29 October 2020

The technology that expects the unexpected


– How Northmill Bank creates future conditions for a relevant banking experience 

Technology is central in our quest to create one of the most intelligent and relevant banks in Europe, and develop banking products that do not exist today. Our new partnership with tech- and cloud platform Snowflake is not only an important piece of the puzzle in how we will deliver unique and personal banking experiences in the future. But also how it will provide us with insights of the ongoing shift between systems and solutions that can adapt under certain conditions, to systems that are entirely created for change and personalization. 

Flexible scalability without maintenance 

“Now we may take full advantage of being a completely cloud-based neobank built on Amazon's AWS. It is generally about incorporating natural proactivity into each process. In addition, we can take advantage of the cloud providers' enormous scalability and world-leading security solutions. Two things that are high up on any modern tech company's wish list", says Babel Poli, VP Product at Northmill Bank. 

The partnership with Snowflake gives us the means of great scalability, no need for maintenance and a great opportunity to continue developing our work with semi-structured data that, for example, refers to customer behavior. It also opens doors to work with near real-time data. The work is also completely linked to configuration. Instead of spending time setting up servers and having a number of database administrators, and system engineers, for example, the user configures what is needed directly through an interface in order to optimize usage. Everything is accessible by the push of a button. 

“We get all the benefits of Big Data and Data Warehousing in an extremely simple package. And we can handle everything on a Chromebook from a café in Tel Aviv if we want to. It has proved to be incredibly important, not least during the ongoing pandemic. It also gives us less vulnerability", says Babel Poli.

It means that we can continue to deliver on our promise to always listen to our customers’ needs and include their feedback straight into our product development.

A dynamic state-of-the-art processor on tap 

Snowflake's platform can be described as a single giant cloud-based analytics processor. It is completely dynamic and created to constantly adapt. Users get tailored and modern warehousing, and BI, on tap. 

"With the technical setup we have today, cloud-only built on AWS with microservice infrastructure and another layer of Snowflake's limitless processing power, we have a structure that cannot only adapt to change – but is created for that exact purpose," says Georges Mansourati, Chief Analytics Officer at Northmill Bank. 

The ongoing shift of technology – where tech that only can be adapted under certain conditions is being replaced by technology that is proactive, dynamic and self-learning – is changing the rules of the game and its conditions. Yet, the importance of always including the ethical aspect of managing customers' data remains a top priority. 

“This enables us to launch a product, analyze a large amount of data points, draw conclusions and develop it further. All at a very high speed. It also means we can continue to deliver on our promise to always listen to our customers’ needs and include their feedback straight into our product development. For me, this is a fantastic and modern way to work with customer data internally to be able to make the best business decisions, while also creating a data-driven, relevant and personal customer experience. This is unique compared to how most companies work and far ahead of how it traditionally works in the financial industry ", says Babel Poli. 

90% development, <10% maintenance, 100% customer focus 

Snowflake's platform is adapted for a method called Data Vault 2.0. It is a method that means that we model our data according to the latest architecture for flexible and iterative deliveries. The method provides Northmill Bank with a data platform that enables the optimization of a number of areas, including Data Science and Business Intelligence. In return, it creates the conditions to make full use of transaction data in order to tailor individual experiences for our users. The cloud-based solution also involves almost zero maintenance. 

“Basically, we do not need any database or system engineers. We can invest 90 percent in the analysis and development of new products and features, that directly add value to the customers. I think that sends a strong message about the essence of being a neobank", says Georges Mansourati.

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