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Building an Android Application for Financial Services Company

FINANCIAL SERVICES | MOBILITY

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TEKsystems Builds Android App for Financial Services Company

TEKsystems built a high-quality Android application to meet the needs of our client’s individual investment customers. In less than six months, the application has been installed over 30,000 times and earned a 4.5 rating on Google Play.

Client Profile

The client is a global financial services company specializing in investment management and mutual funds with over $800 billion assets under management. Headquartered in the U.S., this company has been in business since the 1930s. TEKsystems has worked with this client since 2007.

Situation

Our client had iPhone and iPad applications for individual investment customers, but did not have any applications that met the needs of the 28 percent of their customers with Android devices. When they launched the iOS applications, their clientele had a higher percentage of Apple users, but the market share is shifting to more equal grounds.

Realizing they were not meeting the mobile application needs of nearly one-third of their customers—and potentially risking loss of those customers to leading market competitors who offered iOS and Android applications—the client decided to build a high-quality Android application.

The client’s product owners issued a Voice of the Customer survey to their iOS users to get feedback on the usability and design of their iPhone and iPad applications.

They wanted to design an Android application that was functionally equal to the iOS apps, but also wanted to take user feedback into consideration to design a highly usable application and a quality Android experience.

The client decided to outsource the mobile development project because they did not have the Android talent in-house, and wanted a fast time to market.

Solution

A long-time partner, TEKsystems had successfully built the client’s iPad application. The iOS application has over a four-star rating in the Apple Store, and the client built its iPhone application based off of it. Due to our understanding of their environment, proven history as a trusted partner and successful build of the iPad application, the client contracted TEKsystems to build an Android application that mimicked the iOS application’s functionality, but with a best-of-breed Android design.

We leveraged TEKnique, TEKsystems’ proprietary Agile development methodology, to build the application.

Phase 1 – Inception

We went to the client’s site to validate functional and nonfunctional requirements, establish communications plans, create the high-level architecture and user experience (UX) design, and develop a quality assurance (QA) and testing plan. We followed material design best practices and incorporated usability and design feedback from the Voice of the Customer survey into the requirements.

Phase 2 – Construction

The client’s development and QA environments and data are shared across multiple projects, and sometimes go down during development and QA cycles. To optimize time to market and not hinder our development and QA work, we mocked all service APIs and did development and QA on a TEKsystems environment using mock data.

We executed on application development and the test strategy, submitting working releases every two weeks for processing through their code quality tool. We kept the product owner well informed so he could make decisions and provide direction on backlog grooming and prioritization.

Phase 3 – Transition

When the mobile application was ready for production, we did a final code handoff and knowledge transfer (including the architecture handbook). Four TEKsystems team members went on site for two weeks for a Kanban post-sprint for side-by-side UAT support. We also trained two of their Java developers on mobile development so they could support the Android application moving forward. Finally, the application was deployed onto Google Play.

Results

The Android application went live in March 2017—two weeks ahead of schedule. We were able to successfully deliver the application and reduce time to market because of our:

  • Up-front time investment in material UX design.
  • High-quality testing strategy and automating a large portion of the test cases. Whereas typical end-to-end UAT testing takes 4 to 6 weeks, we completed testing in two weeks using a Kanban approach.
  • Autonomous structure off of the client’s infrastructure. Since we were independent from the client’s infrastructure, we did not lose any momentum in our development and testing cycles.

We used a near-shore/off-shore delivery model via our Montreal Innovation Centre and Bangalore Solution Center. Our project manager, business analyst and a Java developer were based out of Montreal. Our Bangalore team consisted of an architect, two lead developers, seven Java developers, three QA analysts and one UX designer. At the beginning of construction, the project manager travelled to Bangalore for two sprints. This helped gel the team, bridge any communication gaps and help the development team understand the client’s pain points, process and risks.

In less than six months, the application has been installed over 30,000 times and is on track to meet the client’s goal of 50,000 installations by the end of 2017.

User satisfaction and reviews have been positive and confirm the high-quality UX design. The application holds a 4.5 rating (on a five-point scale) on Google Play.

Testimonials

“I am proud to say that this has been one of the best teams that I have had a pleasure of working with” — Senior Digital Product Owner

“This truly has been one of the smoothest and most efficient projects that I've been a part of at [client]. This team was also a lot of fun to work with and pulled through in the critical moments leading up to delivery.” — Vice President, Senior Manager – Digital Products

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