined’ some of the features on offer to ensure that we could launch an amazing product within the appropriate time frame. Other takeaways included:
- User testing must take place at an early stage. Failure to do this runs the risk of developing features that only latterly show a really basic user experience. It’s better to test and fix things early, and be in constant communication with your customers.
- Innovation Labs are a great way of beginning a project, because that early burst of creativity starts everything on the right foot.
After the Q&A, we heard some fascinating questions from the guests, who asked about how best to conduct customer testing and the business benefits of having a great app.
Esther was pleased to announce that half of all debit card transactions now happen through the app, and a third of Vanquis customers use the service. In addition, we heard the astonishing statistic that Vanquis have already reached their five-year targets within a single year of the app going live.
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