Digital Team Structure and Roles for Mobile Banking App
Back in the day, even the most basic transactions required a visit to the bank branch during office hours. With changes in the mobile-first way of banks, customers now can have it all in the palm of their hand, from managing their account balance and performing transactions to lending and investing online.
To provide users with a more convenient banking experience, banks and financial institutions will need to concentrate more on developing and maintaining their digital services. However, releasing a top-notch application may require significant resources, and not all businesses have sufficient tech workforces. By employing a dedicated digital team from a third-party service provider, banks can address these technological challenges while focusing on their core businesses.
Why should banks have the right digital team structure?
There’re many reasons a business needs a digital team, consisting of minimizing costs and improving efficiency. Still, for incumbent organizations in the BFSI sector, it is also about keeping current and competitive in a growing and changing industry.
Since security is the mandatory priority in the banking industry, it is essential to have an appropriate digital team with relevant skills and experience to deliver solutions based on their requirements. Mobile banking app development requires each role in a digital team to have specific skills in areas such as big data and advanced analytics, agile processes, digital customer experience, risk and security management, and online payments.
A good grasp of a digital team structure for banking app development can assist you in effectively building projects while cutting down the expenditure on unnecessary roles, especially when you already have an in-house development team.
Key roles in digital team structure
When searching for the digital team to build a mobile banking app, the initial step should be identifying which specialists will handle your project and how many of them are needed. Besides, as there are numerous positions involved in the digital team, understanding the duties and responsibilities of each role will assist you in finding the niche ones that genuinely contribute to the project.
As the size of a desired digital team depends laboriously on the complexity and scale of the project, let’s start with the typical team structure for developing a practical online banking app.
1. Project Manager / Scrum Master
When banks come to the software service provider with the app idea, there will be a Project Manager (PM) who performs as a bridge between the project sponsor and the entire development team. PM is accountable for a project’s delivery from inception to completion, according to the agreed-upon budget, timeframe, and quality.
For the Agile project, the Scrum Master will lead an Agile development team to ensure the scrum framework is followed. This position usually possesses robust soft skills, proven experience in managing IT-related projects, and comprehensive knowledge of bank policies. Responsibilities of the project manager or scrum master include:
- Hand out assignments to digital team members, establish sprint goals and periods, and prioritize tasks;
- Understand the scope and boundaries of members’ accountabilities.
- Manage issues and risks;
- Ensure quality and time-to-market of the project.
2. Product Owner
A Product Owner (PO) plays an essential role in an agile project, responsible for bringing an app idea to practice and maximizing the product’s value. This expert will need to discover customers' ever-changing needs, understand bank policies, and has a certain level of technical knowledge to ensure the product is launched successfully. A product owner is a strategist who:
- Analyze the market, research customer requirements, and understand any regulations related to the banking sector;
- Compile the product roadmap and define necessary features;
- Set release requirements and product updates.
3. Business Analyst
Business Analysts (BA) have emerged to have a critical role in working with the scrum team to execute the product vision. They will need to analyze and validate the banks’ requirements and translate them into detailed documentation by breaking down high-level product features into user stories with the appropriate amount of detail.
Comparing PO and BA, PO is more business and customer-oriented (is generally perceived as the voice of the customer), while BA acts more like the representative of the digital team.
4. Software Architect / Data Architect
A Software Architect takes care of planning and organizing the app system. This person gathers banking requirements, dictates coding standards, and designs high-level architectural diagrams for the online banking system.
Besides, a Data Architect will offer data access to improve decision-making with a 360-degree picture of customer interactions throughout the organization. This role is especially important in the BFSI sector as it can assist in providing data-fuelled, hyper-personalized experiences in real-time for banks to define data strategy and update their digital banking services to fulfill customers’ unmet needs.
5. UX/UI Designers
Nowadays, many digital banking platforms are built around a customer-centric approach and emphasis on design. The UX/UI Designer will need to work closely with the product owner and technical engineers to deliver a good-looking app interface.
The work of a designer within a digital team takes place in such a sequence:
- Create a user persona, consider the user flow and sketch app wireframe;
- Prepare app prototypes;
- Build app interface and make changes in response to user feedback and testing data.
