Real World Implication of Microservices in the Fintech Industry

The transformation of the monolithic architecture to microservices architecture is one of the most heroic steps that you might take to upswing your business. So, if you are really looking forward to scale your infrastructure and also speed up while deflecting high supervision costs then microservices is the right solution. 

Especially, in a FinTech ecosystem that is running to establish itself in the digital centric world. And this being the reason that they are experimenting their digital approaches with highly scalable, flexible, and efficient architectures for their infrastructures. To get an outcome of performing well in the competition; and also satisfying and solving their customers’ issues.  

The outmost benefit of Microservices Architecture is its capability to provide flexibility, structural scalability, and reduced costs. The Monolithic structure has often failed when you want to scale your architecture. And since, financial services can never remain constant there is always scope to extend its capabilities as the world is changing. 

The long before financial institutions have legacy systems that carry the baggage of centralized database that are tightly coupled sub system. Microservices give them an approach to separate database from every services. Whenever a new service or a feature is deployed in an infrastructure or product then it has its own separate database and this way entire system doesn’t get affected. The architecture offers solution to fetch the only required data belonging to a specific service. The service reflects through an endpoint or a middleware platform, implying that a large scale service can be implemented with No SQL database for heavy scenarios. 

Example of a real life Bank with Monolithic architecture:

Danske Bank worked on the monolithic architecture that mostly relied on the sharing of the resources and therefore the processes couldn’t function independently. The major issue with the monolithic architecture was its scalability and maintainability. Their system wasn’t componentized and shared software libraries. Also monolithic architecture has stack dependencies that stops the embedment of the latest technologies. Additionally, with this architecture banking application had the fear of sending over unencrypted data of the users. 

Monolithic application involves huge and complex code, making the response time of a web application high, and also, unacceptable.

And as the web service coincides with the monolith ecosystem, they have a greater downtime and are unavailable each time there is an integration or upgradation of new feature in the application. Which states that the B2B dependency on the application can further complicate decision-making.   

Example of a real life Fintech organization having Microservice architecture:

Monzo Bank, a London Based bank uses microservices architecture to build a mobile first U.K digital bank. It has established a cloud native mobile-first digital bank while also complying with regulations. It has the technology foundation that can provide what all the traditional banks cannot  with an additional cloud enabled advantage. 

Monzo uses AWS hosting for its core banking needs to enable scalability and flexibility with its cloud computing strength, also eliminating the doubts in terms of capacity, infrastructure, and provisioning management. 

Monzo has established its core banking systems from scratch with the help of microservices architecture, with multiple virtualized servers having container tools such as Docker and Kubernetes. It architecture makes a hub of small elements that can scale as an entity, communicate synchronously or asynchronously, and have APIs. Their banking application also has a platform-agnostic for easy interoperability. 

Outcome of adopting such a system

  1. Monzo runs on an active data centre that avoid any failures or downtime attached to their banking application
  2. Its AWS hosting offers sophisticated security, auditability, and encryption levels to remain compliant with the banking regulations. 
  3. Their customer experience is powered by technology making them, by far the most significant is customer centricity; elevating and enhancing their infrastructure according to the competitive landscape for FinTech organizations today.
  4. Their core banking system has a technology architecture that is open, agnostic, scalable, secure, and 3rd Platform–enabled.
  5. As a startup it always had the advantage to develop its infrastructure from scratch and be totally cloud driven.  From the very start they understood that simple computation won’t take them out of the firewall but rather give them a data driven and secure architecture that can totally redesign their system’s infrastructure.

The biggest benefit Monzo has gained from microservices is organisational flexibility, Suhail Patel, Monzo’s backend engineer explained this by quoting – 

“We build services which are granular enough to be easily understood. Ownership of services is well-defined but can be fluid based on the goals of the company. Monzo has grown significantly over the past 24 months; the structure of existing teams and emergence of new teams has changed significantly as a result.”

Benefits of inducing Microservices in financial institutions 

There are considerable advantages that microservices can provide with a robust IT strategy that is sufficient for smooth transition. 

  • Transmission and redeployment of new application features without fear of failing the entire application.
  • Increased agility and decoupled release cycles implying app updates can be developed and deployed within hours.
  • With microservices architecture the infrastructure can be easily replicated and can be more effectively help in scaling growth in terms of users and transaction volumes. 
  • As database is much less interdependent, microservices can level down failure footprint. 
  • Microservices architecture makes banking application easier to refactor or replace going forwards.
  • As microservices can be easily replicated it can help increase structural scalability. 
  • Microservices architecture helps provide improved security levels in the application this way the threats do not breach the entire app and the other elements can left protected. 

Microservices Architecture – Ideal platform for Platform Banking 

Microservice architecture provides accelerated integration with the third parties and efficiency in the process, which proves to be a major competitive factor in the platform banking ecosystem. The traditional banking system that goes with the monolithic approach has multiple points of integrations and batch processing which is highly inefficient and slows the entire process. And the microservices architecture can bring in a phased approach that minimises risk with a deliberate process in the near-term and long-term objectives. Each element can be developed, updated, and managed independently, making microservices based applications easier to work on and maintain. 

To Conclude

Banks and Financial Institutes must adopt microservices architecture in order to create and enter new markets, and also establish themselves rightly to gain all the profits that a new market can offer. With the platform banking the FinTech industry will not only introduce new sources of revenue, but also present enhanced customer experience along with the improved operational efficiency reciprocating a lot of margin. 

Also, in the long-term, banks and financial institutes must move to a more sophisticated microservices based core platform in coordination with service mesh. Banks are currently trying to develop a marketplace that should have a microservices platform providing and scaling banking services as individual stacks categorized by product domains.

Consider this example, an organization owner can develop a marketplace that can combine industry leading onboarding services from a fintech with its inhouse underwriting capabilities and book the receivables to a third party bank. And also a customer availing a loan from their platform would be able to protect from the various levels in the back end. Such a composition can be executed effectively only with a microservices-based architecture. 

So, the goal of microservices architecture is to help financial institutes and banks align together services from different platforms into unity to offer a unique service to customers.

To know more about iView Labs, kindly log on to our website www.iviewlabs.com and to get in touch with us with your queries and needs just write us an email on info@iviewlabs.com and sales@iviewlabs.comDownload the latest portfolio to see our work.

9 key points to decide on Microservices Architecture

Microservices Architecture is a great way to structure your single monolithic codebases. It gives an opportunity to scale the architecture, giving you complete portability of an application. But before going through all the benefits of microservices, it is important that we understand the key points of Microservices Architecture in order to get the maximum value out of the entire structure.

Best practices to include while implementing Microservices Architecture 

  1. Why Microservices Architecture?

First, identify the need whether micro services architecture for your cloud application development is going to be really beneficial or not. The biggest advantage of microservices is the way it disintegrates  data and operations. This distributed system will  help to partition all your data into different services. This gives an option to scale the system along with the data that needs to be prescribed independently so that the service logic is separate. You will need to identify whether such separation of data, components and services which  brings scalability  is really required for your product, use case or a business application on cloud..

  1. Resources

Each unit in the application runs with its own runtime and different processing threads giving it a better elasticity than the monolithic architecture. If you need such elasticity and scale, you will have to plan your resources, separating data; teams separated, leading to efficient ways of managing  each service independently irrespective of resources.

  1. Define the kind of microservices 

The success of microservices architecture is mainly on  how you design, define and architect this system. Before implementing it is important to clearly understand your business function, your use case, your modules,, services, and to understand how these different modules will interchange and exchange data into each other. A clarity on your business function is important to define the architecture that subsides in the system with fragmentation. So, remember to recognize your business functionality far ahead to build optimal microservice architecture.

  1. Recognizing Scalability of your Structure 

Scalability being the major aspect of microservices, it allows an application to be broken down into units and then concurrently being processed in parallel. Thereafter, increasing the overall efficiency of the application. So, while inducing scalability identify these aspects in your system – resource bottlenecks for read and write traffic.

