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Alex K., Open Bank: Interview

Alex K., Open Bank, Director of Marketing, Digital and Customer Service
Please describe your company.
We are a retail bank operating within Russia. One of the top three banks.
What is your role and responsibilities?
I’m senior vice president of marketing, digital, and customer experience.
What was your goal for working with Redmadrobot?
We didn’t have a mobile app. So, our goal was very simple, we wanted to  launch the bank’s first application.
Please describe the scope of their work.

They did mobile app development, as well as ATM and payment terminal design. The scope included everything you want to  have for a transactional banking app. We took care of the back-end, and they did everything else. They didn’t do consulting for us. I  believe they are capable of doing it, but we never asked them to. We had a really robust vision on our end. They developed the actual app, and they’ll be doing future apps we have in the pipeline for Android tablets and iPad.

We started working with them, and we were pretty happy with progress so went ahead and asked them to  redesign the ATM screens as well, and payment terminals. About a year ago we decided that we were going to  overhaul the whole user experience with our self-banking channels, ATMs, mobile, Web, and Internet banking. We never thought Redmadrobot was capable of doing anything beyond apps, but they executed pretty well with ATM design and payment terminal design as well.

What was your process for selecting Redmadrobot with which to  work?
We wanted to  move quickly. I’ve had previous experience with local studios, and we didn’t feel like we had the patience to  work with large global studios. So, we chose who we thought was the best well-rounded. I  was familiar with previous work they have done with other Russian companies. They’re based in Moscow near us, which is helpful.
Can you provide a ballpark dollar figure for the size of the work that they’ve done for you?
From the first meeting to  the launch, it took us 10 months. I  don’t have the work hours figure available.
What were the results of the project?
The relationship is ongoing. We are about to  launch an Android app. We have just deployed the first iOS update, and another update is due before Christmas, then it’s Android tablets and iPad development for 2015.
Are you satisfied with their performance?
We are satisfied. From an endpoint user perspective, it feels and works just great. From an internal quality control standpoint, it’s also fairly robust. We have a great HP 45 core. It’s 100 percent, which is pretty excellent. We’re very happy with how they performed.
Do you have any statistics or metrics to  track improvement from the project?
The current App Store rating is four stars. We haven’t starting promoting the app yet. We want to  give it a few months because what we have right now is not fully functioning. The first month we had 3,500 unique users, and slightly above 1,500 active users.
Is there anything unique about them that really makes them stand out, compared to  other companies?
They’re great to  work with. Every interaction is just great, from the account management team [and] the developers to  the management. As professionals [and] as individuals, these people are just pleasant to  work with. The project went very smoothly. It’s pretty nice working with them.
Looking back on the work so far, is there any area that you think they could improve upon or something that you might do differently?
Cost estimates is something they could improve. I  don’t think we were the first bank they worked with, but we were among the first two or three, and I  think they miscalculated the workload a little. At one point, they started doing more work than was rational for them for that contract. We took care of that issue. Again, it’s how they presented it, they underestimated the cost and workload.
We ask you to  rate Redmadrobot on a scale of one to  five, with five being the top score. What would you give them out of five for the quality of their work?
For schedule, as in being on time and meeting deadlines?
For cost, as in value for your money and sticking with the original estimates?
For the overall score?
How likely are you to  recommend Redmadrobot to  a colleague, out of five?
Five. I’m doing that already.