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Finextra Research: Glacial development approach choking mobile banking ambitions

28 March 2014  |  8333 views  |  1 Man holding smartphone

A scarcity of inhouse resources is holding back bank mobile app development times, with almost three quarters of banks taking anywhere from six months to over a year to release a new app to the market, according to research conducted by Finextra on behalf of CSC.

The survey of 104 senior banking executives from 74 different financial groups across 25 countries, found that banks are struggling to equate the traditional, overly-rigorous development approach with the fast-pace of change in the mobile world.

Of those polled, fully 45% say they are able to develop and launch a new mobile application within six months to a year, with 22% saying it would take more than 12 months to get a new app off the ground.

UK banks are more likely than their global peers to take more than a year (32% compared to 22% for the whole group).

Those organisations that have an offshore component to their mobile application were seen to be more responsive (eight percent compared to 24% for those that develop purely inhouse). Similarly, of those that outsource testing, only eight percent figure among the laggards.

Inhouse resource availability and productivity in general is seen as the greatest constraint to achieving better time to market.

The survey, which also has data on mobile IT budgets and prioritisation areas, is available to download here.

Finextra Webcast: Alex Twigg, general manager at UBank, and Christian Raset Baño, director of electronic channels at Banco Sabadell, will be discussing their approach to mobile app development and peering into the future of wearable technology for banking applications at this live Webcast on 4 April. Register for the event here.

Comments: (1)

Bradley Howard
Bradley Howard - Endava - London | 01 April, 2014, 11:04

This is unsurprising, given the level of technical debt that banks now own, only to be further compounded with further regulatory requirements.

A way to overcome this technical debt is to build an API layer "over" legacy systems to enable the mobile and other future devices to access core systems much more easily.

Also, bank apps require what we call "Enterprise App Design" - i.e. ensuring a phone hasn't been tampered with; ensuring only the latest version of an app is being used; and gracefully locking down the API in the event of a core system issue. 

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