Start by knowing and understanding the nature of growth your system would have. Assess this on predetermined data or put your assumptions to design a system with a performance benchmark to understand it’s  qualitative growth scale. Thereafter is the capacity planning, this is where quantitative and qualitative growth comes into play. Next is dependency scaling; You need to understand the interdependent scenarios which could lead to bottlenecks for fetching and writing data into your databases. This is where a well defined decoupled module would help to bring that scale for your system.

  1. Ensuring Cost Vs Benefit 

All in all, Microservices Architecture transformation will lead to an independent management of services which will give your application an agility that will facilitate continuous delivery and faster time to market. Ofcourse, initially when you are building with a microservices architecture, it will take time and cost of it will increase but you build your systems with a mindset of modernization and to sustain for the future  for at least for 5 years.  Implementing the microservice architecture isn’t only a technical decision this kind of transformation also requires a buy-in from the stakeholders into account to ensure that any system that you are  building is able to sustain. So, before your monolithic architecture is transformed into microservices or needs to be modernized we need to understand what are the benefits it’s going to bring for the system in the longer run. 

  1. A good set of DevOps toolkit

To get an optimal value out of your new architecture you need to automate your services testing, build and deploy management. Therefore it is important to set up a good set of DevOps process as you will find it faster to release your application. 

  1. A single entry point

Implement an API Gateway which is  a single entry point for all the requests of your client. Since in microservices architecture, each service is managed independently, from its authentication, business logic and database, we need a common gateway to interact with different services of the system. This helps in distributing your client requests separately for each service. Also, it gives an advantage to host and request each service of your application differently.  The communication protocol between your product and services should be as simple as possible and it would be incharge of transmitting the data without changing it. Microservice architectures have the capability to keep data or resources as straightforward as possible to avoid tight coupling of the elements. In some opportunities you might find yourself using an event driven architecture with asynchronous message wise communications.

  1. Keep in mind the challenges

We know microservices can provide you great benefits from decoupling, fragmentation, flexibility to scalability. But you can come across various challenges when you work on it as a whole system. As your system is divided into distributed systems it can now have multiple bottleneck points, so you need to take in account the multiple bottlenecks points. Along with it you also need to understand network hops it may have due to fragmented services. Hence the question is whether my application really needs a microservices architecture.

  1. Reduce Deployment Friction

Microservices can sustainably support continuous delivery as you have an increasing number of services that need to be deployed multiple times a day. So it is critical that you go with continuous delivery to minimize the risks of release failure, as well as ensuring that your resources are focused on building and running the application rather than being stuck at the deployment stage. 

The biggest commercial Advantage that Microservice Architecture provides: 

The biggest advantage is that microservices give an opportunity to scale, to manage, to integrate independently which helps to bring agility in your application. Also, with decoupling, it gives you a possibility to scale each service independently. We would highly recommend Micro services architecture for applications which have third party API integrations, Internal multiple Business logic  scenarios, Multiple product offerings where there is a way to scale, manage and integrate each service module independently.

To know more about iView Labs, kindly log on to our website www.iviewlabs.com and to get in touch with us with your queries and needs just write us an email on info@iviewlabs.com and sales@iviewlabs.comDownload the latest portfolio to see our work.

How to Secure your Products with DevSecOps and Beyond in 2021?

IT Security was always a significant concern in the tech environment. Security breaches during the pandemic have brought securing tech products to the top of the priority list.

What are the top trends defining Software Product Security?

  • Building Security into the Development Ecosystem from the Beginning

This ensures that during the entire development process, security remains a core concern. Integration of data protection mechanisms from the initial stages is made mandatory by the Data Protection Regulation in Europe. Experts are considering similar measures for Asia and North America as well.

  • DevOps is now DevSecOps.

DevSecOps is the term given to the attitude, processes, technology, and operations during the development of an app, tool, or software. It aims at building security into the development from the very beginning. So the Development, Security, and Operations teams work in tandem all through the product development cycle. 

What’s the DevSecOps Workflow?

  • The code written by one developer is checked for possible security-related weaknesses and issues by another coder.
  • The application is brought into play with Infrastructure-as-Code tools.
  • Security configurations are activated into the Control Management System.
  • The application is tested through the Testing Automation. This includes all aspects such as UI, Back-end, separate security tests, API, and overall integration.
  • If the application clears all the testing procedures, it is progressed to the production stage.
  • Intense monitoring comes into play to check operational security risks.

Tools for DevSecOps 

The top tools for managing DevSecOps during the CI/CD are the following:

  • Static Application Security Testing Tools
    These tools check the code for problems that may lead to security risks in the future. They are used up to the development phase.

Examples: GitLab, HCL AppScan, Coverity, CodeScan, etc.

  • Software Composition Analysis Tools

They are employed for finding weaknesses in the third-party and open-source components. Covering the license risks as well for timely identification and solution is essential for them. Accelerating the DevSecOps process is their concern.

Examples: WhiteSource, FlexNet Code Insight, Black Duck, JFrog Xray, etc.

  • Interactive Application Security Testing Tools

They are deployed to monitor and analyze the behavior of the application during the run-time. By identifying the run-time level susceptibilities, it allows the developers to find the flaws in the code. The coders can then address the issues in the code to strengthen the security.

Examples: Parasoft, Veracode, Checkmarx, SonarQube, etc.

  • Dynamic Application Security Testing Tools

They are designed to carry out simulation exercises to protect the product from hackers. They work through the network and do not require code access.

Examples: Appknox, Netsparker, GitLab, HCL AppScan, etc.

  • Security Reassessment at each Stage

The strong beginning requires sustenance. At each stage of development, the risks are weighed for the necessary immediate steps. Each stage of development is often broken into smaller stages for denser, more in-depth, and detailed checks.

  • Innovation and Improvements in the Secure Development Lifecycle (SDL)

The SDL is now emphasizing on:

  • Continuous upgrading of the skills of coders with the protection of code in the center.
  • Ensuring that all teams and each member are at the same level of security training and awareness.
  • Regulatory requirements are no more considered frictional to development but as a firm foundation for smoother progress.

What are the crucial Product Security Practices for 2021? 

  1. Segmentation

Segmentation has to do with data, storage, and capabilities. By clearly segmenting, the team can ensure that the data is managed appropriately. In case of unwanted access, it would be easier to carry out security checks and measures. For storage, determining the right choices between physical or cloud storage is essential. Finally, segmentation in capabilities ensures a faster development pace and easier optimization. Overall, it’s about the better organization of the most fundamental aspects.

  1. Automation

Automation can tackle many of the expected threats. So can the various probable ones. Automation can be attached to the auto-remedy tasks. It requires analysis of firewalls and security configurations. It saves the experts’ energy and time, which they can devote to novel security threats and strategic measures.

  1. Ensuring Security from Design and Architecture Perspective 

Threat modeling at the initial stage of designing will save a lot of time and effort in the later stages. It will alert the team to attacks. When they know about such threats in the back of their minds, the alertness will improve. Design documents will draw the boundaries for development level updates to avoid errors mid-way on the development course. Third-party component tracking is crucial in figuring out weaker components and fixing them promptly.

  1. Sustained Patching 

Continuous patching ensures that your product does not suffer because of old software. With about 80% of the components being open-source, security and licensing risks increase. Maintaining elaborate version details and not missing the latest patches enhances product security.

  1. Least Privilege Principle 

This means granting only the necessary and minimum privileges to systems and users. Conscious or inadvertent compromises to security are thwarted by ensuring the least privilege. Timely canceling the accesses no longer needed and changing the access level according to the duty change is essential.

  1. Mapping the Data Processing

Data processing map helps in determining the types of data the product will deal with. It also outlines the use of each type of data and the processes it will involve into. When an elaborate data plan is created in advance, the security team can prepare security controls in advance. It also helps allocate data to appropriate systems, define privileges, and control and process sensitive and personal data.

  1. Greater Encryption

Well, there’s a lot of talk about the end of encryption with the coming of Quantum Computing. However, the Tech giants investing billions into Quantum Computing have already ensured that its uses will be constructive. So there’s no reason for losing interest in encryption. No point in taking FIPS 140-2 lightly. It would be better to take the Application-level encryption a notch higher. 

