Sberbank Business Online on Windows 10 - a new solution for customers, or why UWP applications rule

    In October 2017, Sberbank was the first in Russia to launch an application for remote servicing of legal entities on Windows 10. Konstantin Chervony thunderbull , who is responsible for the application in the Digital Corporate Bank division, shares his launch experience.

    Sberbank Business Online - 2017

    Sberbank Business Online (SBBOL) is a family of solutions that provide banking services to legal entities - clients of Sberbank.

    Nearly two million customers, fault tolerance at the level of no more than 15 minutes of downtime per year, the need for perfect implementation of regulatory changes, a serious number of rules restricting from a security point of view - this is all SBBOL.

    The SBBOL family consists of the following solutions:

    • Sberbank Business Online is a web version, in two interfaces: the old and the new, which have already received prestigious design awards.
    • SBBOL has an almost complete set of all banking products; most of the bank's customers are served here. All browsers are supported.
    • Sberbank Business is a “thick” client bank with a database on the client side, designed to work with enterprises (but not only). A feature of the solution is the support of various OSs. It is here that the most complex functionality, work with packs, integration with client ERP systems are presented.
    • SBBOL mobile applications - Android, iOS, Apple Watch, Android Wear, Windows Mobile. Their distribution is carried out through application stores.
    • The functionality of the bank’s mobile solutions is limited primarily by security requirements and device screen sizes.

    Coverage of customers with channels is as follows (see. Fig.):

    • SBB - 99%
    • Mobile applications - 20%
    • SBB - 3%

    Thus, bank customers use SBBOL for full functionality. For quick access - mobile versions. For conservatives requiring stationary implementations, using specific products, or working under a firewall on Linux, SBB.
    • And Sberbank customers can directly download payments through 1C-direct, seamlessly connect and work with external services via Fintech-API, etc.

    So, we have a titanium that can do everything, a harvester that can do almost everything, and access points that are compact in size and capabilities. However ...

    However, most clients work on the web version, have 1-2 accounts, 1-2 users and use a couple of products on the strength. They would simplify the interface, make access to any product in one click, and even teach the system to safely provide data to login. In general, to make an “easy” shell for 90% of tasks for 90% of customers, leaving 10% for “large” solutions. Used quarterly.

    Of course, our team can handle this challenge. But what if we implement this idea on a completely new channel, being “Ilonmasks”? Then such a channel should be not only new, but also popular, not only innovative, but also cheap in development. And so…

    New boundaries - Windows 10

    In 2015, Microsoft, rethinking the benefits of Windows XP / 7, having studied the reviews for Windows 8.1, released Windows 10. An important change was announced, a new look at the “classics” of desktop operating systems: now there will be only one OS - Windows Core 10 .

    Desktop PCs, server solutions, IoT, XBox, mixed reality, “forever” expected Surface Phone - all these devices will be under one OS, with add. OEM components. “Now”, of course, will stretch for several years, but even up to this date, MS has constantly unified its OS, implementing the “single engine” technology for any device.
    The application creation platform in Windows 10 - the Universal Windows Platform - leads to a common denominator of application development. It doesn’t matter, x64, x86, X-Box, ARM, ARM64 - for all systems there is a single platform. It supports C ++, C # (our development team works on it), XAML and .NET, and a bunch of other languages.

    UWP maintains uniform application interface regardless of the device on which the application runs. Window size, controls when changing work devices may vary, but at first glance it will be clear to the user that he has remained working in the same application.

    Windows 10 Leading

    The released Windows 10 was greeted as usual - with skepticism and antipathy. Work was still underway to promote Windows 8, the “cropped” WinRT was in mind, the “seven” worked stably. But year after year, release after release, the new OS was gaining momentum. A considerable support to the growth in the number of installations was provided by a free update of old OSs.

    In December 2017, Windows 10 finally became the most popular OS - so far in Europe.

    In our country, the “top ten” remains in second place, but with each major update, the number of customers working on this system is growing sharply. Judging by open statistics, the "top ten" will be the first this year. In retail networks, Windows 10 is already preinstalled on every second device (excluding smartphones).

    Pioneer of innovation

    When it comes to innovations in the field of operating systems and IT giants, the first to come to mind are not Microsoft, but Android or Apple. At the same time, the so-called royalties, patent payments of one such giant to another. Globalization is evident, but the “soft ones” seem to lose ...

