Xinja - Building Australia's First Mobile-First Bank

location_city Melbourne schedule Sep 21st 01:05 - 01:35 PM AEDT place Red Room people 78 Interested

This talk is an Experience Report sharing the highs, and the lows, from the first few months of building Xinja - Australia's first digital bank, designed entirely for mobile. A talk from two perspectives; both Business (Van Le - Customer Innovation Director, Xinja) and Technology (Phil Parker - Partner, Equal Experts) will share the journey we are going on… warts and all!

We will share how we manage priorities when developing with our customers (shout out to our founding Xinjas!), how developing a startup does not mean being technology lightweights (or cowboys) and how we manage to be effective with a highly distributed, global team.


Outline/Structure of the Case Study

Xinja is building Australia’s first independent, 100% digital bank designed entirely for mobile. It is a radically new banking experience built with the the community around their needs and in their interests, following best practice in human centred design. Xinja will make it quick, easy and even fun for customers to track spending, save for what they want, and just get a lot more out of their money. No branches or expensive legacy systems means lower costs & so competitive rates & low fees for customers. Furthermore, the products are being designed to help people get ahead; if customers do well, Xinja does well too.

Equal Experts are Xinja’s technology delivery partner. Providing tailored, end-to-end services in software development and delivery – from user research and design, to technical architecture and development, all the way to QA, continuous delivery, hosting and support - to make simple solutions to big business problems. With proven expertise in delivering robust, 5 star rated, mobile applications across iOS, Android & Windows platforms applying the same rigorous approach and values to the development of mobile software as any other project. Test driven development, continuous delivery and simple design come together to create a first class mobile experience supported by long term, sustainable technical practices that are essential to helping out clients deliver and succeed in the evolving, highly competitive mobile space.

Meet us - who we are, what we are about

  • Van: Aussie bank global intentions, What we do and why EE?
  • Phil: Global software delivery Aussie intentions, What we do and why Xinja?

Our Approach

  • Van: Human centred design thinking as an approach to problem solving
    • Listening to the customer, Developing with the customer, Constant discovery and iteration
  • Phil: Building software that lets Xinja react to their customer needs
    • Production first, rock-solid engineering practices, iterative and incremental approach

Challenges Faced - (warts and all)

  • Van - Making sense of different/conflicting insights and behaviours
    • Thinking beyond what people say and looking at behaviours, overcoming our own assumptions/bias/fears, choosing the problem to focus
  • Phil
    • Treating all solutions as hypotheses to validate, avoiding saying “no” (and instead saying “not next”), managing highly-distributed delivery, maintaining quality under pressure to deliver

How we have overcome those challenges

  • Details to follow!

Closing & Questions

Learning Outcome

Learn about the approach that we are taking to build a bank.

Hear our methods, tips (and traps) and why we believe “start ups” can be most successful when run by “grown ups”.

Understand that building products is not easy and, maybe, learn from some of our mistakes.

Target Audience

Anyone with an interest in how mobile products are built (or Australians who want a better bank!)

Prerequisites for Attendees

Nothing specific



schedule Submitted 5 years ago

  • Paul Stringer

    Paul Stringer - Storyboards Revisited

    Paul Stringer
    Paul Stringer
    Head of Mobile
    Equal Experts
    schedule 5 years ago
    Sold Out!
    30 Mins

    Storyboards are a powerful yet oft maligned tool for controlling the flow of your iOS app through configuration instead of code.

    The storyboard approach in theory allows a clean separation of flow and presentation that provides greater flexibility to change. The reality though is that view controller code typically ends up becoming deeply entwined with the storyboard itself, leading to inflexible, oft duplicated code. 

    This approach can leave many an experienced developer wondering "is it worth it?" and becoming wary of its use. In this session we take a fresh cut - we pick up the story where other 'architecture' approaches don't tread and learn about a powerful approach to maintaining the separation of storyboard from view controller that delivers on the promise of flexibility and less configuration in code.

  • 45 Mins

    Automated Acceptance Testing is one of the essential ingredients of a healthy agile software practice. Unfortunately, attempts to adopt this on mobile usually result in the creation of slow, brittle and highly complex UI tests - where did we go wrong?

    This approach is a far cry from the original idea of acceptance testing and does little to improve the reputation of mobile development. Automation is meant to bring confidence – but used in this way, it creates more problems than it solves. This leaves development teams and businesses left on a seemingly never ending quest for the next thing - usually in the guise of a new framework promising to be better than the last e.g. KIF, Calabash, Appium etc.

  • Nick Moore

    Nick Moore - The Internet of (Not Shit) Things

    Nick Moore
    Nick Moore
    Software Consultant
    schedule 5 years ago
    Sold Out!
    45 Mins

    Trying to better understand the problems of the Internet of Things by actually listening to its detractors. There's a lot of valid criticism of the Internet of Things, generally under the catchy phase 'The Internet of Shit'.

    This talk is a light-hearted look at the problems of existing IoT devices, and how to be constructive by transforming criticisms into requirements for a better Internet of Things. And we'll look at some of the proposed solutions for better ways to do IoT.