  1. Securing All Storage Systems

Keep all the bases covered. There’s no point in believing that if strong security measures are implemented for the internal storage, then networks and OS can be ignored. Strengthening critical storage is the key to securing the product.

  1. Dynamic Testing

Dynamic testing does not just have to do with continuous and variegated testing to check risks. It’s also about constructing scenarios and conducting simulation exercises. Companies have hired expert hackers to help their teams with the process. They can find ever ingenious ways of causing trouble and breaching the security of the product. This is an innovative way of testing the team’s imagination and intelligence. Mature teams can rely upon the updates of latest forms and modes of threats and test the product more often and from different angles.

  1. Quicker Incident Response Planning

Incident response is rooted in threat modeling. However, it has to look beyond that too. It cannot be caught in a frozen mold. Prompt action against potential breaches can be laid out in steps. What’s more important is the right anticipation of the threat that’s not been planned for or remains unseen. 

Swift planning and execution at the moment of attack is the challenge that tech product security experts will have to take up. These are the ten effective practices that will remain central to securing products in their development and performance phases. However, securing products is not just about putting the right systems, procedures, and practices in place. Do you have any more questions? Leave them in the comments below. We will get back to you with the answers soon.

To know more about iView Labs, kindly log on to our website www.iviewlabs.com and to get in touch with us with your queries and needs just write us an email on info@iviewlabs.com and sales@iviewlabs.com. Download the latest portfolio to see our work.

10 Steps for Managing Your Software Product after its Launch

A product is an embodiment of your brand values and your customers’ faith. Launching a software product is not enough to make it successful. Tracking its performance, understanding user behavior, their needs, and channeling the changes through an iterative cycle with the right strategies to create engagement and drive value for the customer is critical. Re-strategizing product features as per the evolving user behavior must ensure your software product’s stickiness. A software product should be seen as a continuous process of improvement. 

It cannot end at a product launch. Product lifecycle management, user behavior & user engagement with exemplary marketing efforts to find the right product-market fit for your software product is key that needs to be unlocked post-launch.

Why is Post-Launch Software Product Management Important?

Post-launch product management is crucial for many reasons.

  • Digital users have near to zero tolerance. Imperfections, bugs, clumsiness, lags could dishearten the users of your software product.  
  • Setting the ship on the sail is not enough. Knowing its coordinates and directions is more important. Meaning you need to understand and track your user’s journey and behaviour of users using your software product. 
  • Post-launch, monitoring your software product’s performance is very important to see that there are no lags, performance issues created due to an increase in daily active users.
  • The various parameters that define user behavior are tracked and studied, for example, the click rate, the acquisition rate, bounce rate, and conversion rate. This improves your understanding of  users and can redefine strategies around it.
  • Depending upon the overall user metrics, adjustments in marketing strategies improve product performance in the market.

How to Manage a Product Post-launch & find out whether you have a market for your product?

Step 1: Understand the importance of data analysis 

World-class marketing strategies are not enough to make a product successful in the digital space. One should also have an analytical mindset required to track the customers’ end-to-end experience. If you have all your tracking mechanisms in place, the parameters which will help you to gauge if the product is a perfect market fit or not are: 

– Click rate

– Acquisition rate 

– Engagement rate 

– Retention rate

Step 2: Take proper customer feedback 

We’ll see that ensuring customer satisfaction with the new product is more than a mere formality. Send messages, call, shoot emails …

– Check with them how they feel about the product?

– Ask them if the product met their expectations?

– Try to gauge if they are feeling under-rewarded for their excitement and confidence in your brand.

– Emphasize the features and benefits of the products they may be missing putting to use. Train them for product use if required. 

– Keep a measure of Customer Support Ticket issued for future analysis. Encourage them to post reviews, testimonials, and feedback

Step 3: Checking for imperfections, bugs, problems, shortcomings, etc.

This is where serious work begins. You may receive some less positive news while checking customer satisfaction. However, checking for lags, bugs, defects, and reasons for dissatisfaction should be a separate managerial exercise as well. QA testing should be continued even after the product is launched because there is always a scope for improvement. Gathering positive and negative feedback should be done separately, if not from different sets of buyers. The sooner you begin gathering negative feedback, the better as you improve faster.

Step 4: Planning to address the shortcomings

It has to be a quick, competent, and prompt process; else your product might lose the fizz. It can be done in the following ways.

– Making strategies for minimizing the harm to the customer relationship.

– Sending the details of severe flaws to the senior management so that timely steps can be taken to address the issues. This will minimize the harm.

– Pre-determining the possible market underperformance of the product and making adjustments.

– Even if the customers are satisfied with the product, try to push them to get fruitful feedback for attaining perfection in the next model or version.

Step 5: Find out your Product-Market Fit

Preparing a Product-Market Fit report can also give actionable insights to optimize the post-launch strategies. To check the product-market fit, you will need the following:

  • Customer satisfaction data
  • Customers’ understanding of the unique value proposition of your product in the market. How many of them understand why your product is unique and different from your competitors?
  • How likely are the customers of your competitors to try your product after learning about its benefits?
  • How likely is the user-generated content to influence those who are yet to make their mind for buying your product?
  • How many new users have your product won by building the positive image with the initial buyers and through their feedback and testimonials?

Besides these, you’ll need many other metrics for correct decision-making.

  • Comparative data around the cost of acquisition, adoption, and conversion of leads into customers. 
  • Customer lifetime value: CLV the most important calculation you can make if you are into SaaS. It helps in re-orienting marketing and development tasks according to the broader strategy of the organization. Keeping a smaller set of loyal customers happy could be more profitable than acquiring new ones and losing them in a short time. 
  • Churn Rate: This gives you an idea of the proportion of customers you are losing. To reduce it, you’ll have to keep a wider variety of users happy. You would not want to do it if acquiring and trying new users is cheaper than keeping everyone satisfied.
  • Promoter Score: It’s about the number or proportion of users recommending your product to others. This can be measured either from the total or against the number of users making no contribution to expanding your market.

Step 6: Gathering User Generated Content

Positive reviews, testimonials, and feedback are a dividend for the hard-work gone into product design and launch. These can be in the form of raw data, videos, audio or text. These dividends have to be re-invested. Pump them into your marketing strategy. Let the world know how your product is performing in the initial stages.

There’s nothing better than the prospective customers getting to know about it in the words of those who have already fallen in love with it. User-generated content is amongst the top digital marketing content strategies for 2021. It’s original, diverse, carries passion, honesty, and impeccable power to attract.

Step 7: Strike the Right Balance between In-bound and Out-bound Marketing Efforts

Many managers ignore balancing the in-bound and outbound marketing if the product is doing well. They don’t realize that post-launch product management is not just about the current product. It’s equally as much about the future coming model/version of the similar product, other products, and the brand overall. Here are a few examples of adjustments you can make:

  • Case 1- There are serious issues worth addressing: They may be hindering the market performance. Buyers could be getting doubtful about your product. Push the positive reviews and feedback into the outbound channels. Try to divert or slow the purchase path from in-bound channels until the next batch arrives.
  • Case 2 – Huge inflow of positive feedback, and inbound traffic. Use this opportunity to build relationships. Start planning for the future without losing sight of the present. Try to build a strategy to promote the brand overall. Announce schemes to clear underperforming products.
  • Case 3 – Everything seems in balance. This situation can be used to focus on the competitors and the external market. With timely improvisations and adjustments in emphasis on inbound/outbound efforts, you can try to gain a competitive advantage by eating into the rival product’s market.

Step 8: Customer Retention Strategy

After a few rounds of Product Performance Reports, you will have a fair idea of how the product is performing. Before planning ahead, make sure to draw a strategy to ensure customer retention.

If the product carries the scope of the repeated purchase, inaugurate offers.

Lay emphasis on converting the first-time buyers into loyal customers through loyalty marketing efforts. Design discount offers, reward-points schemes, etc.

