Zytara: Digital Banking App for Generation Z

We know how to build a good digital banking app, and Zytara is unusual. The Geniusee team was excited to tailor a gamified neobank to financially educate Gen Z. We not only developed a blockchain-based banking app that allows parents control over their kids’ spending and saving, but we also brought fun and joy into the boring world of finances. We added modes, game-based card skins, and a built-in shop with branded merchandise (e-sports teams, games, musicians, etc). The thrilling part for Geniusee was to create possibilities to manage digital assets and complete NFT lifecycles.

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Geniusee team provided conscientious engineers with hearts of gold. The team members treated the product like they were owners. They cared deeply about the outcome and worked diligently to meet accelerated project timelines, often outside regular work hours. The senior team members were self-sufficient and often brought solid technical ideas to solve problems. They were communicative and highly collaborative in system design processes and all other product and software development lifecycle phases.

Billy Mullins

CTO Zytara

Business context

Zytara is a new bright star in the FinTech sky. The company’s creators came up with the revolutionary concept of a neobank for Generation Z and gamers. Geniusee has been working with Zytara since 2018, developing its mobile banking app. The Geniusee experts strengthened Zytara's team with mobile app development.

The challenge introduced to us was to create a financial application that allows users to not only send or receive money and check their balance, but also to personalize their card skins, such as with their favorite e-sports team logos. The concept implied financial education for Generation Z using gamification tools and teaching accountability to young people. It also needed to help parents manage spending limits, track transaction histories, send money to their kids, check their balances, bind savings accounts, and impose restrictions in one digital banking app.

Key challenges:
  • Assure compliance with regulatory requirements regarding sharing the private information of minors and other restrictions
  • Ensure security of online banking according to third-party integrations with banks based on penetration tests
  • Organize smooth workflows and synchronization among teams from different countries and time zones
  • Align cooperation with a designer from the client side and implement changes quickly
Business context

Work approach

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Process

Our cooperation with Zytara stands out among other proactive collaborations with clients on tailored products and services. During the development process, we came up with a few ideas and small features that were accepted. This adjusted communication, mutual respect, and understanding led to great outcomes.

Our partnership started in 2018 and was inspired by the transparency and deep context understanding they provided to us.

Process
  • 1
    Business analysis
  • 2
    Project management
  • 3
    Frontend development
  • 4
    Backend development
  • 5
    iOS & Android development
  • 6
    Quality assurance
  • 7
    DevOps services
  • We started gathering requirements at the sales phase, along with discussing the contract itself. Soon after comprehensive client interviews and the business analytics stage, we divided the whole idea into the deliverable parts that allowed us to present the first version of the developed demo. After that, we continued to improve the application by delivering further iterations.

  • To set the scope, schedule, and budget accurately from the start and to assure accurate resource prioritization and efficient usage, we decided to use Agile, SCRUM, and Kanban methodologies. This allowed us to stage for each sprint an appropriate set of developed requirements and features, evenly distributing them during all development phases.

  • We chose JS to assure smooth and easy system maintenance, making it quick and responsive, which is crucial for neobanks. The Geniusee team was part of the development of an admin panel, led by the tech lead from the client’s side. We assured acceptance of early adopters (enrolled customers) and worked over both basic and complicated mobile app features, such as a QR code that allows for connection with parents.

  • The application functionality and some basic features of the admin panel were on us. The biggest challenges were the registration flow (via email or mobile number) and parental controls. As Zytara targets young people, we had to deal with extremely strict directives and controls. Parental control was of great value for the end customers. We had to bind kids to parents and parents to kids, assuring spending control, transaction history, and much more.

  • We did not work on UX/UI development, as the client already had this part covered, so our team only had to deliver iOS and Android apps according to the technical tasks. We chose Kotlin and Swift to assure high performance rates. In addition, we offered improvements to satisfy both the technical and UX sides. The high-speed rate of the approval process was hard to reach, but wisely built project management let us cope with it.

  • Except for the QA specialists’ work, our developers always conduct code reviews. Our testers also provided manual and API testing, as auto testing was covered by the client. In the frame of this stage, there was also penetration testing. Pen testing is of the highest importance for neobanks, as it works with personal and financial data. We also made sure that third-party integrations with banks were implemented correctly regarding all security rules.

  • To set the scope, schedule, and budget accurately from the start and to assure accurate resource prioritization and efficient usage, we decided to use Kanban. It allowed us to assure continuous delivery of DevOps services. A wisely chosen approach to project management allowed us to stage for each sprint an appropriate set of developed requirements and features. This assured even distribution during all development phases.

Project tech stack

The Geniusee team always looks a few years ahead, anticipating future project needs. Our goal was to create a scalable project with high data rates, ready for worldwide success in five years. Together we established the possible needs of Zytara in the future, which allowed us to select the right technological stack.

Tech stack

Geniusee team

You can’t create a good product without a proper team of knowledgeable specialists. We chose only highly experienced specialists for this case, as this app was designed for children, and their security was a top priority.

We were honored to reinforce and support the Zytara team in the development of this project.

  • PM photo
    Nataliia

    Zytara project manager

    It was a great experience to work with the Zytara team on such an interesting project. Our relationship was honest and transparent, and the Zytara team was very responsive and positively reacted to our suggestions to improve the app, UI/UX design, or other tech solutions.

    Deep involvement in all important meetings, architecture diagram discussions, and town hall calls helped the Geniusee team understand the context, positively reflecting on our cooperation.

  • Tech Lead photo
    Andrii

    Java Lead

    It was an amazing experience to work in a huge team of more than 50 people in total. We considered all potential problems and risks in advance to be prepared to resolve them if they came up. We decided to attach third-party vendors to make some processes easier, e.g., possibilities of future architecture development and scaling. We also did our best, involving the client in as many processes as possible. This way, the customer was able to keep up with the progress and problems of the software release.

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Features

Results

We created a bank application that allows kids to create a virtual card (with the possibility to order a physical one), process transactions, get paid for housework by their parents, gain their first knowledge about finances, and just have fun. As kids love games, Zytara concentrated on that with a wide range of modes and card skins. Based on blockchain technology, it is highly secure, dividing customers into three roles: Kids (6-12), Teens (13-17), and Adults (over 18). Another feature that differentiates Zytara from competitors is the ability to buy merch from one’s favorite games or sports teams with registered trademarks, connecting artists and their fans. It offers control over multiple digital assets and NFTs as well.

Zytara allows for connecting checking or savings accounts to transfer money, pay bills, and other functions that all banks or wallets (such as Google Pay) have. Ensuring high message and data rates, Zytara provides account alerts and ensures parental control over what kids send and receive, as well as how they move money online, both for iOS and Android devices in Google Play or the App Store.

This service is a breeze of fresh air for the financial industry and mobile banking, tailored to merge “the worlds of entertainment and FinTech.”

Useful insights based on Zytara case

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