In the highly competitive financial services industry, being the first to market with a new product or feature can provide a significant advantage. By reducing the Time to Market, Banks and Fintech companies can deliver new and improved features to their customers faster, enhancing their experience and satisfaction. Let's take a closer look at how Flutter can be an enabler for faster development.
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Banking has become an extremely competitive sector from the point of the battle for customer acquisition and retention. The omnipresent digitalization after the Covid-19 pandemic has made financial institutions adept at making up for remote onboarding and customer service shortcomings. In addition, the emergence of new players in the form of neo-banks and fintechs often forces banks to go beyond their portfolio of traditional financial products.
In this dynamic environment, the ability to adapt quickly to customer expectations is crucial. In addition to the work organization of a well-motivated team, the factor that has the most significant impact on this is undoubtedly technology. Among the many trends in the proliferation of artificial intelligence methods and the ongoing migration toward cloud services, one technology that deserves special attention is Flutter, which is taking the hearts of mobile teams by storm.
Flutter is a framework for building native mobile applications, web portals, and desktop applications using a common code for these applications. It is a secure, open-source software framework on which banks such as the Credit Agricole Bank Polska and the Brazilian NuBank are already deploying their retail banking applications. In the case of corporate banking, it's used by ING Silesian Bank - and that list will expand in the upcoming months.
Here you can read what Experts say about Flutter in banking
The ability to speed up mobile and online banking development work by creating a single code for all user interfaces attracts financial institutions to use Flutter technology. This brings several benefits.
First of all, Flutter enables better team organization. Keeping iOS, Android, and Web Developers involved in each squad is no longer necessary. All you need is a Flutter team that can handle all the interfaces usable on each platform. This saves time from the perspective of not only specifications and research but also the interchangeability of team members between squads, which gives excellent flexibility in managing the backlog of mobile banking applications.
Secondly, Flutter allows you to create nicer user interfaces. The main goal of creating Flutter was precisely to enable the creation of beautiful UIs and beautiful, animation-rich interfaces - and this is one of the critical advantages of this technology today. Creating a single codebase also makes it possible to build a single Design System for both mobile platforms. The Design System makes it possible to maintain a consistent visual identity across all platforms, following the example of lifestyle apps like Twitter or Uber, which can be recognized at a glance regardless of platform.
Thirdly, Flutter allows for faster product stabilization by simplifying all QA processes. Common code means that, with the tolerance to verify fully native components, one application is subject to manual testing at the development stage. Common code also means shared, easy-to-maintain, automated UI tests that protect final applications from regression errors. Test automation allows tests to be executed on cloud-based testing platforms on multiple devices, which is excellent for improving quality in accounts of the strong fragmentation of the mobile device market.
You can read more about Flutter's Pros and Cons in our other article.
A significant benefit, which is a consequence of the described consistency in the development process, is consistency in managing the deployment process and related communication. Thanks to the fact that the pace of application development for all platforms is the same, there is no longer any need to think about how to equalize the range of features offered, for example, between iOS and Android, or how to protect oneself by delaying the implementation by the unavailability of members of the development team responsible for one of the platforms.
Also, from a customer service perspective, these advantages must be considered since the same application version corresponds to the same features on both mobile platforms. This makes organizing training for the customer service team easier and allows its employees to interview customers better.
A key advantage from a team organization perspective is that the shift to replacing native technologies with Flutter does not require a team change. From an iOS and Android perspective, mastering Flutter mainly boils down to the savings resulting from building the same interface. It is a natural extension of Swift and Java developers' competencies and should be considered a next career step, not a radical change of career path.
The transition to Flutter requires organizing additional workshops, training sessions, and temporary peer-to-peer work with people more experienced in Flutter. Still, fundamentally it allows to preserve one team and increase its efficiency.
All these reasons have already made Flutter one of the most popular cross-platform frameworks in the world by early 2020, and its popularity has continued to grow since. At Universities, subjects dedicated to Flutter are appearing, increasing developers' availability in this technology.
Google, the author of the framework, is also continuously investing in its development. They are also rewriting their applications to Flutter, as this will be the basis for a newly built operating system called Fuchsia. At the same time, the community around Flutter is snowballing, which, thanks to the open-source nature of the product, allows it to grow and be maintained even in the unlikely event of a change in Google's strategy.
At LeanCode, we have been supporting the development of Flutter technology since 2017, which has let us gather vast knowledge that we use to the advantage of our clients. We co-founded the most prominent European conference dedicated to Flutter: Flutter Europe and are leading Europe's largest Flutter Meetup, Flutter Warsaw.
We think an omnichannel approach to customer service requires consistency on the UI side. Hence, we recommend you consider using this technology in your product development strategy for collaborative financial institutions.
Feel free to contact us to ask if Flutter can be the right choice in your case.
Using this technology does not mean getting rid of your existing application. Thanks to its excellent integration with native technologies, Flutter can be used to build a specific new feature (e.g., Transaction Categorizer) to be added to an existing mobile application.
It's also worth considering Flutter for building applications that accompany the ecosystem of the main mobile banking application, such as applications for leasing products, investment products, or banking for minors. Such projects allow an organization to become accustomed to new technology and introduce it in a controlled evolutionary mode with ongoing evaluation of the results of such implementation.
You can check out our Case Studies for more Flutter app examples.
The future of mobile banking will be full of rapid innovation implementations, numerous market experiments, and far-reaching personalization to be even closer to the customer. Therefore, it is worth remembering to eliminate technical halts and implement such technology that will provide a long-term advantage in shortening the Time to Market.
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