Step 9: Drawing the In-market Product Life Cycle for Better Decision Making

In-market Product Life Cycle curve is graphed around:

  • Profit and revenue
  • Percentage of sales from the existing stock
  • Bookings and orders placed

A freshly launched product would give a rising curve. The declining curve means that the product is losing popularity. A flat curve calls for extra marketing efforts. It allows a dynamic picture of how the product is actually doing in the market.Sometimes it can provide seasonal insights as well, besides the quarterly performance reviews. Overall, it hastens smart post-launch product management decision making.

 
Step 10: Create the Financial Scorecard

For whatever actions and improvements the post-launch campaigns call for, funds are needed. Every company allocates funds for R&D, Marketing, Sales, and Management, etc. much before the launch. However, as the actual performance of the product unfolds, these funds have to be relocated. It depends upon the immediate measures decided and the adjustments in the long-term strategy in the product life cycle.

The post-launch Financial Scorecard should include weekly, monthly, and quarterly analysis of gross profit, profit percentage, sales figures, post-launch marketing campaign related statistics etc. Variance from planned outcomes, performance insights, customer data, and key business indicators, allow extracting the future opportunity plans.

We are sure that with these steps you will not be in dark, and drive your products towards great in-market performance. Do you have any more questions? Leave them in the comments below. We will get back to you with the answers soon.

To know more about iView Labs, kindly log on to our website www.iviewlabs.com and to get in touch with us with your queries and needs just write us an email on info@iviewlabs.com and sales@iviewlabs.com.

Download the latest portfolio to see our work.

Why, When & How should You Migrate a Native App to a Cross-Platform App?

One of the leading markets right now is mobile app development. According to a Business of Apps, it is estimated that the global number of smartphone users will increase to 3.5 billion by 2020. There are more than 4 million apps on both the Apple store and Android Playstore, which targets an audience of more than 2 billion. However, App development is not what it used to be. It has become more challenging to develop a functioning application these days.

The options that are available for app developers are myriad these days. App developers face the dilemma as to which is the platform they shall use for app development. Either they can choose to make a native app or a cross-platform app. This blog will explore more about how and when an app developer can transform a native app into a cross platform app. What is the benefit of such transformation? Before answering these crucial questions, let us have a quick look at what are these types of applications and what are the differences that exist between them.

Native App

A native application is specifically designed to run on a single platform. It will not run on other platforms. For instance , if an application is developed to run on an android, it would run on other platforms like Windows or IoS. You can use app development tools like Java or Kotlin to develop apps exclusively for android and applications like Swift and Objective C for IoS apps. 

While developing a native application certainly has its pros, it is not without its shortcomings. Let us dig a little deeper into these-

  • Pros 
    • Wider Functionality

Developing a native app offers seamless options to app developers to access all API and tools provided by the platform.

  • Better Support

You will get support from the app store if you have a native app. Additionally, it has more possibility for being rated as a top application in the app store as it also offers faster and much more efficient performance.

  • Better Performance

 A native app may offer better performance as there is a direct interaction between the code and underlying resources. It also offers device-specific features and a consistent UI.

  • Cons
    • Costly

Developing a native application can prove too much costlier than a cross platform application. You will have to constitute two different teams who will work on app development on two different platforms.

  • Less value for time

Time devoted to development of native apps can prove to be of lesser value, as it will only run on a single platform. ‘

  • Less Opportunity for growth

A native application can prove to give lesser returns for your time and money as it is bound to run on a single platform. It has much lesser Opportunity for growth as it will be available only on a single platform.

  • Lower Reach

Native apps can only reach out to a lesser number of people, as their usage is limited to only one single platform.

Cross-Platform Application

These applications are designed to run on multiple platforms like IOS and android. Various tools like ReactNative, Xamarin, and Flutter are used to achieve this. While the Cross-Platform application certainly has its shortcomings, like it compromises performance, its benefits outweigh them. It saves a lot of your precious time while offering a better return for your investment. So, if you have developed a native application, you would want to transform it to a cross-platform. 

Why should you migrate your native app to the Cross-platform?

  • Reusable Code: A cross-platform apps code is used to develop a single application on multiple platforms. This helps to save up time and effort for the development team 
  • Broader Reach: Your cross-platform application will reach out to a larger audience, which will in turn, prove to be a better return for your investment. 
  • Customization: A cross-platform application is customizable according to each platform. You do not need to devote extra time to customize the application separately for each application.  
  • Easier Maintenance: It is easier to maintain a cross-platform application as errors are rectifiable through a single code rather than working on the application on different platforms. 
  • Cloud Integration – Cross Platform apps come equipped with plugins and extensions, facilitating their integration with the cloud system.

When should you migrate your native app to a cross-platform app?

Well, it depends upon a lot of factors. As mentioned above, there are various shortcomings for a native application. There are various advantages associated with a cross-platform application. However, making the final decision lies squarely upon your shoulders; there are various factors that you must consider before making the final decision. Let us have a look at a few of them –

  • Nature of the Application: If you want to develop an application that involves complex tools and functions, you should probably stick to a native application. Some of these complexities in a native mobile application includes certain advanced features like real-time sync, media processing and custom animation. However, if your app uses basic features, then you could look for a cross-platform application.
  • Cost: As mentioned above, developing a native application could prove to be a costly affair, As you will have to develop two different teams working on app development for different platforms making a cross-platform is undoubtedly cost-effective.
  • UI/UX – If you are making an application that wishes to deliver breathtaking visuals and a much more enhanced application, you should opt for a native application as it would allow you to exploit UI/UX to deliver optimum experience fully.

How should you migrate your native app to a cross-platform app?

  • STEP 1

Selecting tool: The first step towards migrating your app to a cross-platform requires selecting an app development tool. There are various tools which you can use for this. A few of these are React Native, Flutter and Ionic. React Native is an open source programming language which supports both iOS and Android with a seamless UI/UX interface whereas Ionic is an open-source SDK for cross-platform mobile app development. Flutter on the other hand is the latest technology by Google which enables app developers to use a single codebase. 

  • STEP 2

UI/UX Design – App developers must abide by UI guidelines while simultaneously addressing the design needs for different platforms. Before, the proceeding must ensure that the app developer knows these design needs for different platforms.

  • STEP 3

Selecting App Modules – Another crucial aspect of cross-platform application development is selecting an app module for cross-platform app development. It significantly reduces the time for app development and helps give adequate exposure to native SDKs.

  • STEP 4

Choosing a dedicated library for both Android and iOS – When you are migrating your native mobile app to a cross-platform mobile application, you should have a dedicated library which is compatible in both Android and iOS. There are also several issues related to deployment and packing too. To avoid these, you should incrementally test your mobile application in both Android and iOS so that there no bugs are present during deployment. 

  • STEP 5

Accommodating features for different platforms – So, when you develop a cross-platform application the difference between different platforms is not limited to the programming language or operating system. There are numerous features in different platforms that might differ significantly from each other, like camera, geolocation, gyroscope, compass, Twitter, etc. Besides these, certain attributes could be specific to a device like a screen layout, keyboard layout, push notifications, touch, and gestures, etc.

  • STEP 6

App testing and App Store Approval –The last part of migrating your application to a cross-platform is perhaps the most critical one. It would help if you aimed for a rigorous process review for your application, as there is some margin for error after your app development. Make sure you thoroughly test your app before the final launch date.

In a nutshell, you should keep the factors in mind while you are migrating a native application to a cross-platform application. Do you have any more questions? Leave them in the comments below. We will get back to you with the answers soon.

To know more about iView Labs, kindly log on to our website www.iviewlabs.com and to get in touch with us with your queries and needs just write us an email at info@iviewlabs.com and sales@iviewlabs.com.

Download the latest portfolio to see our work.

Era of Live Video Streaming Apps Post Covid World

How to Create a Live-Streaming Mobile App?

The live streaming market is projected to reach $78 billion by 2021. Through live streaming, businesses can reach a broader market, engage live audiences, and build brand loyalty.  It’s no wonder that live-streaming apps have flooded the market and overtaken social media and blogs in consumption market share.

And want to know the best part about live streaming apps? They can be developed brands and organizations from most domains, industries, scales, and sizes. As long as you have interesting content to serve and a ready-made audience, you can build a live-streaming mobile app and earn a fortune.

