AND Digital / Spotlight / Case Study

How an innovative new app increased household savings for Upside’s users

About Upside

Did you know that more than 11.5m people in the UK have less than £100 in savings? Current savings solutions, such as round-up and habit changing apps, require sacrifice and effort from the customer.

The founders of Upside wanted to make saving truly effortless with no effort or sacrifice. They believed they could find up to £1,250 savings for consumers - just by giving them cashback on their spending.

With a great idea, and a solid foundation to support it, Upside now needed to develop the MVP to prove their hypothesis that they could make saving effortless for people. To do this, they brought in AND’s technical expertise to bring the product to life.

Building the partner platform

As part of their proposition, Upside wanted to provide partners with a data platform that would:

  • Give access to real-time spending behaviour, allowing them to better target their customers.
  • Provide benchmarking for their customers' spend, frequency and value against competitors.

To deliver a solution that hit all requirements, we first completed a lean Discovery to fully understand Upside’s data requirements, data sources and data models. Then, using our learnings, we built out a sustainable roadmap that included dependency mapping and timeline monitoring to ensure the platform was delivered on schedule.

Using Terraform and a range of AWS tools including AWS ECS, we created a repeatable and consistent architecture that could be easily replicated in different environments. We also implemented a data lake and set up replication from an operational DBMS, meaning that dashboards and insights are automatically updated on a daily basis.

Creating the customer experience

Upside wanted to make the process of signing up and saving as easy as possible for their users, by offering the following app functionality:

  • The ability for customers to securely link their bank accounts, allowing them to earn cashback automatically as they spend.
  • Providing a list of retail partners on the platform so that customers can understand where they can save.
  • The ability to automatically complete the required 'know your customer' processes, making onboarding as simple as possible.

To deliver and launch an open banking app, it was critical to make sure the solution was PSD2 compliant. As a result, we integrated tooling into the estate, including KYC (know your customer) compliance and a compliance firewall. We also made sure that the system was fully secure by running automatic security testing as part of CI/CD, as well as conducting penetration testing.

We used AWS for the app’s architecture, as we knew that the combination of the tooling available and the shared knowledge between our team and Upside’s CTO, meant we would be able to expedite delivery and hit key deadlines fast.

Key outcomes

As of January 2021, Upside has:

  • Raised £1.5m across two rounds
  • Signed four distribution deals
  • Won several awards, including:
    • InvestEast
    • UEZ Fintech
    • TechNation Rising Stars for the East region
    • StartupGrind Global 2020
  • Grown at an average of 44% month-on-month