To complete those responsibilities, UX/UI designers should be proficient in using design tools and can adopt best practices for design in banking apps to ensure the product is intuitive, user-friendly, and attractive.
6. Technical Lead
In Agile environments, Technical Leaders concentrate on delegating authority and fostering self-organization among team members to create added value for the banking project. It’s crucial to have a technical leader in mobile banking app development as this person will have sufficient knowledge and experience to solve roadblocks when the digital team can’t find a way out.
7. Software Engineer / DevOps
Software engineers include iOS/Android developers and back-end developers responsible for:
- Develop and sustain reusable, dependable, and high-performance code;
- Ensure the high quality, performance, and responsiveness of the mobile app;
- Correct app drawbacks and fix bugs;
- Constantly maintain and update the digital app.
For mobile banking apps, the back-end role will help manage payment systems that can access and securely store data to enable customers’ in-app transactions.
Otherwise, a DevOps engineer is an IT generalist who should have broad-ranging knowledge of development and operations, including coding, infrastructure management, system administration, and DevOps toolchains.
8. Test Engineer
The QA Specialist (or simply Tester) is an imperative mobile app team member. This is a professional who has the responsibility of reducing risks in any software development project. The tester provides comprehensive digital testing solutions to ensure the app is bug-free, adapts to diverse devices and browsers, and satisfies all the requirements. General duties of an app tester include:
- Perform both manual and automation testing;
- Design test scripts and record test progress;
- Tack bugs through testing and report to the team for an instant fix.
How does the digital team engage in the mobile banking app development phases?
Turning an idea of digital transformation into a practical mobile banking app requires significant time and effort obviously, as well as effective teamwork throughout the app’s existence. By separating the app development process into five main stages, banks will have a comprehensive picture of how digital team members participate in each step.
Prior to starting, it's vital to understand the client’s needs, define the app's objectives, values, and features, analyze competitors, and know the target audience. For the pre-phase preparation, the digital team will need to access banks’ servers, network as well as environment documentation and understand the tools and source code that they build on.
This initial step will require the participation of the project manager and scrum master in communicating with the bank and consulting the appropriate solutions. The contribution of the product owner is also essential since this person can delve further into the bank operator's ideas as well as users' requirements and expectations while using the mobile banking app.
2. Ramp Up
After the initiation phase, the project can be started with a formal kick-off meeting. This meeting will help transfer knowledge and set up operational metrics.
In this phase, the product owner will work with business analysts to help you prepare a project roadmap. This comprises prioritizing mobile app features and grouping them into delivery milestones.
This planning phase includes developing a medium-fidelity app prototype visualizing your app’s flow and the involvement of the project managers, product owners, and designers to validate the app idea. It will help banks have more intuitive perspectives regarding their ideas.
3. Knowledge Transition
This is the phase where all the digital team members work together to execute the sprint cycles, including features, technical debt & open defects. They will need to optimize the process with:
- The involvement of UX/UI designers in constructing a high-fidelity, interactive app prototype based on the wireframes from the product owner.
- The collaboration with software engineers to ensure the final app interface corresponds to the mockups.
- The testing of QA engineers to promptly identify and fix bugs.
Moreover, there should be sprint cycle updates for team members to report to the tech lead, PO, and PM about the developing process, including issues that might occur during the process, to have prompt solutions. The reviews with banks should also be conducted frequently to ensure the app development process complies with the product roadmap.
4. Steady Stage
When things are on the right track, the digital team is still needed to continuously maintain the banking app and update new features. The digital team should have monthly and quarterly operational reviews with banks to improve their performance regarding velocity, quality, and technical debt. For every sprint completed, the whole team should sit together and update their work as well as discuss their problem to improve the process’s effectiveness.
In this article, we’ve shared the digital team’s roles and responsibilities as well as how they perform in your banking app development process. Having the proper digital team structure will help your business deliver high-qualified yet timely apps to the market and gain competitive advantages. This is also how we helped ACB embrace mobile banking to engage new generations of customers.
If you’re looking for a tight-knit team of IT professionals or a consultation for your project’s idea, KMS Solutions’ experts always keep up with your requirements to give out the best solution that addresses all your challenges.