Sounds cool, right?

It is. So let’s learn about the process and tools required to build great live-streaming mobile apps. But first, let us take a look at the basic features every robust live-streaming app needs to possess. 

What Are the Most Important Elements of a Live-Streaming App?

There are numerous live-streaming mobile apps out there, but not all of them are successful. The best apps need to have the following elements/features:

  • An intuitive interface that is easy to use.
  • Native integration with a robust video player so that viewers get uninterrupted video quality. According to research, 90% of Facebook Live viewers rate video quality as the most important factor governing their choice of apps.
  • Adaptive streaming (bitrate) so that your live streams can adjust to each user’s CPU capacity.
  • Scalable cloud hosting so that your app can accommodate mass user volumes with ease.
  • A flexible structure so that the app can handle video-on-demand (VoD) as well as live streaming.
  • Responsive design so that your live streams can be viewed on varied screen sizes and devices, from smartphones to home theatre systems.
  • Download feature so that viewers can watch your content offline as well.
  • Robust security so that your content is protected from hackers and malware.
  • Essential features, such as profile creation, follow users, and account registration.
  • Advanced search and filter options so that users can search for content by location, creator, etc.
  • Monetization features so that content creators can make money from their activities.

If your live-streaming app contains all of the above features and capabilities, it has a better chance of beating the competition and meeting user expectations. Now, let’s talk about how to build your first live-streaming mobile app.

How to Develop a Great Live-Streaming App

There are many platforms to create a live streaming mobile app for first-time creators. But creating an app is not exactly a DIY project. It requires a fair bit of coding and designing experience, which means you should hire professional mobile app development teams for the task.

The process to build a live-streaming mobile app covers these main steps:

1. Validate Your Plan

Before you embark on live streaming, think if you really need to develop a mobile app. Consider the benefits you can derive through an app, and weigh them against risks and investment. The pay-off should be justified.

If you’re unsure about your app’s fate, answer the following questions as objectively as possible:

  • Is your target audience looking for live content? 

In general, live video consumption has increased exponentially in the last few years, especially in the 18-34 age bracket (millennials). So, if your buyer persona is aged as such, you are assured of demand.

  • Do you have products/processes that can benefit from live content? 

Research shows that there is a huge demand for live explainer videos. For industries revolving around complex processes and products, live streaming apps are a great option.

  • Can your business profit from audience engagement?

Live streaming is a great marketing tool since it lets brands build a direct connection with their audience. A recent study proves that 83% of people would rather watch a video than read a blog post from brands while shopping. If you leverage influencers and bloggers to spread your messaging, live streaming apps can widen their reach. 

Once you are convinced that live streaming apps are essential for you, it’s time to proceed with the next steps.

2. Determine the KInd of App Your Need

The kind of app you build determines the tech stack and platform you will use for app development. There are three main kinds of live-streaming apps. Let’s learn about them in detail.

Live Video Broadcasting Apps:  YouTube Live, Facebook Live, and Periscope are some of the most popular video broadcasting apps. Through them, users can watch live video content while they are being recorded.

Live Audio Streaming Apps: Apple Music, Pandora, and Spotify are a few of the reputable live audio streaming apps. When users want to listen to live audio content or podcasts, they can use these kinds of apps.

Video-on-Demand Apps (VoD): Amazon Prime, Hulu, and Netflix allow viewers to watch TV series and movies on demand via an internet connection. 

3.  Outline the Basic App Features

As explained before, your live streaming app needs to have some essential features, such as:

  • Sign In: Users should be able to register to your app and save their credentials in a safe location. To make onboarding easier, you can allow users to sign up through Facebook and other social networks.
  • Profile and Settings: After signing up, users should be able to check their profile and change the settings as needed. 
  • Notifications: Content creators should be able to notify followers of new uploaded content and live streams. They should be able to organize their notifications.
  • Social Media Sharing: To reach more people, you need to incorporate social sharing handles/buttons in your app. Using those, your followers will be able to share your content or their feedback in their social feeds, which helps attract new followers.
  • In-App Storage: While “in-the-moment” content is the essence of live streaming, your app should offer storage space to content creators as well. This way, they can save pre-recorded content (like tutorials) which can be embedded in live streams later.
  • Auto Quality: For seamless streaming, it’s important to use the adaptive bitrate system that compresses bits according to device and internet bandwidth. 
  • Interactive Elements: To make your live sessions interesting, you need to engage users with comments and interactivities.

4. Design the UI/UX

The user interface of an app should be pleasant and intuitive. Users judge apps based on the kind of interface and experience it provides. With UI/UX so critical to your app’s success. It’s important that you get it right in the first go. Here are the four principles you should follow while designing it:

  • Structure

Your app’s design elements should be placed in a clean and coherent architecture. You can take guidance from Information Architecture to design your app.

  • Simplicity

For new apps, it’s essential that the design is so simple that even first-time users can navigate it with ease. 

  • Visibility

Your app might be having numerous wonderful elements but placing them all together in one screen can overwhelm new users. That’s why you should show only the important elements and leave the rest for later.

  • Reuse

By maintaining consistency in design for both internal and external app elements, users can reuse your app time and again without any hassle.

5. Identify the Right Tech Stack

Once your design is finalized, you need to decide on the framework to be used for app building. When it comes to frameworks, developers are spoilt for choice. But they must select their framework keeping their design, features, and users in mind. 

Regardless of the framework you select, pay special attention to data security and scalability. Since live streaming apps expand their user base rather fast, it’s important that your app storage, streaming, and architecture accommodates the growing user base without a glitch.

7. Use Bonus Features

Since the competition in the app space is very stiff, your app needs standout features like AI integration and serverless architecture. By adding these capabilities to your app, you can make it more appealing to users and stride ahead of the competition. Also, keep an eye on changing trends in your domain and incorporate them in your app as quickly as possible.

Are You Ready to Create Your Live Streaming App?

The live streaming domain is here to stay. So, don’t hesitate before jumping into the fray with a powerful app. At the same time, plan and design your app with a lot of thought since there are too many competitors in the market.

To start with, you can use the above steps as a compass to guide your app development. We have tried to cover all the main processes and principles required to risk-proof your app.

Do you have any questions about the described process? Leave them in the comments below. We will get back to you with the answers soon.

To know more about iView Labs, kindly log on to our website www.iviewlabs.com and to get in touch with us with your queries and needs just write us an email on info@iviewlabs.com and sales@iviewlabs.com.

Download the latest portfolio to see our work.

Steps to Build Your IoT Prototype

The Internet of Things or IoT has taken over every major facet of our lives. From research labs, the path-breaking technology has moved out and found a place in our homes, kitchens, offices, gardens, and roads. 

Shortly, connected devices are poised to become more accessible and affordable than ever before. Needless to say, their demand is going to surpass all limits, and businesses dealing in the niche can literally mint money riding the wave. So, if you haven’t yet jumped on to the IoT bandwagon, now’s a good time to do so and understand how this disruptive technology works.

Just like all software solutions, IoT projects also start with prototyping. Your IoT prototype outlines all the required parameters of your IoT deployment. It binds together all the elements of your project- device, user, cloud, and enterprise. But creating a perfect prototype is easier said than done.

In this post, we will be discussing the main steps involved in IoT prototyping. But first, let’s understand how IoT prototyping is challenging.

How Is IoT Prototyping Unique and Challenging?

Prototyping for an IoT product will be different than for other software. When your team first forays into IoT, here are some things they might find disconcerting:

The prototype will not be production-ready: When you prototype for non-IoT solutions, whatever you include in their prototypes reflect in the final products as well. This is not the same with IoT products. The hardware and software in their prototypes and final products may vary widely. Moreover, there are many third-party integrations that are not included in prototypes.

Few ready-to-use components: Unlike other software prototypes, IoT ones don’t have the advantage of readymade components. Your development team will have to start from scratch, building components one by one. Feedback and testing cycles will be longer and usage instructions will need to be more in-depth since users are not very familiar with connected devices as yet.

