What started out as an internal competition has resulted in the launch of a brand new app for TSB Bank. Yesterday the bank launched its MyBank app for iPhones. The free application lets customers manage their accounts and make payments through their smartphones.
It also has an option to transfer money to non-TSB accounts by placing two phones with the app on it next to each other.
Marie Collins, CIO at TSB, says the idea for the banking app came from an internal innovation competition, with ideas coming from the bank’s staff looking to win an iPad.
“The ideas weren’t just limited to online or digital, but this was the idea that we thought was the best,” says Collins.
Over 12 months, Collins and her team developed the app using feedback from its customers.
From the start, Collins decided to develop the app internally at TSB, using resources from the bank’s 22-strong IT team.
TSB already has an online banking system on its website, which is maintained internally. She says her team was already familiar with the website’s backend systems, and this would allow her to maintain control and costs more effectively.
Two members of her team who entered the competition were chosen to work on the app, although they did not have previous iOS development experience.
Collins says TSB supported the developers by giving them the opportunity to study app development, and providing them with the right tools and licenses.
“At TSB we knew building an app was a priority, so we treated it as such,” says Collins.
TSB provided the two access to Apple computers and smartphones to use for testing. Collins says the pair taught themselves how to develop for the iOS platform by reading online tutorials and watching instructional videos.
The developers coordinated with TSB’s core banking team to configure the connections required between the app and TSB’s banking systems.
Apart from consultation with a design company to make the app “look less like a bank”, Collins says everything else was done internally.
Looking back now Collins says she is glad she showed faith in her team.
“I can’t believe what an amazing job they’ve done,” says Collins.
“It was all self-taught. We were lucky to have very clever young men on the team.”
TSB is now working on finishing its iPad and web versions of the application, before moving on to the Android version.
Collins says her team are working on that too.
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