Stacc X year in review 2020
2020 was a strange year for all. We had projects lined up, but suddenly everything was canceled because of Covid-19. Luckily many of us found a new normal, and we’re proud of all we’ve managed to do despite this weird situation in the world.
This is a blogpost from Stacc X. One of five companies within the Stacc ecosystem:
Stacc X — consultants with domain expertise in Fintech. Both for hire within your existing team or specific projects
Stacc Core — a flexible ledger core banking system
Stacc Insight — an advisory suite for bank advisors
Stacc Flow — a banking middleware process platform
Stacc Nova — credit card specialists
Working within banking and finance, there is much secrecy involved before launch. These are a few of the projects we have worked on and can talk about this year:
In 2019 we were proud to launch Bulder Bank. At the beginning of 2020 we gave the UX relay baton over to their new UX-lead, together with sketches and concepts for further releases. Some of them have been launched this year, together with refinement of earlier designs. Be sure to look out for exciting and useful features here in the years to come!
Shifter - krisepakkejungelen
When everyone suddenly was sent to work at home, a few of the projects in our pipeline fell through or were postponed. However, we were in a good position and looked for ways to help other companies in a worse situation. Our good friends at Shifter had done a fantastic job to compile all the different grants coming from various public institutions. Together we created a simple guide for business owners to see which grants they were eligible for.
We’ve partnered up with Quantfolio on a lot of different projects over the years. In 2020 we helped them design a white-label, brandable prototype of a savings-robot to show potential clients how their saving-robots could look.
Sometimes projects don’t go the way we expect: we had created Frende’s new EPK-solution (Norway’s new pension account solution coming 2021) and were almost ready to launch the first version. Then came the news of Nordea buying their pension-portfolio, thereby making our solution obsolete. That’s business, but luckily we got to know some of the skilled persons in Frende.
Together with Quantfolio and Nordea Liv, we designed and developed a Proof of Concept on a green EPK-application based on the UN’s sustainable development goals. In order to focus on the upcoming EPK regulatory deadline, the project has been paused. We can’t wait to pick this up again in the coming year!
This autumn, we’ve helped Tryg simplify and standardize their underwriting process across the Nordic countries. This project is just started, but we’re already launching a working MVP for an UW workbench to get feedback.
Together with Fueled, we created a profile and webpage for scaling up Co-own, in just two weeks. Co-own helps people get earlier into the housing market by buying into a shared apartment instead of renting. Check it out at co-own.no.
Over the last three years, we’ve created and developed a dashboard for users of Autoplans leasing-solution, delivering one invoice for all car-related expenses for companies. In the dashboard, users can see specifications for their invoices, deviations, and which leases are soon running out.
Property Improvement system
We made a Proof of Concept for Proptech Innovations group for data-driven innovation. The result is a Proof of Concept on a data-driven sustainability barometer for commercial buildings. The plan is that this can be a tool that banks can use for green loans.
When the pandemic hit, we started to see news of people getting into economic trouble. We teamed up with Shortcut and Susanne Håvardstun to create Pngr to help people control their entire economy. We’ve helped with the design and the backend for the solution while Shortcut developed the app. Be on the lookout for the first version coming in January! You can subscribe for updates at pngr.no
After the success of the Flow Manager service, other parts of Nordea Finance took note of how Nordea Finance Norway had greatly simplified their workflow. Nordea saw that their offering for submitting a car financing application for both dealers and car buyers could benefit from improving the user experience and a higher degree of self-service. We delivered a full scale CX-project throughout the Nordics with both car dealers and car buyers to find out what people found painful about financing a car. We are now in the process of launching a self-service solution for car dealers in Finland as a first step.
We’ve also sold our collection of all Norwegian bank logos to a few banks. We couldn’t find a common source for all Norwegian Bank logos in vector and within the same template when we worked on a PSD2 project, so we collected and created a library ourselves. You won’t believe how many different trees are used in bank-logos in Norway!
The last year we’ve seen a turn towards us delivering complete solutions for clients instead of just consultants. We’ve still hired a few consultants out, working in a team with our clients. Torleif has continued working for Sparebanken Vest, polishing the excellent component library he has been developing for them over the last few years. We’ve also hired people out working on smaller tasks or projects for Ztl, Lyse, Brage, Aprila, Spire, WasteIQ, iMove, Brabank, and more.
The week before the first lockdown, we moved into new offices. Funny enough, we’ve hired so many this last year, that we need to expand the offices when we can meet again at our offices.
We had high recruitment ambitions this year, but it’s not easy to hire and onboard new people during a pandemic. Luckily we managed to welcome a few amazing people to our team this year:
- Stine Neteland joined us in 2019, but last year she became the CEO of Stacc X!
- Kristoffer Marthinsen. Kristoffer started amidst closed offices and remote working this spring. Luckily he had worked part-time with us for almost a year before starting. He is a full-stack developer and just finished his Master’s Degree in Information Science from UiB. He is the strongest in our team, regularly deadlifting over 250kg!
- Lene Whiteley Lene is an experienced iOS-developer coming from TietoEvry. She has during the last year also become a skilled front-end developer. Lene has participated in some of the major international projects X has delivered in 2020 as well as writing several interesting articles.
- Guro Prestegard Guro has been with us part-time for one year before she finally started full-time with us in August! She is a full-stack developer and has just finished her Master’s degree in Computer and Information Sciences. Guro is our quizmaster, having introduced a weekly quiz to our team. She has also, not surprisingly, the person in our team that has won the most quizzes.
- Sebastian Øverhaug Larsen Sebastian finished his Master’s degree in Information science and started working with us in August. He has previously worked part-time at Ambita. Sebastian prefers to work on the backend, and has in record time, become an essential part of the team in Ztl!
- Helene Stenstavold. Helene starts to work with us full-time from 2021, but has already been an essential part of researching Nordea Finans in the Nordic countries and designing and developing a solution for Trygs underwriters. We’re looking forward to her being done with her Master’s thesis and join us full-time!
- Bjarne Helland. Bjarne is joining us in March! He is an experienced full-stack developer coming from Profitbase in Stavanger. We’re looking forward to him relocating and being a part of our team!
- More students. We’ll also be joined by three students starting in August, as well as a few other skilled people we can’t share yet. But that doesn’t mean we’re done looking for people! We’re in high demand and still looking for more designers and developers! Just send me a message at @stacc.com if that sounds interesting.
Because of the pandemic, we haven’t maintained all the regular social activities, like our yearly trip to a secret destination, but we’ve done our best during this strange year. Luckily we managed to have a small summer-party for our team outdoor before we had to attend most of our other social events remotely.
We’ve also written a bit more this year. We’ve challenged Vipps in both Shifter and Dagens Næringsliv about their strange strategy launching a mobile subscriptions and charging 5kr for digital gift wrap. Even regular gift wrap in the store is free! The answer is apparently that that Vipps strategy is to simplify everything, not just within Fintech.
We’ve also written about bridging the gap between designers and developers - a subject close to our heart. We want all of our designers to be able to adjust designs in code and know the limitations of the medium we’re working with. Aleksander has also written about learning SwiftUI to become a better designer, and Lene about the Debug View Hierarchy in XCode.
In February, we started with a weekly internal post in Slack, covering interesting news of what happened in our world of finance, design, and technology. After a few weeks, the feedback was that this shouldn’t just be internal, so we started a newsletter. We now have hundreds of subscribers. You can subscribe to nyhetsbrev.stacc.com.
Thanks to all our clients and partners!
2020 was a strange year, but thanks to our great clients and partners, it has been an exciting year after all. Now we’re looking forward to getting started with the year ahead and help clients launching new solutions and ideas!