Software occupies center-stage: IoT hardware takes time to master. But if your software facilitates user onboarding, the user experience can be seamless and smooth. In order to overcome friction, IoT prototypes need to lay special emphasis on user experience.

Products should be high on usability: Sticking a chip into a device and connecting to the web does not comprise IoT. A real IoT product delivers value from the get-go, even if it doesn’t look too pretty. It is made after tracking consumer behavior and action. It doesn’t overpromise and underdeliver, rather vice versa.

5 Steps to Create Your First IoT Prototype

Building your first IoT prototype can be challenging and exciting at the same time. A typical prototyping process consists of four major stages. Let’s take a deeper look at them.

Stage 1: Identify the Goals of Your IoT Prototype

When prototyping an IoT product, it’s essential to drill down into its objectives first. 

For instance, if you anticipate glitches in how your device will interact with real users, tackle that first. Keep it at the focal point of your development process and plan your hardware, software, and other requirements around it.

Ask yourself questions like:

  • What will the IoT prototype achieve?
  • What kinds of data do you need to capture for the prototype?
  • Where will the captured data be logged?
  • Where will you put all the UI elements (wireframing)?
  • What kind of discussions do you want to have with your developer teams?

By keeping your end goals in sight, your project will get direction and momentum. Plus, it makes sense to work on these assumptions right away rather than when you’re well into the process and down thousands of dollars already.

Stage 2: Research on IoT Hardware and Components

Once you have identified the pain points that your product will address, it’s time to dig into the hardware components and technologies that will help you achieve the end goal. 

Hardware for prototyping will be very different from production hardware. 

How, you wonder?

Prototyping hardware will be:

  • Flexible: It will be breadboard-friendly.
  • Affordable: It will be low-cost.
  • Modular: It will be compatible with multiple hardware ecosystems.
  • Usable: It can be set up in a short time and comes with built-in tools.
  • Simplistic: It can easily be used by beginners.

As against this, production hardware is more reliable, manufacture-ready, and advanced.

While deciding on your IoT prototype’s hardware, find answers to questions like:

  • Does the hardware have a consistent firmware, platform, infrastructure, and development tools?
  • Is there sufficient resources and domain support around your chosen hardware?
  • How easy are the components to deploy? Can you get your prototype up and running with the components or do you have to go hunting for installation guides and experts?

Be aware that there is a lot of experimentation involved in this step of hardware selection. 

It’s likely that you will create a solution, test it, and end up scrapping it multiple times. Sometimes, it might seem akin to searching for a needle in a haystack, but pursue till you zero into the perfect strategies for your product.

For example, if your IoT product is Bluetooth-based and requires many connections to transfer data simultaneously, you may need to experiment with different Bluetooth devices to find the best connection. 

Front-end and backend functionalities may need to be synced over and over again through different technologies until everything works in tandem. If you give up after a few fails in the initial stages, you may never find your ideal technology and solution.

Stage 3: Design and Acquire the IoT Components

And now, we come to the most exciting stage of prototyping – product creation. We recommend that you start building early so as to spot discrepancies and fix bugs without affecting your delivery schedule. 

There are four basic components of an IoT prototype:

  1. Devices/Sensors 

Sensors and devices collect data from the product’s surroundings. These sensors come in varying degrees of complexity- from basic temperature monitors to complicated video feeds. You need to either acquire or design your own sensors for your IoT product.

  1. Connectivity

There needs to be a channel for the senor-collected data to be transported to the cloud infrastructure of IoT devices. These networks can be cellular, satellite, Bluetooth, WiFi, Wide Area Networks (WAN), or any other type. Whatever be your network choice, ensure that it is leakproof and secure.

  1. Data Processor

Once data reaches the cloud, it needs to be processed to generate some output. The data processing can range from simple (checking temperature range on your smart AC) to complex (scanning the area for unknown intruders). 

Sometimes, the user’s intervention is required for the data processing to complete. That’s where the next IoT component, user interface, comes into the picture.

  1. User Interface

There needs to be an interface through which users can interact with the IoT system. The user interface, users can check into their devices, provide inputs, and extract output. The UI can be a simple touch screen or a complex video feed, depending on the device and requirements.

While designing/acquiring IoT components, keep your end goals in sight. Ensure that the hardware and software components are compatible with each other. During the prototyping, it’s okay to encounter some glitches and failed iterations. Don’t lose heart and keep persevering until you have a full, working prototype in your hands.

Stage 4: Define Data Streams

To take advantage of the massive volumes of live data collected by your IoT device, you need to set up secure data streams. 

There are a number of caveats to defying data streams:

  1.  They should be secure and tamper-proof.
  2. They should be able to collect and tramt millions of data points simultaneously.
  3. They should be equipped to acquire, manipulate, collate, combine, and discard data as programmed.

One of the biggest challenges you’re likely to face is the distributed nature of data. Your data streams will have to collect and assimilate data from varied data sources – sensors, cloud, user interface, and others. 

If your data streams don’t configure data lineage accurately, data processing will take a hit. To do so, you can define data clusters using Apache frameworks. If your data streams are more complex, I recommend you use Kafka or Spark Streaming. 

Stage 5: Integrate with App

Integrating IoT with mobile apps is the last but most critical step of prototype development. Mobile IoT solutions can have unidirectional or bi-directional data transmission/communication between users and the device in question. Whatever be your development model, ensure that the integration is smooth and seamless.

IoT-powered smartphone apps can be of many kinds, ranging from wearable devices (like smartwatches and heat rate monitors), industrial plant monitors (to keep tabs on plant vitals), agro apps (to regulate irrigation rates, etc.) or traffic moderators (for decongesting traffic, assisted parking, etc.).

After you’ve got your IoT product up and running, the next step is to fix the bugs. These errors might be software-related like broken features or code issues, or hardware-related like patchy connectivity or skewed interface. 

Whatever the issues are, take the time to recode, retest, and eliminate each and every bug. Ensure the product holds up to scrutiny by experts and real users alike. If there is a flaw in the core design and coding, you may need to go back to the drawing board and start from scratch. 

Sounds overwhelming?

It can be. Coders and developers often like to share a joke that this stage typically called “the last 20%” ends up consuming 80% of the entire bandwidth. 

It’s fair to assume that unexpected twists will crop up during this troubleshooting stage. But since you’re so close to the final prototype, you need to keep the momentum going even if there are a few roadblocks. At the end, you should have a bug-free, full-featured prototype that meets its objectives.

Ready to Build Your IoT Prototype?

Prototyping is non-negotiable when it comes to IoT products. Clearly-defined goals, robust technologies, and rigorous testing can ease prototyping to a great degree. The approach described above can be your compass through the entire process.

Do you have any questions about IoT or prototyping? Leave them in the comments below. For more helpful and insightful information in this space, stay tuned in.

To know more about iView Labs, kindly log on to our website www.iviewlabs.com and to get in touch with us with your queries and needs just write us an email on info@iviewlabs.com and sales@iviewlabs.com.

Download the latest portfolio to see our work.

What Are the Key Digitization & Automation Practices in Financial Services?

As the world gets used to the “new normal” induced by COVID-19, most consumer services have taken the digital route. Among them, financial services have been the top adopters of digitization. With people relying more and more on online banking apps and portals, financial institutions have no choice but to digitize their processes end to end.

While changed consumer behaviour presents a huge business opportunity to the financial sector, it is not devoid of challenges. In an ideal state, the growing demand for digital products, applications, and services would mean increased revenue and market share for the traditional finance industry. 

But the truth is far from it. 

While core financial services have been digitized, there are many back- and mid-end services that are still stuck in a rut. From account opening to loan approval, there are many processes that start off at digital touchpoints but culminate with manual, pen-and-paper processing.

This way, the digital chain in financial services gets disrupted. The “right here, right now” advantage of digitization loses significance when consumers have to wait for facetime with financial advisors. 

To be fair, banks and FIs are working overtime to meet evolved customer demands and needs. In this post, we will talk about financial services that have been the focus area of digitization and automation.

Let’s get started.

