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The Cloud and AI are enabling a new generation of rapidly evolving digital banks

By Paul Clark, CTO, Tandem Bank

Paul Clark, CTO, Tandem Bank

Digitisation in banking is more than launching an app or embracing online banking, it is about investing in the right systems and embracing the capabilities of the cloud and AI. Secure your foundations and you can scale, evolve, and serve customers at pace.

Built on data and enabled by UK Open Banking regulation, Tandem is a tech business first, and a bank second.. With a recent move to Amazon Web Services (AWS), our app and entire product portfolio are operated on the cloud. We do not operate a branch system but our digital-only approach presents unique opportunities for a new kind of personalised and data-rich personal banking customer experience.

"The cloud is a vital tool that enables banks to quickly test and iterate services, as well as fixing problems"

Scaling at pace is a priority for the new generation of digital banks and it comes with its fair share of problems. For Tandem, we have enjoyed huge growth in our customer numbers and product base over the past 18 months. However, stretching old on-premise server infrastructure is proving to be a huge challenge for our agile dev-ops team. With the fast growth of new banks, another major challenge is developing and patching new and existing services while supporting a growing customer base.

Patching can be a frequent, painful experience, with teams adding several patches and reboots per server and circulating it around the environments, all the while trying to avoid any outages. The move to the AWS Cloud transformed this process for Tandem, offering a reliable, repeatable, scripted, and immutable infrastructure with the ability to adapt and move quickly. Now boosted by AWS, the app is faster, more effective and more importantly, rapidly evolving to offer the best customer experience in the market.

This new generation of banks is disrupting the banking space, growing at pace and exploring range of new opportunities through new application architecture. Tandem has seen a 47 percent improvement in the overall performance since moving to the AWS system. Throughout the move, customers were not affected by any system outage—something other banks have struggled with. We will not stop there, and aim to continue developing new tools to help customers manage their money. It is this willingness to continually innovate and do better that inevitably sets the new players apart from the old.

The cloud is a vital tool that enables banks to quickly test and iterate services, as well as fixing problems. For example, Tandem executed 3,500 releases last year; to put this in perspective most big banks would traditionally execute just a handful.

This does not just benefit the bank, but more importantly, the end-user experience is transformed. The cloud has been a vital tool for enabling artificial intelligence-driven tools. With the UK’s Open Banking regulation, digital banks can tap into a wealth of financial data to deliver intelligent and personalised financial services.

At Tandem, we are using the data capability of Open Banking to help customers change their financial habits. And Tandem’s flagship savings feature ‘Autosavings’ truly embodies this. The tool uses machine learning to analyse customer data and deliver a personalised saving solution, calculating how much they can afford to save or helping them round-up daily purchases and save the difference.

The cloud and AI are enabling a new generation of rapidly evolving digital banks. We use them to grow, adapt and thrive and any bank that fails to see the merit of these system risks are bound to be left behind.

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