    Indeed, although Microsoft has many wonderful solutions, their final implementation is often lame. The richest hired manager in the world, Stephen Anthony Ballmer, who led MS for 14 years, focused on the main income generators - Windows and Office. So the market began to dominate iOS and Android.

    The world has changed, and now Microsoft is catching up with it: the division developing Windows has been optimized into a single Experiences & Devices. The company’s plans were never just “to be in the market”, but there was always leadership. It is in this direction that the company is working, and the market welcomes the latest news - Microsoft shares are growing. So, soon, Windows 10 will even more penetrate everyday life, combining jobs with IoT, adding augmented reality. And XBox has already been added, it’s lucky.


    Prefixes and virtuality are good. But far from the end consumer of banking services for business.

    However, there are also a lot of features that are “close” to a simple accountant that permeate the new operating system. It is on them that our team pays attention, planning the development of the product.
    Live tiles, "Live tiles" - a wonderful mechanism for displaying information to the client without / before launching the application. Remind about the date of payment about the loan? Get extra. interest on the deposit provided by Sberbank during the extension? Learn about a change in balance? Easily.

    In addition to the “live tiles”, this task is also perfectly performed by the notification center - now Push's can also be sent to a PC. Toast notifications can send an income schedule, request the need to enter the application, notify about the crediting of funds, badge notifications will display the news with a counter on the icon.

    Even more new "chips" in the operating system added the latest Fall Creators Update.

    Fall Creators Update

    The main releases of Windows 10 are called Fall and Spring Creators Updates: the name implies the focus of updates according to developers and clients. Each such update significantly increases the penetration of the OS, and deservedly.

    Fluent design

    The Windows Aero interface used with Vista also loaded the video card, “consumed” resources, and reduced the ability to configure the interface. Metro UI (Windows 8), and now Fluent Design, have significantly improved the visual quality of applications. The UI XBox was the first to switch to the new design, followed by the development of applications for desktop solutions.

    Sberbank Business Online in the new version looks amazing. Now the application background can have an “acrylic” effect - the lower layers will shine through it, and the layer itself will look like a “real”, material. The buttons have become more elegant with the “reveal” effect - when the button is highlighted when you hover over the cursor, the appearance of neighboring buttons also changes. All this adds elegance and uniformity.

    One of the "tricks" of the release of the latest Fall Creators Update 2017 was the contacts of your Microsoft account. In order for the user of the iOS / Android smartphone to be able to synchronize their contacts with the account on the PC, several actions will be required - and then a new contact will appear on the PC within an hour. I myself tried to synchronize contacts from Google and Microsoft accounts, and it took me three minutes to work and half an hour of waiting for the declared hour. Now the UWP application can transfer information directly to the contact book.

    Simplification of implementation. Controls

    In the new OS, development opportunities are very conveniently presented. Uniformity of interfaces proceeds from the general approach to controls. Radio buttons, scrollbars, menu lists - everything already has adaptive layout, just do it.

    Standard control UWP: Hub control / pattern

    The development and maintenance process is much cheaper than on the web.


    Before unambiguously choosing UWP as the mainstream, we examined the next options.
    The same giants that were mentioned in the article promote Progress Web Apps as an alternative to store apps. However, this technology is currently at the beginning of its journey. Such solutions, although they look similar to full-fledged applications, have many limitations: from the ban on NFC to other issues, primarily related to client security. However, technologies such as GPS, access to offline data, notifications and face recognition are already being added to PWA solutions, so we will definitely monitor their development.

    Windows hello

    Sberbank would not have been a reliable bank if it had not been a leader in the research and implementation of advanced security technologies.

    Windows Hello is a biometric authentication service built into Windows. On normal devices, Hello will not be useful. With a fingerprint scanner, the user will be able to log in with a finger. Most modern laptops have cameras that support Intel RealSense technology, with an IR laser and IR depth sensor.

    Camera technologies will sooner or later revolutionize the management of interfaces by canceling keyboards required for entering information, adding a look or smart gloves as tools for entering information.

    Now with such cameras biometrics Widows Hello works. It recognizes the user by the contour of the face (eyes, eyebrows, nose - plus or minus 10 cm from the nose).

    Our application was the first release in the Russian Federation among business applications with support for biometric authentication by sight, and one of the first in the world.

    It was impossible not to pay attention to such a platform as UWP, following the principles of multi- and omnichannel.

    The decision to develop the application in Sberbank

    Target audience

    Almost 30% of Sberbank clients among legal entities work on Windows 10. Half a million “lawyers” are significant. Approximately 300-350 thousand of them are small enterprises working with one account and having one or two users.

