Putting Digital Talents to Work for You

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It is no secret to anyone today that we have embarked on a digital journey.

We’re in an era where we can do virtually anything from the comfort of our homes and everything is only a smart device away: Netflix promises endless video entertainment, Uber gets you anywhere you want, and online stores offer you all you will ever need. What if you could have all this convenience with your bank as well?

More convenience for you is the goal Saradar Bank has set with its digital transformation. We are only at the beginning of our journey, and there is much we want to cover. The only way for us is forward, no matter the challenges. To get there, we try to tackle any obstacle with the most efficient and sustainable ways.

Our digital transformation means all our eyes on innovation by updating our products and services – if not reinvent them altogether. This has also meant revamping our offices, rethinking roles and hierarchies, and adopting new processes.

To sustain innovation, we need to improve our flexibility, adaptability, and response rate to bring our ideas to life on time and with the highest efficiency, while keeping room for continuous improvement. In other words, we need to become more Agile. We can no longer rely on ready-made solutions or outside suppliers to lead our innovation.

This is where the Digital Factory comes in. We like to think of ourselves as one-of-a-kind in our market. Think of us as a sort of “innovation department,” combining customer service excellence with communication strategies, design expertise, web development skills, and much more. We drive the development of Saradar Bank’s new offerings such as the mobile application, the online banking, and the website, among others.

Still, developing all of this in-house is a huge challenge in the fast-moving digital era. Imagine spending months, sometimes years, on a new idea (say, a multi-currency credit card) only to find out it has become obsolete (because Bitcoin is now the preferred currency, for example) by the time you put it on the market.

The engine behind our continued innovation is the talented people we employ, but more importantly the new roles we put them into:

Highly skilled developers are the backbone of the Digital Factory and the creators of all the applications you see and use. To attract the right type of up-and-coming young developers and, more importantly, to keep them, we had to “loosen our collar” a little. We succeeded in giving the Digital Factory a “startup” feel by making a few changes to the dress code, work desks, schedules, etc.

In-house designers are forging and maintaining our innovative identity across all our channels. It’s about more than just pretty colors and lines; these artists work to make every customer-facing user interface (UI, for short) more inviting and as personalized as possible. Whether in an app, an email, an ATM screen, a web page or a banner, the UI has replaced the traditional branch as the first point of contact with customers and determines their first impression. A great UI helps create a  great user experience (UX), such as a mobile banking application with services only a click away, an online onboarding form that is fun and engaging, or a personal financial manager that makes saving money a walk in the park.

Agile coaches are present all the time with different project teams (or squads) to ensure better productivity. Remember Agile? Well, they are responsible for sticking to the process that consistently delivers the best quality products from the prototype phase to testing, launch, and continuously improvement, all while maintaining a relaxed environment that favors creative problem-solving.

Product owners are responsible for rearing a product throughout all its development stages. As the key stakeholders, their main focus is guaranteeing that a product meets clients’ expectations. Nobody gets it 100% right the first time, so our product owners are always gathering feedback from clients and our analytics tools to monitor the success of a certain product or feature. Ultimately, they decide whether to keep certain functionalities, enhance them, or replace them.

To continue delivering on its promise of great UX, the Digital Factory is always up to date with recent technologies (new algorithms, development tools, etc.) and market trends. We are also always scouting for fresh talents and minds to improve our skills.

For the Digital Factory and all of us at Saradar Bank, Agile drives our quest for innovation and helps us uphold our values: to Put customers’ interests first, Inspire innovation and change, Create a unique environment for our people, and Adhere to the ethical and professional standards.

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