3Pillar Global Delivers An Enhanced User Experience And Data Integration For Intrafi Clients

“The 3Pillar team is a true partner to us, and I see them as an extension of our internal development team that is seamlessly integrated. They bring process, structure, and expertise to our team and not only deliver the results we need, but also make us a better team overall.”

— Randy Hopper, CIO IntraFi

For companies that provide services through online portals, the user experience (UX) is perhaps the most important factor in how customers assess whether the value they receive is commensurate with the cost of the services. No matter how well application back-end engines work, if end users can’t easily navigate and process information, they may look to do business elsewhere.

Since 2017, 3Pillar Global has worked closely with IntraFi to tackle this challenge. The company services thousands of banks daily that rely on its network to manage capital, find funding for loans, diversify accounts, and process reciprocal deposits.

Challenge: Expand Upon Internal Software Development Expertise

The client’s internal teams specialize in back-end software development, business analysis, and project management. As a result, IntraFi decided to collaborate with a firm that could offer software development and product analysis expertise. This would help support projects involving application front-ends that run in the online portals customized for each of the client’s customers. Additionally, IntraFi needed assistance building integrations to automate the exchange of data with its customers.

Opportunity: A Proactive Partner Who Adapts Easily To Change

That’s when 3Pillar Global entered the picture. In addition to proven expertise in building software that improves user experiences, 3Pillar demonstrated other key attributes that convinced IntraFi that the partnership it envisioned could succeed.

These attributes included understanding their business model as well as the IT processes that deliver services to customers. 3Pillar also provided examples of how it adapts to change orders and takes proactive measures to challenge clients with innovative ideas on how to enhance software development.

Solution: Customized Portals With Real-Time Information

The partnership has expanded over time across multiple products and engagements. High-performing 3Pillar team members—ranging from product analysts to software developers as well as QA and UX testing—are viewed as an extension of the IntraFi’s development organization. The 3Pillar team has focused on two primary objectives:

  • Improved User Experiences: application front ends previously contained legacy code and lacked functionality that forced customer end users into manual workarounds to get applications to do what they wanted. 3Pillar mitigated this by creating a clear set of requirements for user-experience enhancements, which enabled the software development team to quickly roll out new features. Customers can now easily access and use the applications through customized portals.
  • Integration with Customer Systems: 3Pillar is now creating connections to the client’s customer systems, using APIs specified by the customer banks to create automatic data exchanges. This will save customer end-users from having to input data manually. It will also allow bank customers to gain access to real-time information.

As these projects have progressed, IntraFi discovered 3Pillar product analysts take a lot of pressure off internal business analysts by helping understand the requirements and working with internal product managers to understand the vision for user experiences. This gives software developers a clear picture of what to deliver and speeds up the application delivery lifecycle.

Transforming Legacy Application To Improve Depositor Experiences

The DCP (Depositor Control Panel) was one of IntraFi’s legacy applications, built around 2008, that had outgrown the demand for what it was built for. Initially, it was an on-premises application developed in .NET.

IntraFi entrusted 3Pillar to completely rewrite DCP as a cloud-native application. The rewrite enhanced the application to make it more user-friendly, secure, reliable, and flexible—to give bank customers a better tool to manage their accounts. Additional goals included using this as a learning opportunity regarding which means to use to build and maintain a cloud-native application—and then leverage this information to make informed decisions on migrating other applications from on-premises to the cloud.

Key Improvements for Customers:

  • Allows depositors to self-register online.
  • Eliminates the need to visit bank branches.
  • Removes the need for multiple logins for a single customer with multiple accounts
  • Improves user experiences through better site organization, user flows, and the latest graphics.
  • Implements WCAG 2.1 level AA for accessibility.
  • Makes each web page printable-friendly so customers can use further as needed.

Technical Improvements:

  • Migrated the application from ASP.NET to Java and Angular—the tech stack used largely in other IntraFi applications.
  • Provides maintainable, easy to read and understand code.
  • Advances core set of Java APIs to expose reusable business-level operations, centralize complex validations and rules, and abstract direct database interactions from the application suite.
  • Abides by modern coding practices and established patterns and behaviors while helping define new practices.
  • Delivers fully-tested software through automation.
  • Maintains a strict priority on minimizing bugs and maximizing business value.
  • Automates deployment through Ansible scripts run from Jenkins pipeline.

The new application has greatly improved end-user experiences, and its demand is constantly growing. DCP now gives bank customers (depositors) visibility into account balances, accrued interest, where balances are presently placed, and where they could be placed in the future. DCP also provides customers with the capability to reject pending placements through a periodic depositor placement review.

Outcome: Innovations Lead To A Revamped Application Roadmap

3Pillar has re-programmed the legacy code in 60% of the front-end applications running in IntraFi’s client-facing portals and continues to enhance and maintain the remaining applications. The team has consistently met or exceeded its targets for development velocity and the number of features rolled out, but those are just some of the success metrics.

More importantly, 3Pillar has fostered a culture of innovation—by recommending creative ideas to improve how the business runs and how it interacts with customers. With 3Pillar involved in the planning process, the client has been able to revamp its roadmap for modernizing applications and continually enhancing the services customers receive.

Chosen by thousands of banks since its founding two decades ago, IntraFi has assembled the nation’s largest bank deposit network. Its solutions connect financial institutions of all sizes to help each build stronger relationships with its customers, fund more loans, seamlessly manage liquidity needs, and earn fee income. As the nation’s #1 provider of reciprocal deposits and a leading provider of overnight and term funding options, IntraFi has the scale to be a strategic partner for even the largest bank’s funding and capital management needs, or for the smallest.