    There is a very powerful, modern “engine” - Windows 10, with a low development cost, a fairly low entry cost, with a bunch of innovations and a convenient design. There are most devices on this OS, and it is obvious that there will only be more. There are a lot of legal entities working on Windows 10, and there is a great opportunity to make an application that covers the needs of customers. What kind? A lightweight version of the web version, at the same time devoid of problems with debugging for various browsers and able to work with the client, give the client information even up to the login.

    And we have a “new fashionable” channel - UWP.

    The site holds the client, and the RBS should be invisible

    When developing a “bicycle” of a client bank, we came across ... our own stereotypes. Application development is usually mobile development, with a significant impact of web development. Many sites set their task (and this is logical) to keep the customer - the longer the client stays on the site, the more pages he flips through - the more goods he buys and the more he gets used to the store / site. Mobile applications analyze the time and clicks of the client, his heatmaps, improving them, conducting a / b tests to develop UI and improve UX.

    Changing oneself is always difficult. Remote banking (RBS), the client bank live in a completely different way.

    The less time a bank client spends in RBS, performing the necessary tasks, the better. After all, RBS is “only” transport.

    In life, the best means of transport for moving from point A to point B is teleportation. This means that we must create a bank-client in which the client quickly fulfills his tasks, does not stand in traffic jams and is in time everywhere.

    Pre-authorization area

    How can I speed up the delivery of bank services for a client? Provide them before the launch of the client bank.

    In Windows 10, as in mobile OSs, there are push notifications (as I said earlier). There are several types of them, in addition to the already described toast and badge , it is worth noting raw or "unprocessed" notifications - they provide only information without the ability to add pictures or process UIs - and allow you to run tasks in the background. Together with the "live tiles" the application already informs customers about the dates of payments on the loan, crediting funds to the account.

    In general, while maintaining the necessary level of security, the pre-authorization zone of the application is an important element of the RBS working environment. And the UWP platform provides good opportunities for developing services, improving UX in the pre-authorization zone.

    Focus on the essentials

    Customer Portrait

    To understand the “core” functionality that will be included in the application, we needed to create a client profile. This profile describes what products the client uses, how often he pays, how many users and accounts he has.

    Creating such a client portrait, we studied the statistics on Sberbank clients who have a banking agreement, focusing on the majority of the Pareto law - 80%. It turned out that our clients are legal entities with one to three accounts and up to three users.

    App Products

    Similar work was done with the products. However, albeit with small but important clarifications. In the RBS system, it is not enough to simply implement popular banking products; here you need to create a service. It should be convenient and fully cover the main task implemented by users - settlements with contractors and provision of data for maintaining an account. That is why, in particular, our first "big" implementation included the exchange of data with 1C - so that customers could work in their system, work with statements, exchange information on payments and statements with their contacts.

    “We would just pay”

    It is payments and statements - this is 90% success for a client bank.

    There is a rule in the shipping business at the navigation lights exam - say which direction the bow of the ship is pointing, and the ship is standing or sailing - and this is at least four. Because a tugboat or a barge, it does not matter, the main thing is to disperse without an accident. The rule is good, and our product team follows it - we simplify the visual forms of documents, create convenient menus, allow us to quickly and easily transfer payment information through all popular channels, add useful services that create a completely new customer experience.

    For example, we integrated the counterparty verification service for financial and judicial reliability. During the creation of a payment, the counterparty’s name appears in the name of the counterparty, by clicking on which you can see whether the client is reliable, or whether he has non-payment, arrests, or arbitration. Then you can follow the link to a specialized site and see all the detailed information on this legal. to a person - from won (and not only) arbitration cases, to affiliates and main owners.

    And this giant option in terms of services, infrastructure and integration is hidden behind a small icon, next to the counterparty.

    Seven Products

    Back to the products. The application implements a salary project, loans - these products fell into the main focus. In addition to them, deposits, business cards, self-collection, have been introduced or are being introduced, later other products will appear. At the same time, the application design remains neat: for example, deposits are “dissolved” in accounts, and a separate section of the same name has been created to manage applications for connecting any product or service.

    Half a minute to pay

    So far, the time to make a payment in the application - from the moment of clicking on the icon to the pop-up window “payment was sent to the bank” - we managed to reduce to one minute. All tasks can be started from the corresponding section or from Dashboard. We are trying to maintain an approach in which one entry point is not enough, and three are already too much.

