Private Investment Bank

Investing in Easier Private Banking


6 Days

Financal Services

Google Cloud Platform, Google Cloud Filestore, Google BigQuery

Key results delivered:

  • White glove private banking: first offshore bank to fully automate opening an online account with Silicon Valley-class customer experience
  • Real time compliance: reduced time to comply with international Know Your Customer laws from 30 days to 30 minutes
  • Top talent and two week sprints: Gigster delivered fixed price, fixed scope milestones, enabling PIB to test each iteration with end users to validate key design decisions.

Private Investment Bank (PIB), aims to be the offshore bank of choice for entrepreneurs, brokers and asset managers who hold assets in multiple currencies.

Creating a great first impression requires making the experience of opening an account as painless as possible. However, PIB's existing process to open an account was taking 30-45 days in order to comply with international Know Your Customer laws.

PIB decided that they wanted to rebuild their customer portal and account opening process to create a more compelling customer experience. They wanted a partner who could help them build a Silicon Valley-grade application that would set a new standard for customer satisfaction.

PIB chose Gigster as a partner to build their new customer portal to create a business critical application with Silicon Valley level talent and working at startup speed. Gigster is a managed service for delivering custom applications using distributed teams of freelance talent.

Onboarding is a compex, multi-step process. You need to prove your identity, and your official documentation—like passports—need to be verified. You need to pass through a form of background check, to verify a non-criminal history. You have to sign documents and return them, and these signatures must, again, be verified. Many of these steps include interactions with third parties. This effort is tedious to the bank and painful to the customer.

PIB believed that time and friction could be squeezed out of the process, and set out to carefully do just that. They researched service providers and were eventually able to identify and contract with compliant service providers that could securely address each one of these steps online. The goal was to develop a new way to integrate all these third-party services, each with its own interfaces or APIs, into one seamless product.

Their new approach would eliminate the need for any human intervention required to bring a new client onboard. This would also allow PIB to extend its services to a much broader client base, bringing the value of a global banking account, previously available only to an exclusive clientele, to the masses. This is digital transformation brought to life. PIB selected Gigster to present these combined services to customers in a single, smooth, user-friendly system.

Gigster is solution oriented, which is what we needed

PIB is a boutique bank with $1.5 billion in assets, 35 years of existence and a startup attitude. They saw a rare opportunity to streamline global banking and provide a more powerful and elegant digital customer experience to their clients. A key challenge in this endeavor was integrating with multiple third parties in the new-customer onboarding process.

PIB chose Gigster to create compliant platform options, designs and workflows, and to integrate existing counterparties into one cohesive application.

Gigster doesn’t just build to specifications, relying on its diverse network of talent and deep experience to help define the right feature set that will best meet a client’s business objectives quickly and efficiently. What it delivers often exceeds customer expectations, because Gigster has the expertise to uncover possibilities that might not have been apparent when a project’s scope was initially defined.

Gigster fielded a nimble team to deliver on PIB’s aggressive goals: a project manager, a product manager, two developers and a designer, distributed over three continents.

“The vision was an onboarding platform, which would bring customers into the bank very quickly, and turn this tedious month-long process into something that’s immediate,” says Dane Johnston, Gigster Engagement Manager.

The Gigster Delivery Team met with PIB personnel to walk through the business requirements. In days, they mapped out the workflow and the use cases. Over two weeks, they turned all those requirements into individual user stories.

It was just two weeks for the high-fidelity design – what could the screen look like? The color palette, the fonts? What could each page look like? They finalized the flows of each screen. Then they went into full development. They hit the ground running and delivered quickly.

But what most inspired PIB Chairman Carlos Molina about Gigster’s approach was how fully Gigster embraced the project and understood the vision.

“Gigster is a gamechanger. The team took the time to understand the dimension of what we were building,” says Molina. “The way I feel it is that they’re seeing this as a very long-term project that can be quite disruptive in the banking industry. They believe in what we're doing, and we couldn’t have done it without them.”

He was particularly impressed with Gigster when the project hit a speed bump. A partner company was developing an API that Gigster was planning to link into, but it turned out that it wouldn’t be done on time. Gigster came up with a workaround, but it was complex and required more testing. Molina appreciated how quickly the team identified and addressed the problem. When creating a new approach, communication and fast reaction-time are important — Gigster’s iterative development process is designed for both.

The performance of the onboarding system exceeded PIB’s already ambitious expectations by an order of magnitude.

“We were anticipating being able to open accounts in person in 24 hours,” says Molina, “and then suddenly it’s taking us 20 to 30 minutes. This has given us a huge head start. I don’t know of any other bank that is even close.”

PIB derived these numbers from its internal and “friends-and-family” testing — taking the system public awaits governmental approval. When it goes live, it will be the fastest solution of its kind in the world. PIB expects citizens of 40 countries will be able to open accounts, starting in September, and regulatory permission for the United States is expected by the end of 2019.

Meanwhile, the relationship between PIB and Gigster has gone so well that PIB has turned to Gigster for a portfolio of other innovative application projects. Right now the onboarding software supports individual retail clients. In development are enhancements to allow asset managers to create accounts, and to allow the creation of joint accounts. In addition, Gigster is working on turning this online tool into a mobile application. PIB is a great example of how real innovation and customer value can be driven at startup speed with Gigster.

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