John R. Rymer, principal analyst at Forrester and global authority on low-code development, says, “There just aren’t enough developers to go around, so by going low-code, you can do as much with ordinary developers as you can afford.” This blog examines the case for low-code development, how it differs from its no-code cousin, and why banks of all sizes need to embrace these new techniques.
Digitization puts technology front, back and center in banking. Technology is a major determinant of banking brand engagement. A bank’s technology defines the customers it attracts, the quality of the customer experience, and the length of time customers remain customers.
The stakes for the banks are high and to succeed, it is necessary to aim for a multidimensional and constantly evolving target. Moreover, banks can no longer operate in isolation, nor rely on outdated operational models; they must take advantage of modern technology and techniques in order to be part of a larger financial ecosystem – an ecosystem in which application program interfaces (APIs) serve as the universal connectivity mechanism. Banks need to collaborate to innovate, and technology is the key driver for success.
Agility and responsiveness are key, and the rewards for speed and accuracy are high. Banks with the right development methods can increase customer engagement and do more for customers, who are increasingly comfortable with mobile banking. To get ahead and stay there, banks need to find smart ways to create new customer experiences, quickly and affordably. Low-code and no-code development are two powerful responses to this emerging need.
Software development, but not as we know it
As the demand for quality software increases, many companies simply cannot keep up with the backlog of development work that needs to be done. The best talented developers are always scarce, which causes many IT projects to remain unfinished or flounder in the backlog. This is a serious problem in the banking industry where modern technology is so critical to business success.
Low-code and no-code development solutions are emerging as viable and practical alternatives/complements to traditional development processes, enabling banks to transform software development as we know it. They are said to:
- Democratize technology
- Boost your business agility
- Simplify connectivity
- Increase efficiency
Although low-code and no-code are closely related, they are not synonymous and it is important to know the difference.
What is Low Code?
Low-code is a rapid application development technique that automates code generation using visual building blocks, such as point-and-click, drag-and-drop, and drop-down menu options..
This automation allows low-code users to focus on the differentiators rather than the common denominators of programming. Low-code solutions also allow users to do coding and scripting. Simply put, low-code offers a hybrid system that allows developers to become more productive. Additionally, low-code solutions also allow less technical people to become “power users” who can make changes to the system.
Although low-code methods can’t do it all, they’re especially useful in integrated development environments (IDEs) where there’s a need to reorganize workflows, debug systems, or modify web interfaces, as many things as possible. very beneficial elements in the banking sector.
In an open banking environment, low-code can be used to create connections to Banking as a Service (BaaS) or Software as a Service (SaaS) APIs, potentially transformative connectivity. It’s easy to imagine a future where banks leverage low-code apps to reduce time-to-market and offer truly personal banking at a much lower cost and at a much faster rate than ever before.
What is No-Code?
No-code offers a subset of the low-code development approach. Unlike low-code environments where developers can participate in scripting and manual coding, the no-code approach relies entirely on visual tools. In this situation, a user can point-and-click and drag-and-drop, but there is no direct access to code. No-code development builds the code and opens up the world of technology to a whole new audience of users who don’t need to be technical experts.
No-code techniques can perform a growing range of functionality in banking, such as building user interfaces (UIs) on the web or on mobile; create dashboards for analysis; display key performance indicators (KPIs) and charts to increase customer engagement; and more. Codeless methods can also be used to increase process automation, improve API integration, and implement decision permissions.
A Typical Low-Code/No-Code Banking Platform
Low-code and no-code applications are rapidly becoming mainstream in financial services and will soon become the basis for banking success. Forward-thinking fintechs are already offering low-code/no-code platforms that embody an integrated development environment with built-in APIs, reusable plugin modules, and graphical connectors that automate much of the development process of applications. With these tools, a bank of any size can become much more customer-centric and fully participate in an open and collaborative ecosystem.
Low-Code Means Business
In practice, low-code and no-code are complements, not substitutes, and collectively signal the direction for development. Both are essential for banks because they pave the way for “citizen developers” with a different skill set and less technical knowledge than professional developers.
Freed from the need to hire an army of developers, a bank can focus on its efforts to attract and retain customers. Facing an uncertain future, banks must embrace change and embrace scalable digital solutions. Cloud-based low-code and no-code solutions can enable banks to unleash the potential of digitization and put modern technology at the heart of the business.