There’s a huge machine behind that quick and handy app
8 November 2021, it was exactly ten years since the ING mobile banking app was launched. Edwin Razab-Sekh has been part of the IT team working on the app since 2015.
After completing his master’s in Computer Science at VU Amsterdam, Edwin joined Capgemini as a consultant, but he’s been developing apps since his student days. “Back then, modern smartphones didn’t even exist; it was before the ‘app revolution’. I was immediately interested in the Apple and Google app stores, of course. They made it relatively easy for small developers to offer their products to hundreds of millions of people, so I saw that as a great new opportunity in 2012. I developed a couple of games together with one of my student friends and immersed myself in the whole process of app development for iOS and Android. In fact, our first game was even in the top 10 of most downloaded games in the Netherlands for a while.”
Career takes priority
Nevertheless, Edwin decided to give his ‘serious’ career priority and he put his game-development activities on hold. His role as a consultant took him to ING. “It was still only early days, but ING was already making substantial investments in mobile banking and the team. That was unique at the time, especially for such a large company. So when I got the chance to join ING a year later, I didn’t hesitate!”
“I started as an Android Dev Engineer, developing new features for ING’s Dutch app. For the past few years, as Cluster Lead, I’ve also been partly responsible for expanding the app internationally. Our team supplies components of the mobile banking app to other ING countries, where the local engineers use them to build the app themselves."
8 tech teams
“As far as our customers are concerned, the mobile banking app is a small, quick and handy tool, but there’s a huge machine behind it. We have around eight tech teams working on the app in the Netherlands alone, made up of Android and iOS engineers, customer journey experts and UX specialists. Each team is responsible for different functionalities and delivers the input for a new release every two weeks.”
Sense of pride
“Our work affects how millions of customers deal with an essential part of their lives: their money. I’m always conscious of that at work, but the popularity of the app sometimes catches me off guard in everyday life – such as when I’m queuing up to pay somewhere and see other people using the app. That’s super-cool, it fills me with a real sense of pride and it spurs me on to be even better at what I do. But our quality standards are already extremely high, and that has paid off in terms of impressive customer satisfaction ratings for the whole of the past decade.”
Never a dull moment
“Although it’s no longer unique to have a mobile banking app, the ING app is still one of the best and we’ve always been pushing the boundaries. For example, we were at the forefront of introducing fingerprint login, face ID and mobile payment requests. Our voice login was unique at the time, and we were also the first of the big banks to support Apple Pay. There’s a long list of new challenges, though, so there’s no risk of me getting bored – especially in view of my international role. In the app world, working at the same place for six years is considered an eternity, but there has never been a dull moment during my time at ING.”
Edwin always was – and still is – an avid videogamer and he is also very interested in gamification. Besides that, he enjoys cooking and he loves languages, travelling and learning about other cultures. He has recently developed an interest in stock trading and hopes to become a successful independent trader himself one day.