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Banking as a service for a wealth management platform

  • Helped a FinTech company engage younger audiences in wealth management with digital banking functionality

  • Defined the customers' expectations towards fintech apps to build a hypothesis about the buyer journey

  • Gradually rolled out the new functionality to test the hypothesis and meet the client’s budget expectations

  • Placed intuitive design and automated decision making in the center of the client's business strategy

All names were changed for NDA purposes, and the screenshots used in this case study contain fictitious names and data

Business context

Our client provides wealth management services and strategic advising to individuals, businesses, and entrepreneurs. Their platform provides investors with core tools for asset management and trading, including for cryptocurrencies.

At some point, the client decided to attract a new audience. Researching who could be the next users of their investment management platform, the client saw a huge opportunity for targeting younger generations. To do that, they needed to integrate value-added functionality capable of effectively engaging and retaining new users to eventually turn them into loyal customers.

Along with that, users who had been actively using the wealth management functionality of the platform by then would also get additional benefits. This way, the product would embrace more customers with different aims and mindsets.

To accomplish this, they approached Yalantis

Buyer persona

Our team analyzed the needs and habits of Millennials and Generation Z representatives to come up with a buyer persona. Potential users proved to be tech-savvy and have active lifestyles. Asset management wasn’t initially of interest to them. Most still considered themselves too young to get started with investments. At the same time, they were interested in increasing their wealth and were looking for smart ways to manage their finances.

To meet the needs of our client’s new target audience, we needed to introduce functionality that would:

  • Effectively assist clients with their day-to-day financial activities

  • Eventually introduce clients to the world of asset management


Taking into account the lifestyle and aspirations of younger generations, we bet on bridging the gap between new users and existing investment software with digital banking capabilities.

Project scope

Integrating digital banking with an asset management platform required time and money. We needed to perform the integration gradually, moving from basic to complex features.

We split the whole development process into two releases and built a project scope for each product version.

In the first release, we focused on adding essential functionality to put the system on track and make it function as a standalone banking application.

The second release included stuffing the system with bells and whistles.

Version 1

First 3-4 months

  • Account application

  • Account management

  • Card management

  • Transaction management

  • Statements

  • Notifications

  • Referrals

Version 2

Next 3-4 months

  • P2P payments

  • Cashback

  • Cost tracking and analysis


The result of the first version would be fully functional online banking with basic capabilities and a smooth UI/UX that would attract the target audience.

The second version was to engage younger generations via easy digital loans, P2P payments, a cashback system, and advanced cost tracking capabilities. We aimed to provide Millennials and Gen Z users-to-be with a complete and aggregated budget view to help them make data-driven decisions and start investing in a smart and natural way.

Monetization strategy

Implementing digital banking capabilities would help the client start receiving profit. Integration with an online banking provider assumed the following monetization methods:

  • Getting interest from cash on cards (deposits)

  • Getting part of the interchange fee

Digital banking functionality would be offered in a free tier. To start using cost tracking and analysis capabilities and learn the basics of asset management, users would need to upgrade to the premium tier.

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Developing digital banking functionality from scratch was a no-go, as the project heavily depended on external funding and the client had strict deadlines. Our plan was to find a banking provider to integrate with in the back end and put the system on track in accordance with the client’s business needs and industry security requirements.

Given this, we put the following tasks on the agenda:

  • Collect project requirements and research available banking as a service (BaaS) solutions to pick the best option

  • Build a solution architecture that would allow for easy integration and a short time to market

  • Establish a KYC system to detect fraud at early stages

  • Quickly develop and realize a quality design concept

Conducting technical research

Usually, partnering with a BaaS provider would put the responsibility for handling legal matters, including licensing and compliance, on the provider’s shoulders. In our case, the core banking unit served as a link between the existing product and upcoming banking capabilities. This would allow for quickly rolling out digital banking features scheduled for the first release.

All asset management functionality we expected to implement further was already part of the original product. Handling investment transactions would remain on the side of the client’s team. Our task was to find a reliable core banking provider to work with for the long haul.

With the list of functional requirements prepared for the first round of development, our business analyst and solution architect researched available BaaS solutions. After several rounds of search and analysis, we shortlisted products that satisfied the technical requirements: Galileo, Unit, and Column. Our client chose Unit.

Choosing the architecture and setting up the integration

A BaaS solution can be built into your software via a direct integration with the target software solution or via integration through a proxy server. For this project, we set up integration using a proxy server.

