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How rapid replatforming enabled OpenMoney to launch fast

OpenMoney is on a mission to help millions across the UK build a brighter financial future.

With an impressive background in the financial sector, OpenMoney’s founders understood that a growing number of British people need financial advice but struggle to either access information, or afford financial advice.

OpenMoney exists to address this problem, by making personal financial advice available to everyone.

The first order of business was to ensure OpenMoney was in a position to launch - but without an internal digital function in place, that launch looked unlikely. With AND’s dual expertise in building greenfield digital products and great digital teams, OpenMoney enlisted our help to get to market fast.

The team began by first analysing the existing tech stack from the company’s original financial product, Evestor. After significant testing and codebase review, the need was clear: replatforming was essential, and a new, estimated roadmap was needed to accelerate delivery.

The number of environments in OpenMoney’s pipeline meant it took a day to add a new one through manual modification. Coupled with the fact OpenMoney made multiple manual frontend updates to their site per day, a single release could take at least 30 minutes to deploy.

To improve this, AND shifted the pipeline onto Octopus Deploy. This allowed for a matrix- style deployment, with services on one side, and environments on the other. The impact of the new approach was soon evident, with deployment time cut down significantly and releases able to go live in a matter of minutes.

OpenMoney had multiple microservices written in C# .NET that were tightly coupled, which added to the complexity and slow pace of deployment. We redesigned and rewrote these microservices using .NET Core. This allowed for OpenMoney’s infrastructure to be simplified - removing services that were no longer required, and reducing coupling with a more efficient event-driven architecture.

OpenAPI and Swagger were introduced alongside this, which now allows OpenMoney to visually inspect APIs and documentation, and test example requests.

Originally, any analytics and insightOpenMoney needed would require code changes but, with the integration of Azure Application Insights, the team now has better access to monitoring, logging and alerts. This provides faster root cause analysis for any downstream service failures.

Data was moved from ServiceFabric - which was unreliable, hard to access and made business continuity a concern - to SQL Server. This transition required AND to write an innovative adapter, which allowed for the efficient extraction, optimisation and upload of data to SQL.

OpenMoney launched successfully, with significantly faster deployment times across the board and fully PSD2 compliant integrations in place. The team at AND also supported OpenMoney with the expansion of their in-house team - including the appointment of a new Head of Technology.

This means people across the UK have access to OpenMoney’s core features, including:

  • Saving recommendations: an innovative engine built in Azure Function that makes recommendations based on users’ spending habits.

  • Budget setting: the ability to set detailed personal budgets with spending categories.

  • Spending alerts: OpenMoney notifies users when they overspend.