Digital technologies have changed the way banks interact with their customers. Today’s banking customers expect to be able to communicate and transact with their banking institutions over the web and through social media, effectively embedding their banking relationships into their digital world on a level with the digital giants Apple, Google, Microsoft or Facebook. While banks are still struggling to understand the potential of digital technologies other companies are exploring new grounds in the financial services sector. Together with the digital bank Fidor, GFT built an award winning mobile banking solution for telecommunications services provider o2. Taking advantage of GFT’s deep financial technology experience, Fidor was able to deliver an entirely new approach to banking using its Fidor’s pan-European banking license which can be adopted by any type of business wanting to offer financial services to its customers.
Both Fidor and GFT had very positive experiences together during our first cooperation, o2 Banking. It’s simply a matter of logic to continue working together. Our cooperation with GFT will allow us to be even more efficient in developing new offerings for the future of mobile banking.”
Launch Germany’s first mobile-only, full-service bank account
This technological platform was leveraged by o2 for the launch of o2 Banking. Telecommunications businesses are facing many of the same business challenges as banks – both are highly regulated industries that deliver services everyone uses every day, and both are looking to differentiate themselves from their competitors. Profits are highly dependent on how fast they can deliver value and innovation to customers.
Fidor Bank was launched 2016 as an online only bank in Germany and the UK with the conviction that banking services can only become truly relevant to today’s consumers if those services are aggregated and delivered through whatever digital environment the customer happens to be in at any time – social or transactional. At the same time, o2 was looking for ways to expand the services it offers to its customers, not to mention easing common finance-related issues for them.
Develop a native mobile banking solution supported by Fidor Bank
The relationship between GFT and Fidor began with an engagement to develop a mobile application for the launch of Fidor Bank offering a fully-fledged banking service, without having to develop a banking infrastructure or obtain a banking licence. GFT completed this project in just two months, thanks to its extensive experience with financial institutions and deep market knowledge. When o2 decided to provide banking services to its German customers, it turned to the most innovative banking operation in Germany – Fidor – for assistance and as a potential partner. Fidor, in turn, engaged GFT to assist in developing a front end platform through which the bank could deliver a range of banking services to these new customers.
Over a period of 7 months, GFT delivered an architectural framework enabling the rapid development and deployment of apps on the Fidor platform for both iOS and Android devices, leveraging the specific features of each operating system. These apps offer banking services to o2 customers using the fidorOS platform as middleware.
Award-winning mobile bank launched in record time
GFT’s extensive digital banking expertise provided a solid foundation on which both Fidor Bank and o2 have been able to offer o2 customers a truly innovative and relevant banking experience for the 21st century. The free o2 Banking app enables the company to offer an innovative range of incentives and related services, including a free debit MasterCard, instant loans, and additional free data allowances for o2 telecommunications customers – 1 megabyte (MB) for every euro spent on the debit card. Today, even the customer service operations themselves are challenging traditional banking models: When a customer opens an account with o2 Banking, registration and authentication are handled via a video call on the customer’s smartphone, and the entire process takes just minutes.
Shortly after its launch, o2 Banking was rewarded with the Handelsblatt and Euro Forum 2016 Diamond Star award in the area of Digital Banking and the 2016 IT Innovation award by the University of St. Gallen. In 2017, it was named Best Mobile Bank in Germany byBankingcheck.de. More recently, it received the Celent Model Bank 2019 award for Business Model Innovation. By becoming the first telecommunications company to offer integrated banking services, o2 has set a high bar for its competition; they have also opened the way for other organisations to work with Fidor’s Bank as a Service to deliver a seamless mobile banking experience.