2 minutes, 54 seconds

10 November 2021

Product Update: November 2021

by Natalie Cuthbert, CTO

Stitch is on a mission to build what we call the financial graph for Africa – made up of the financial building blocks that can interoperate across regions, providers, banks, and other types of financial accounts, allowing businesses to write code once, launch in multiple markets, and scale more quickly. To do that, we need to deliver the right experiences to customers, with coverage in all major markets in the region.

A major step toward achieving this mission came last month when Stitch officially launched in Nigeria and integrated with five new financial institutions, bringing what we internally referred to as “Project Naira” to a close. Our tech update this month also includes a redesign of our single sign-on (SSO) interface, significantly improving end user experience.

Institutions covered now include:

bank-coverage-colour

Stitch expands to Nigeria

With our launch in Nigeria, we doubled the number of supported payment institutions on the Stitch platform, going from five to ten. 

Integrating these institutions in such a short space of time brought quite a few learnings. For example, we learned that Nigerian banks are a lot more stateful, in contrast to South African banks, which makes integrations more challenging – particularly if you wish to optimise response times and maximise reliability. 

The team used these insights to workshop a number of ideas and improvements that can optimise the pace of integrating new institutions, from architectural improvements, to operational changes and strategies to more easily test and understand a given institution’s behaviour.

Stitch SSO user experience redesign

This month we will launch a redesign of the Stitch single sign-on (SSO) feature. This includes a ground-up rewrite of our end-user experience, taking into account our increasing diversity of financial institutions, user experience learnings and customer needs. 

Some new architectural innovations include our use of state machines, a programming formalism that can be more easily mapped back and forth between the design and engineering realms and allows us to model the application’s behavior, agnostic of the tech stack we chose. We also used dynamic forms so that less manual work is needed to support new input types and financial institution interactions.

The new SSO has its own serverless functions that reduce dependency on other backend services, and we employed a modular structure which will allow us to compose new user journeys from existing pieces in the future.

The new UI introduces the use of animated page transitions and motion graphics to create a more dynamic and interactive experience.

More importantly, the new SSO has been based on a mental model intended to clarify Stitch’s role in the bank linking process. Superficial customisation of bank login fields has been limited, no longer imitating stylistic elements of the user’s financial institution and making it easier and faster to scale across regions and new institutions. In the primary, embedded experience, Stitch’s flow sits in a modal on top of the client’s UI. Allowing the user to link an account without leaving the client’s environment provides an experience that’s more deeply integrated with their product. The embedded solution is also facilitated by a lightweight SDK, which allows you to easily complete the embedding process. However, a redirect experience remains optional.

We will be rolling out the new experience gradually, first to new integrators and then later to our existing user base in order to prevent disruptions and to give customers an opportunity for input and feedback. 

Look out for the release of this update in November!

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