Why banks considering coding their own apps should think again

Any bank that wants to build applications, from sending out a newsletter to their customers to onboarding a new customer, may think that hard coding is the best thing to do or the only option they have.

Let me give you three reasons why they should think again.

Coding is expensive and time-consuming

Hard-coding applications can take programmers months of time – it can be really tedious and inefficient. And, because skilled coders are so hard to find, their time doesn’t come cheap and costs can add up quickly.

It’s much more cost-effective to invest in a low-code platform that makes it quick and easy to build apps, as it doesn’t require the skills of a professional coder and can be done by anyone with basic training. . Applications can be up and running in days or weeks, allowing banks to improve the way they manage their operations and serve their customers faster.

Additionally, with a low-code platform, it is easier for everyone involved or overseeing a project to collaborate on it and provide feedback at every stage in an efficient manner. Think about it – for all the non-coders reading this, how many times have you looked at lines of code and figured out what it means to give helpful feedback about it? There are low-code platforms on the market that make work accessible to everyone in real time, and that use drag-and-drop functionality and simple terminology to not only make it clear how the application works, but also the underlying process understandable.

Coding and Adapting to Change Don’t Go Together

Besides the fact that hard-coding is laborious and expensive, applications built this way can also be difficult to modify, which is less than ideal for modern financial organizations that must adapt to changing customer preferences. In 2022 and beyond, the growth of your organization is far from guaranteed and evolution is the only solution. Banks must therefore have a system that they can adapt over time.

This is easier said than done, as the oldest banks in the UK tend to have layers and layers of hard-coded systems already in place and fear that ‘disabling the systems’ overnight next day does not cause huge problems. Indeed, we’ve seen some of the biggest names on the UK high street make headlines because their systems crashed during digital transformation projects, leaving millions of people unable to make payments for hours on end.

However, there are smart solutions. For example, there is software that can “wrap and renew” legacy technology so that it does not cause problems for staff or customers, which means the bank can modernize and implement a better way of doing things. things for the future.

Consider how a bank offers credit cards. With a complete and renewed software architecture, the organization can be sure that its customer databases and the way they interact with the front and back office are protected, while leveraging AI-based technology that empowers customer service agents all the information they need to suggest the best for them when they need it most.

Old school coders burn out

The phrase “necessity is the mother of invention” rings so true with my last point. Nothing will make banks realize that they can’t carry on as they have for decades, like the lack of people who can update the code they need to make these systems work.

The people who built banking applications in programming languages ​​like Java and COBOL in the 80s and 90s are likely to be retiring soon, or already retired. This knowledge of the programming language is dying out, so it doesn’t make sense to maintain these systems over time.

As mentioned earlier, taking a holistic and renewed approach, and doing it now while there is still time to gradually move away from hard-coded applications, is the best way forward for banks and customers, because it means no one has to make sudden changes and add unnecessary risk to their growth strategy.

So what’s the next step?

The days of banks building their own code are numbered. Modern agile software platforms that allow banks to quickly and easily build the applications they need are the way to go – they’re cheaper, take less time, are more adaptable, and built for the long haul. The question is not if, but when banks will say goodbye to pure hard-coding of applications, and the sooner banks realize this, the better off they will be.

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