How the fintech wellbeing startup InstaCash got its MVP to the market in no time
Updated: 4 days ago
Our customer is a Bulgarian startup who wants to tackle a very common problem for more than half the working population worldwide and even more so in Bulgaria – that is living paycheck to paycheck. Did you know that many people living paycheck to paycheck experience enormous stress when dealing with unexpected costs as low as BGN 300?
InstaCash (www.instacash.bg) are on a mission to change that through financial technology allowing users to receive on-demand a portion of their wages for the hours they have already worked but not yet been paid for by their employer.
Insta Cash is a holistic financial wellness platform that offers workers access to affordable services and their wages on demand, encourages financial responsibility, and provides a path towards financial stability and inclusion.
How did it start
It is great to have ideas and dream about them becoming reality. But this transformation requires putting together an effort into a structure, a certain organization, and a team which are proven to make thing happen (proven by their experience).
Our way of working is pretty much centered around the idea that the team must live by and believe in the product's idea and the way it solves a particular problem. That is how we approached this project too.
So not long after we started, our team was put together, we started doing workshops which sole purpose was to define the scope, refine the epics and start prototyping the product. What we always advise our customers is to focus what is the most important feature(s) they want to test on the market. Those are the things we focus on first and those are the things we start prototyping.
The MVP functionalities
- Registration and KYC
- Login with biometric information
- Request advance payment
- Withdraw money to any IBAN
- Withdraw money as cash via EasyPay
- Profile editing and employer change
- Employer onboarding
- Administrative panel
- Reconciliation by employer
The team we’ve put together was effective and efficient. They were:
Agile Product/Project specialist who kept the focus, answering the what and when questions
UX Specialist conducting target user research and designing the UI prototype
Tech Lead Full Stack engineer
Regular React Native engineer
Regular Backend engineer
Regular Web engineer
Automation QA to make sure we are covered against regression.
Few things are important to be mentioned about the development - our teams always involve the stakeholders early on. By doing so it really helped us to: define the product and what’s important for stage 1 (MVP) and what to leave for later. Having a good, healthy relationship with the stakeholders played well during the user stories development as they were demoed as soon as we got them out (and feedback being taken early on).
This is mostly because our whole delivery philosophy is centered around the japanese term Itai Doshin - many in body but one in mind. That is - no matter who is the client and who is the vendor, who sits in London and who is at the beach in Bali, who is the designer and who is the developer - we are all one. There should be no barriers of mind, ideas and communication so everyone feels as a first class citizen.
Another key element for the success was - we stayed focused on what’s important for the MVP (testing the riskiest assumptions) and ignore everything else. Shall we think about app internationalization right now and spend time designing the code to handle it? Definitely not as it was not something the founders needed at this stage.
We at Looming Tech always try to get the best out of our teams to deliver towards client needs and help them succeed in their venture, but while this is part of our values and mission, we were happy to discover that everyone was actively testing the app as we compiled the first beta releases. Our developers are much more than a pair of coding hands since they provide their insights and experience and can make decisions about the business logic of the system.
About the tech
PHP - Laravel - Orhid - React Native - AWS
Our brilliant tech team picked (as usual) a well known stack so that they won’t hit any surprises halfway through the project. React Native for the mobile app as it runs amazingly well and allows for quick development (Check our Tech Blog). PHP Laravel for the REST API backend as it is quick and easy to ramp up a fully functional backend.
Part of the key functionality of the product was to have a web based admin panel which will help with managing of customer accounts and reconciliation. This was built with the Orchid framework (part of the Laravel family).
Functions like KYC and bank transfers integration were integrated into the app and its backend.
All in all, the MVP (more like first release) is built in an auto scalable way so that customer doesn’t pay if there is no usage (no users in) but at the same time to be able to scale “indefinitely” (to the capacity of AWS) and accommodate traffic coming from potentially tens of thousands of users at the same time. All this was of course covered with automation tests on app level (UI integration) using our proprietary framework (check our Tech Blog) and the backend was loaded with load tests (via JMeter) so that we are sure the assumptions about scalability are actually true.
We made it! Success.
Our team delivered the whole product from the moment the client pushed the green button and said go, which was in the beginning of end of 2021, to releasing on the App Store in the beginning of June 2022 or in other words: in just seven months.
If you are still interested in what our team built please check the demo video on the left.
Do you want our team to build your next mobile product, in record time without sacrificing quality and while having fun? Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org