1. Commercial and Small-Scale Business Lending

All over the world, governments are offering stimulus packages to businesses affected by the economic slowdown. Many businesses have had to revamp their infrastructure and systems to make way for the changing ecosystem. They need funds promptly without too much paperwork. That’s where digitized financial institutions can expedite the lending process.

For instance, the Office of Management and Budget in the US has allowed e-signatures in the loan application step. They have, in fact, taken out official orders to encourage staff to use e-signatures as much as possible to simplify processes.

At the same time, there is a spurt in the number of financial frauds where miscreants assume fake identities and siphon funds as loans. To avoid these pitfalls, a double line of defence is recommended.  Double authentication in the form of facial recognition with document verification can fail-proof your systems.

2. Consumer Lending

There is a global recession in the making. Household budgets are in the red after layoffs and pay cuts. That’s why global banks like Goldman Sachs have allowed their consumer borrowers to delay their loan instalments.

According to American Banker, “Many banks are also working to identify emergency borrowing needs – and using digital platforms to provide advice and process loan applications.” Despite all these empathetic steps, financial pressure on solopreneurs, workers, and small businesses is going to mount. The number of personal loans, debt consolidation loans, and bridge loans are multiplying.

Digital-savvy lenders and financiers are reprioritizing their processes by focusing on mobile channels. In this area, two new developments are visible on the horizon – mobile e-signatures and mobile shielding. Since many consumers have started banking and borrowing through phones and tablets, mobile-first lending can make their transactions seamless and painless.

Mobile e-signature, as the name implies, creates a digital trail for tracking signatures while maintaining compliance. Mobile shielding covers due diligence to protect banking applications from tampering, instructions, and breaches. By these two advancements, banks and FIs can ensure data security and compliance without disrupting the user experience.

3. Account Opening

Even in this crisis period, banks have reported a 300% increase in account-opening numbers. The increment is primarily because of increased loan applicants. 

To accommodate the heightened demand for new accounts, banks and FIs have transitioned to online mechanisms. According to American Banker, Citi’s commercial clients have “strongly gravitated toward digital onboarding.” 

While techno-savvy banks and FIs are making hay while the sun shines, their technically-challenged peers are in for serious troubles. According to a Litico survey from mid-March 2020, 82% of people are hesitant to visit bank branches during the outbreak. However, the same survey reveals that 63% are more inclined to try an app. 

This is good news for FIs that already own mobile apps or are in the process of building one. They are poised to earn a competitive advantage and increase their market share. 

In a recent ISMG banking industry survey, 68% of FI respondents have identified digital account opening as a priority initiative for their institution this year. To make room for greater customer volumes, they have expanded budgets for tech stacks like ID verification, machine learning, and digital signature.

To prevent fraudsters from intercepting security, banks and FIs are exploring safeguards like two-factor authentication and biometric scanning. Using these next-generation methods of identity verification, these institutions are able to offer mobile banking to customers without compromising on their security.

4. Account Maintenance

Customers need to maintain or update their account from time to time. Priorly, they would have to visit their bank to create fixed deposits or add nominees to their accounts. Most procedures were incomplete without hard copy documents and signatures.

But with banks opening for limited hours and people hesitant to visit banks for health concerns or restrictions, digital services have come in handy. With e-forms and digital ID verifications, banks and FIs are well-equipped to serve customers in the comfort of their homes.

Fraud prevention in the form of account takeovers has emerged as the biggest threat during this time. In this kind of cyber attack, unauthorized users permeate bank security and infiltrate accounts. Once there, they can easily siphon funds, change account settings, and block payments, much like the real owner. 

Fraud prevention platforms have cropped up to safeguard FIs against such threats. They closely monitor suspicious account activities and take necessary preventive action timely. 

Ready to Go Digital?

Apart from the above use cases, digitization is also being abundantly applied to employee-facing processes. From payroll to attendance, everything is recorded and tracked without human intervention. 

The best part is that these systems can be tailored to suit your organization’s specific needs. Another great thing is that they can be scaled up with ease to accommodate more data and user volume. This can help you save a lot of time, effort, and resources, keeping the quality and output intact.

Still, there’s a lot that needs to be done with regards to personalization of financial services. Currently, only 52% of banks offer personalized services in digital formats. This is a huge turn-off for discerning customers with high standards of customer service and support.

Another area where digitized services are falling short is the speed of transactions. Presently, too many regulatory stipulations are  bogging down the speed at which financial transactions come through. For click-happy customers, slow speed is a reason enough to abandon the transaction altogether.

However, there’s a lot going on in digitization and financial services are bound to catch up with other more digital-savvy business areas soon.

Can you think of other applications of digitization in financial services? Share your thoughts in the comments below. And state tuned for more cutting-edge information.

To know more about iView Labs, kindly log on to our website www.iviewlabs.com and to get in touch with us with your queries and needs just write us an email on info@iviewlabs.com and sales@iviewlabs.com.

Download the latest portfolio to see our work.

5 Steps to Improve Your KYC with Biometrics

KYC stands for “Know Your Customer.” It refers to the process where a business verifies the credentials and information of its potential and existing customers.

KYC is an essential step to prevent hijacking and tampering of sensitive customer data. It also helps businesses verify customers’ identities and assess their risk quotient.

Traditional KYC verification has many downsides, including restricted data portability and high costs. At the same time, vendors can’t exactly ignore KYC, especially as online transactions become rampant during COVID-19. 

To overcome the limitations of pen-and-paper identity verification, businesses have started leveraging next-gen solutions like biometrics. Let us talk about the advantages and best practices of using biometrics to streamline KYC. But first, let us understand why KYC is important and what are the issues with conventional KYC.

Why is KYC Important for Businesses?

Businesses, especially banks and financiers, rely on KYC for many reasons. A robust KYC system helps them to:

  • Thoroughly investigate new customers and verify their identities.
  • Prevent money-laundering and identity theft.
  • Assess the loan-repayment capability of clients.
  • Minimize potential security risks.
  • Comply with regulatory requirements.

Companies that don’t follow a stringent KYC procedure can expose themselves to fraudulent customers, insolvency, and reputation damage.

What Are the Drawbacks of Traditional KYC for Businesses and Customers?

Banks and financial institution have eliminated outdated KYC verification systems because of the following reasons:

1. Too Much Customer Friction

Customer-onboarding time has increased considerably ever since laws made KYC mandatory. According to a Thompson Reuters study, a simple account-opening process took 18% more time in 2018 as compared to 2017 since the verification time has stretched. 12% of customers say they got frustrated and switched banks when their bank asked for additional documents to complete complicated KYC.

Not only do customers have to wait longer for basic work, but they also resent the level of documentation they are asked to furnish. Privacy intrusion issues can arise when companies request for personal customer details.

2. High Compliance Costs

Companies are spending too much on legal fees and labor that are required to complete customer due diligence. Every week, 50% of bankers spend 1.5 days on onboarding new clients. The global compliance costs amount to $500 million annually for banks and finance-related businesses. If companies spend 15% to 20% of the total “bank-running” costs on compliance, risk, and governance, their profit margins dip.

3. Variable Data Rules

The list of permissible KYC documents varies from nation to nation. For example, Cyprus has recently updated their KYC requirements. They now demand an in-person meeting with each account holder. 

On top of that, there is no cognizance between companies when it comes to KYC rules. Different banks can ask for different verification documents from different clients. For instance, corporations may have to provide the director’s tax and legal papers. LLCs may be asked to furnish the Articles of Organization, etc. 

Compliance requirements depend on the Central Bank’s dictates. Plus, banks might formulate their own compliance policies. With such fluid rules, it becomes difficult for customers to keep documents handy.

For all of the above reasons, biometric verification for KYC has become popular.

Biometric-based KYC is scalable, company-agnostic, and standardized. The collection of user data is fast, simple, and portable. Moreover, biometric provides more precise and reliable MFA multi-factor authentication) than knowledge-based authentication (KBA) like passwords or PINs. 

Last, biometrics can be based on facial-recognition, voice ID, or fingerprints. By disallowing shared user credentials, biometrics is the most secure authentication system for KYC and AML (anti-money laundering). 

