The founders had a vision and needed support in making that a reality – not just on a technological front but on a business development front too. The Thoughtworks team helped them to develop a product strategy by conducting user research and discovery sessions. Together, they created customer acquisition strategies and supplier management processes.
Internally, Thoughtworks helped to shape the organizational structure; recruiting and building lean teams for B-Social’s business, with an agile product development culture at the core. Together they established internal ways of working, ensuring that the focus was always on the customer experience.
B-Social’s concept was an industry-first, so there was a need to validate the idea. The team, therefore, took an MVP (minimum viable product) approach to develop an app for iOS, then for Android. The first release aimed to prove that the integrations to other banks worked, bearing in mind that they were integrations to legacy providers.
The Thoughtworks team was not just developing a mobile app, but building an entire banking technology platform from scratch. To enable rapid development and testing, the team took a microservices approach, with each domain having its own database. In this way, the team could develop the app as far as possible, without having to wait for a related domain, such as the website. Everything was built on an evolutionary architecture to allow the digital business to grow and scale rapidly. The team was agile in every sense of the word, carrying out continuous deployments – at times every night of the week.
While the app was in development, another part of the Thoughtworks team focused on preparing B-Social’s application for a banking license. For the application to even be accepted for consideration by the financial services regulator, a full business plan and compliance programme had to be presented. To meet these requirements, the team set up over 70 business processes. As well as an array of customer-facing processes, the startup organization also needed to develop an internal infrastructure, including tools for financial crime monitoring and reporting.