Atom Bank: Establishing an entirely new, remote team for the UK’s first fully digital bank.
About the project
Atom Bank is a modern retail bank in the UK. What divides it from others is a different approach, from what we get used to thinking about “bank.” There are no bank facilities in the streets, no leaflets, and no “elevator music” in the queue. There are no queues because Atom fits your pocket, and at the same time, it’s safe because it is the first entirely digital bank to be granted a full UK regulatory license. So Atom is a real bank, not like many others a “financial app.”
When Atom Bank contacted NxTide in June 2021, we were extremely excited. Firstly, every project we receive sound like the begining of a new, interesting journey and chance to work with another unicorn. Secondly, the brief we received showed us the complexity and challenge of developing a first fully digital bank in the UK entirely designed for mobile devices. We knew that this disruptive project was inline with our mission and client’s ambitions. And so it begins…
The rapid pace of the IT sector and mobile banking growth caused by the global market situation resulted in difficulties in the availability of hi-tech specialists in the UK market. This combined with Brexit made it impossible to hire foreign specialists, which effectively hindered Atom Bank’s further dynamic growth.
Atom Bank was looking for a solution tailored to its needs and aspirations. They were looking for experienced, high-quality programmers to complement the existing UK team and add engineering capacity. This solution could increase Atom Bank’s ability to deliver business changes fast.
Problems that Atom Bank faced:
- – Shortage of skillful developers in UK pool High salary requirements in the IT sector in the UK
- – The concentration of IT professionals in the London area
- – Rapid market fluctuations due to COVID-19 pandemic
- – Brexit and restrictions came out of it
Problems that NxTide faced:
- – High market demand for top-quality IT experts
- – Unfamiliarity with the Atom’s Bank brand in Poland
- – The need to build Atom Bank’s internal image as an actual employer of developers rather than a customer of NxTide
- – The shortage of IT specialists with a banking background
After several meetings, both companies come to conclusion. The solution would be to create a completely new, functional team of 30 developers and lay the foundations for Atom Bank’s nearshore engineering team in Poland (Cracow) in less than 12 months. (The agreement would be based on innovative Build-Operate-Transfer model which allow the Atom Bank to tranfer ownership of software hub after certain period of time.)
The chosen location was not a surprise. Poland has become a software powerhouse in the EU area in recent years. Here are some facts:
- – Poland is the leader of mobile and online banking. Nearly half of Polish population use mobile banking Poland was ranked 34th most digital economy in the World (according to Digital Intelligence Index, 2020)
- – In 2020 Poland participated in EU Code Week and was first from EU countries with the highest number of activities organized and attracting the highest number of participants (according to Digital Economy and Society Index, 2021)
- – Poland is of four biggest employers in R&D and ICT sector in the EU27 (among France, Germany, and Italy). (according to Digital Economy and Society Index, 2021).
- – The total number of software developers in Poland exceeded 600 000 in 2021, making it the largest talent pool in CEE region.
- – Poland has a great and modern infrastructure and legal framework allowing western-based companies to set up the operations much faster and in safer way.
The achievements after the first 8 months
– First, and for a most we have manage to accomplish Atom Bank’s nearshore engineering team development two months ahead of initial schedule. The average time to contrat was less than 4 weeks.
– Over 30 hi-end engineers were contraced to Atom Bank’s dream team (7 different technologies: .net, React, Golang, Java, iOs, Android, SRE/DevOps). – The level of experience of developers: from strong regulars to technical leaders.
– We have helped increase Atom Bank’s velocities, especially for the mobile app, which increased the number of features and releases significantly in 2021
– We have built a trust between NxTide developers and Atom Bank (100% of NxTide developers surveyed are interested in transferring to Atom Bank)
– We have gained Atom’s trust that allows us to enter other than engineering fields of recruitment for Atom: RPA, AI, Business Analyst, VBA
– We have conducted two 360-degree feedback sessions
– We have organized two Agile training sessions delivered by NxTide coaches.
CEO of Pragmatic Coders and NxTide.
“This project proved us that we can create and manage agile software development teams very fast to help our clients in need. Our deep Product Development and Management knowledge surpised everybody as we are one of very few companies that are capable of doing more than one thing.”
Create a Nearshore Software Development Hub in Poland with NxTide
Over our 7-year company activity we have helped many US and EU companies to successfully build Software Development Teams and Software Development Centers in a variety of locations in Poland.
Interested? – Let’s discuss your case on a call.
Marcin Dziedzic, CEO of Pragmatic Coders and NxTide.
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