The product infrastructure needed to be independent. This would allow for making functional customizations, performing essential administrative actions such as changing transfer limits, and switching to another core banking provider if needed.

We decided on a monolithic over a microservices architecture, as the product required a quick launch and the client wanted to put a lot of effort into impressing stakeholders and getting another round of investments.

Building the product on a monolithic architecture, we followed the principles of low coupling and high cohesion. We organized features into modules and established smooth communication between them. This approach to architectural design makes code refactoring easy and allows for monitoring of the system load. As a result, the client received a system that is scalable and that can be extended with new features by adding modules or extracting existing modules into new services.

Ensuring KYC compliance for secure banking

We developed a system compliant with Know Your Customer (KYC) rules aimed at detecting fraud at the stage of account creation. To do that, we established integrations with four third-party services: iOvation, Socure, IDology, and Jumio. This helped us achieve compliance at four essential levels:

  • Making sure that a user’s device is not blacklisted and is eligible to sign up

  • Verifying users’ personal information including first and last name, email address, phone number, and social security number (SSN) to detect the risk level (low, medium, high)

  • Users with medium and low risk levels are asked to answer several randomly selected questions about themselves to become eligible to use the system. Questions are generated based on information the user has provided during the previous stage

  • At brick-and-mortar banks, clients can prove their identity by showing their ID to a bank representative. To perform this verification online, users are requested to provide documents containing a photo (a government-issued ID or a driving license). Further, the user needs to take a picture of themselves. Next, the photo on the ID and the picture are compared to prove the user’s identity

    Check customer’s device

    Input:Device details

    Process:User launches the app > Device details compiled into a black box > Black box with device details sent to iOvation for risk assessment > iOvation returns “Allow/ Review/ Deny”


    Deny – access denied

    Review – user receives email with CTA to confirm their login and add their device to the whitelist

    Allow – user can proceed to the next registration step

    Necessary third party:


    Check customer’s personal data

    Input:Customer’s personal data

    Process:User applies for an account > User provides personal data > Socure performs data checking


    Fraud/ high risk – access denied

    Medium risk – system triggers an additional check

    Low risk – user can proceed to their account

    Necessary third party:


    Perform additional check (on demand)

    Input:Customer’s personal data

    Process:System triggers IDology verification > System sends customer’s personal data > IDology generates a questionnaire about user > User provides answers about themselves


    Fraud/ high/ medium risk – access denied

    Low risk – user can proceed to their account

    Necessary third party:


    Scan customer’s ID

    Input:Scan of ID documents (passport/driving license) and a selfie

    Process:User provides pictures of their document and a selfie > Jumio verifies user’s document to check if photo on ID matches the selfie


    Face on the documents and in the selfie don’t match – access denied

    Unsupported document or issuing country / poor image quality – scan again

    Everything is OK – get permission to apply for account

    Necessary third party:


If checks at all four levels are passed, the user is granted an account and can start using the system.

Creating a user-friendly design fast and without compromising on quality

Historically, designing products for the FinTech sector involves restrictions and typically requires sticking to a myriad of industry-specific requirements (including security requirements), which makes the design approach rather conventional.

Before starting this project, our FinTech engineering unit had an established design system in place as well as a solid library of conventional and the most frequently used design patterns collected over years of developing FinTech and banking products. By applying them, we were able to save the client’s budget and quickly prepare the first concepts. The app’s specifics and business goals also required adding some creativity to impress and engage demanding young audiences, which was quite a challenge for the team considering the industry’s constraints.

With this in mind, the design team started to carefully introduce classic design patterns, combining them with catchy yet well-balanced animations that would create a gratifying mobile experience. The team worked in accordance with the client’s brand book and style guides to create a continuous user experience.

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As a result, we managed to keep the app’s design simple and intuitive yet classy to satisfy industry standards and end user expectations. Additionally, we ran several rounds of usability testing to better understand what makes the design work for our client’s customers and to improve the customer experience.

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Value delivered

Within the first three months, the FinTech solution we’ve built helped our client attract:

  • 1,000

    new users

  • $90,000

    transaction volume

Inspired by the way the product has evolved, the client decided to continue developing it with Yalantis. We have outlined the scope for the third release, which includes implementing machine learning-based tips on budget management and investing. This new product version will bring even more usability and complete the circle of wealth management for young investors-to-be.

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