    And the task of our team is to make the client able to send payment through the application in 30 seconds. Just 4.5 times slower than Usain Bolt.

    Underwater rocks

    All strong ideas have weaknesses. UWP allows you to create easy visual solutions:

    • not requiring much resources (Windows Phone fans remember that on all Lumia all applications worked without brakes, Windows 10 inherited this trait);
    • not requiring huge investments in development;
    • easily customizable by the user;
    • fast - faster than browser counterparts (it is not known when Progress Web Apps will become as stable and functional);
    • safe (installed in protected directories, so even the system administrator does not have access to these directories).

    But ... there are a few buts.

    Too new

    Our application - a new look at the “bank-client” - has an additional obstacle - novelty. Accountants and directors of enterprises and organizations, individual entrepreneurs and LLC are accustomed to either Internet banking or a “thick” client bank, with the database being installed from the disk received at the bank. And in any of these cases, we look like a duplicate, a backup use case. Many innovations, used or potential, “slightly” overtake the present, current habits of customers.

    True, this minus can be turned into a plus.

    "Dislike" for the MS Store

    PC users have no habit of installing applications from the store, like on smartphones. Neither Microsoft nor Apple have made tangible progress in instilling in their users a relationship with stores as a means of distribution. After all, for decades, customers have quietly downloaded applications directly from developer sites. Plus, the Microsoft Store allows you to download the application only to users with a Live ID authorized in the store. That is, the owner of the service does everything so that the service is not popular. Laughter through tears.

    A little dream

    Great expectations are seen in Internet of Things and Augmented Reality.
    To disconnect communications with the bank, with your account from a specific device and make the client work with their account and financial instruments without any technological restrictions at all - sounds cool.

    And if you make sure that the "smart" beacon sensor receives a signal to any refrigerator or refrigerator and transfers authorization data to the server, and then the client entered the payment by voice?

    Hey, Cortana, when will you speak Russian after catching up with Siri and Google Assistant?

    "Cloud" technologies now allow you to implement something similar. Only it is unprofitable from the point of view of development. It is necessary to measure seven times. But it’s time to “measure” already, yesterday it was time - because technology does not stand still, and competitors are already exploring the possibilities of new technologies.

    The combination of virtual and real world is inevitable. Already in 2016, Citi is conducting a pilot of Mixed Reality trading, aiming to create a full-fledged workstation based on MR (pictured). In turn, BNP Paribas and Santander regularly hold various events and ideas contests for VR / AR.

    According to Goldman Sachs, by 2025 the market for MR / AR / VR could reach $ 110 billion. Digi Capital estimates this market at $ 150 billion by 2020, with an AR / MR share of $ 120 billion. .

    Although today there are no classical banking solutions implemented in various types of virtual reality, the market for such solutions is in a “low start” state. With the first successfully implemented idea, the market will “run”.

    What are the forecasts for the actual use of such a channel? The first is analytics. A fundamentally new way of providing information allows you to provide analytical materials in a completely new way.

    Secondly, communications: with the help of augmented reality it will be possible to gather all decision-makers in one place, in front of the SBBOL dashboard, for making key decisions and signing important documents. Remember the holophones in Star Wars? Even such simple things as account recognition and automatic creation of payment documents look different in the context of augmented reality.

    New technologies require close attention and detailed study. Subject to control over costs and safety requirements, the creation of products based on these technologies is a prerequisite for maintaining a leading position in a competitive race.


    The result was a beautiful but difficult picture.

    Indeed, our “bike” looks very good, its potential is huge. But there are a lot of questions before us, before other developers who decided to make a new RB channel and support omnichannel principles:

    • Will the bank's customers working on Windows 10 be able to work with licensed OS installations under their own account?
    • It should be noted here that, of course, we are thoroughly exploring the possibility of installing the application not from the store, but through - and here we have provided! - sideloading technology.
    • Will customers leave their usual web interface?
    • Can Microsoft keep the bar, will it keep one OS on all devices?
    • Will new devices and new form factors conquer our way of life?

    For our part, we will do our best to promote our favorite application.

    Invisible Bank

    Augmented Reality and Biometrics. Pre-authorization zone - a bank on a PC without unnecessary actions, actually built into the OS, imperceptible, very fast, efficient.
    Less than a minute to pay. A couple of clicks in order to send a document to your contacts, directly from the client bank.

    User-friendly, implemented on UWP under Windows 10 Sberbank Business Online. So far, the only innovative bank in Russia for legal entities.

    Update follows ...

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