5 Biometric Best Practices You Need to Follow

There’s no denying that biometric KYC is the way forward. However, to use this cutting-edge technology in the best way, you need to follow the tips below.

1. Allow Single-Sign-On (SSO)

Often, users find it challenging to remember multiple passwords. Biometric-enabled SSO enables users who fail to recall passwords, to sign in. Busy, multi-taskers enjoy the convenience and time-saving of SSO. Intel has already leveraged SSO to allow users to log in to multiple systems securely using a single username and password.

2. Integrate Anti-Spoofing features

The biometric system should include built-in security systems that risk-proof your KYC from imposters. Fingerprint scanners require a live finger not recorded finger pictures to complete the scan. Similarly, liveness detection ensures that the customer is a live one. Iris-pattern scanners may require you to move your eyeball or blink to pass the due diligence routine.

3. Include Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)

To prevent data breaches, add a security layer by using MFA. It has two components—a custom pin that is system-generated, and personal authentication data (fingerprint, voice ID, iris pattern, geolocation, etc.). Mastercard’s “selfie pay” biometric system double-checks users’ identities by asking them to upload an instant selfie.

4. Take Advantage of Multi-Modal Biometrics

Typically, a single biometric data point is used to authenticate users. But background disturbances can distort voice tags and lighting can impact facial recognition. In such scenarios, authentic users can be locked out of systems. Also, a single data point is relatively easy to penetrate. That’s why some banks use multi-modal biometric KYCs that combine the results of more than one biometric. 

Your access control machines can be equipped with geolocation tracking and face scanners. Your bank locker systems can ask for voice identification along with eye patterns. This way, you can prevent spoofing even if one of your data points is compromised.

5. Be on Top of Trends

Identity verification is a fast-evolving space. Why so? That’s because fraudsters are always one step ahead of the legal system. As new ways of data leaks, account takeovers, and credit card frauds crop up, authentication systems also revamp. So, it is essential that you be abreast of trends in data security domains. 

If you use outdated, weak protocols, you are risking your customers’ financial and personal information. You are culpable for damages that your customers incur for your negligence and incompetence. Apart from the huge legal costs, you can also damage your business reputation and goodwill in the market.

Are You Ready to Improve Your KYC with Biometrics?

With SSN and KBA systems phasing out, biometrics-based KYC is the need of the hour. Since your customer relationships and business reputation are at stake, leave no stone unturned to master biometrics KYC. They offer convenience, cost-savings, and security to you and your customers. 

Leverage all the tips mentioned above and keep a lookout for changing trends. Subscribe to our blog to get free, monthly updates on the latest developments in product development, software innovation, design, and more.

To know more about iView Labs, kindly log on to our website www.iviewlabs.com and to get in touch with us with your queries and needs just write us an email on info@iviewlabs.com and sales@iviewlabs.com.

Download the latest portfolio to see our work.

4 Benefits of Using Blazor Framework for Full-Stack Web Apps

JavaScript has disrupted the world of web apps. Using the language, developers can replicate beautiful, user-friendly interfaces on browsers. But what about .NET developers? They don’t really have this advantage.

But that’s about to change with the entry of Blazor by Microsoft. Just imagine, .NET  web apps running on a browser, without any plugins or coding wizardry. Unbelievable, right? 

Let’s learn more about Blazor, the fantastic .NET web framework that has taken the app world by storm. 

What Exactly is Blazor?

Blazor is a markup syntax, using which you can embed server-based code into your web pages. It is comparable to Angular or React, the only difference being that it is powered by C#. Based on the latest web standards, Blazor doesn’t require any add-ons or plugins to work. 

As a result, Blazor bundles full-stack app development with the same consistency, stability, and productivity that .NET provides. Moreover, Blazor is completely open-source since it is implemented through WebAssembly. 

WebAssembly is the secret sauce that makes this magic possible. It is a web standard that converts high-level languages to a simplified form that runs at the speed of native machine codes. Thanks to this groundbreaking platform, code based on sophisticated languages like C# and F# can be run on web browsers. 

Now, let’s read about all of Blazor’s benefits below.

Advantages of Creating Full-Stack Web Apps Using Blazor

Blazor has the same benefits that a modern-age single page application (SPA) like Vue or React offers. Plus, both the client-side and server-side coding can be done using the same .NET technology. This means you can reuse the same classes on both sides.

In short, web apps built on the Blazor framework are fast and native-like. Their code is customizable, secured, and shareable. Let’s take a look at all the advantages of Blazor-based development.

1. You Can Run .NET Code in Browsers 

Until Blazor came out, JavaScript was the gold standard for full-stack web apps. This means back-end .NET developers had no option than to learn JavaScript if they wanted to ace full-stack development. 

With the advent of WebAssembly, the monopoly that NodeJS enjoyed in app development comes to an end. Via client-side Blazor, the same validation code can be used for all in-browser logic.

2. It Is Faster than JavaScript

If you use the client-side Blazor framework, you can develop performance-intensive apps like video gaming and augmented reality easily. Plus, Blazor is pre-compiled into WebAssembly so your server-side code is deployed and run faster than in languages like JS. As the full-stack cycle progresses, the deployment completes and code execution becomes even faster. 

You may not notice the speed difference in simple codes, but the difference is palpable in sophisticated programs.

3. Codesharing Is Possible on Server and Client Sides

Often, the same validation code that is run on the client-side needs to be executed on the server-side. 

For instance, you can tell users that they have entered a non-existent username as soon as they enter it, to save them a round trip to the server. Then, the same validation code is implemented on the server-side just to double-check the user input for the pre-fed username logic.

When you use Balzor, you create a class library with the validation algorithm and add the library as a reference to your user-facing Balzor app and the server-side app. This way, the same bit of code is deployed but without writing the class twice. Naturally, you save a lot of effort and development time.

4. Blazor-Powered Apps Can Run Offline

Blazor-run apps don’t consume too much network bandwidth since the server-side Blazor doesn’t pass data to the server time and again. Once users download the app from the internet, they can use the app completely without web support, with no impact on speed or performance.

Does this mean that Blazor is flawless? To answer this question, let’s look at its drawbacks.

Is Blazor Just Hype?

With a recent roll-out in May 2020, Blazor is still in the infantile stage. It has, thus, quite a few disadvantages that the team hopes to iron out as the framework matures.

1. Huge Payload

As of now, a fresh Blazor project weighs around 2.4MB. Since the entire server-side code needs to be shipped onto the client-side, the payload inflates. This means that even if your code contains a few lines only, the app size can run into megabytes. 

2. Long Initial Load Time

If your users have poor internet connectivity or are working on non-standard browsers, they can get frustrated with long load times. They have to wait out the period when the WebAssembly is downloading and static files on the server-side are being created.

3. Restricted Runtime

Blazor apps are subject to the same browser sandbox restrictions as JavaScript apps. If you’re working with thin clients, you may have to install polyfills to boost runtime. This is not recommended as you can lose many performance benefits of Blazor in the process.

4. Limited Debugging Capability

Client-side Blazor apps have their own custom debugging tab, but it has limited options. So, if your app has complex logic with hard-to-track bugs, you may have to write an initial code for debugging or place a huge amount of code into logging. To an extent, this nullifies the time-saving benefit of Blazor apps.

What is the Future of Blazor?

We wouldn’t be over-optimistic if we forecast a bright future for Blazor. Currently, there is a huge barrier to entry of .NET apps in the webspace. Blazor can help full-stack developers in this area. 

By poising itself as a single UI framework, Blazor demonstrates great potential. We see it growing in this direction and becoming a direct competition to JavaScript. As for the size and speed issues, the Blazor team is working overtime to streamline the programming kinks. We can hope for good news soon.

Do you need more in-the-moment updates on software development? Then, stay hooked to this blog. Also, let us know the topics you would like to read about. Till then, stay safe and software-smart!

To know more about iView Labs, kindly log on to our website www.iviewlabs.com and to get in touch with us with your queries and needs just write us an email on info@iviewlabs.com and sales@iviewlabs.com.

Download the latest portfolio to see our work.