How Product People helped a European Banking Unicorn balance Compliance with User Value

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The Client: 🦄 European Banking Unicorn

A fintech pioneer founded in 2013, has rapidly emerged as a prominent player in the global banking and financial services landscape with 8 million customers. The company is at the forefront of the digital banking revolution, offering a range of innovative financial products and services to customers worldwide.

Since its founding, it has rapidly expanded its presence and customer base, with operations spanning across Europe, the United States, and other international markets.

To date, the unicorn bank has raised close to US$ 1.8 billion from some of the world's most renowned investors.

The Mission: Interim Product Manager

We were acting as support to the Product Lead overseeing two teams within the Customer Identity segment mostly dealing with the onboarding flow, market compliance, and market-specific IBAN migrations.

The reason why were needed was to support and fast-track discovery and delivery of the deliverables mentioned above across 3 delivery teams, whilst our client was searching for a permanent Product Manager in the market.

The company expectations and our goal were to run topics related to Customer Identity as if we were internal product managers and run the day-to-day delivery and discovery of these topics. The challenge we had was that we were not allowed to have access to the company and usage data, but we managed to solve this with the help of internal staff members.

Our Main Quest: Balancing Compliance with User and Business Value

Launch: Onboarded Very Fast

When we joined the client, they were going through a re-org of teams to set up the delivery teams in a way that decreased interdependencies and aligned with the company’s goals. We were a part of these in-person workshops to identify and plan how to do this, which helped us onboard at lightning speed.

Discover and Deliver: Balancing risk, compliance, business value, and user value within the Customer Identity Segment

Within our product scope, we had to solve compliance challenges that the client had which capped their growth numbers. We needed to find ways to balance these compliance and risk-related goals with the goals of the business and its customers. We had multiple initiatives spanning from the French IBAN migration, SIRET and IE compliance, Customer Document Reverification flows, and TaxID collection.

📚 SIRET: The SIRET code or SIRET number, is an INSEE code that allows the geographic identification of any French establishment or business.
📚 IE: This is a term used in the French Market for individual entrepreneurs.
📚 IBAN: The International Bank Account Number is an internationally agreed-upon system of identifying bank accounts across national borders to facilitate the communication and processing of cross-border transactions with a reduced risk of transcription errors.

Initiative 1 - Test and roll out the French IBAN Migration


  • All the clients’ customers in France had IBANs that were not French IBANs, which created unhappiness with the French market due to certain restrictions that it posed for those customers, the biggest of which was that certain French employers require a French IBAN to pay someone’s salary.

What has been done:

  • The biggest chunk of the delivery work had been done before we joined and we were tasked to attend to the usability testing and provide a prioritized list of changes necessary for the delivery team before we could roll out the migration for the entire French Market.
  • The most prioritized changes had been attended to and we successfully released them to the entire French market.

Initiative 2 - Reduce Customer Support tickets for Customer Document Verification


  • One of the strategic goals of our client was to reduce the cost related to Customer Support Tickets, and one of the top contributing factors to these costs were issues related to fraud and false positive fraud cases within the Customer Document Verification module.

What has been done:

  • We met with Customer Support and Operations Managers to help us understand their end-to-end flows within Customer Document Verification and how they deal with issues that come out of fraud and false positive fraud cases.
  • We identified the top priority issues to solve within the process and delivered a detailed and prioritized requirement document to the product manager of this space for delivery of the necessary changes.
  • The changes had to be accompanied by a business case, which we helped prepare and get sign-off from the Director of the segment to implement.
Process unpacking and prioritization workshops with Customer Support and Operations

Initiative 3 - Balance TaxID collection customer experience with compliance, business value, and user value


  • TaxID collection is of utmost importance when a customer wants to create an account with our client. The process that was previously implemented was risk-averse which had a negative impact on the customer onboarding funnel and ultimately led to the loss of customers and revenue.

What has been done:

  • We met with multiple business partners within the tax, compliance, and regulatory teams to understand the risks, requirements, and non-negotiables of the laws and regulations as they relate to TaxID collection and reporting.
  • We attended to competitor research on how other banks are currently solving this and what their approaches have been.
  • We met with multiple business stakeholders and C-Level partners to understand the entirety of the loss of revenue and customers and their goals for business growth.
  • We presented all of our findings in a clearly documented Confluence page along with a video walkthrough of the top 2 solutions to implement, which was agreed on and signed off by the Managing Director of our client.
Structure and Table of Content for the Proposal Document

Initiative 4 - Ensure SIRET and IE compliance in the French Market


  • In our client’s onboarding of French business customers, they were being onboarded as business customers without the necessary SIRET and IE compliance in place. After onboarding was complete it required a costly manual exercise, which ultimately led to the loss of 46% of these customers.

What has been done:

  • We met with operations managers in the French market, as well as compliance and regulatory team members to understand the scope of the law, the requirements, and the bare minimum necessary to be fully compliant.
  • We met with the technical team to unpack the entire current technical solution and understand its limitations and risks to implement a fully compliant solution.
  • We balanced the necessary changes required to ensure compliance with technical feasibility and created a detailed Confluence page to reflect the problem and its solutions for implementation.
  • We refined this with the delivery team, created the necessary tickets for delivery, and the prioritized solution was implemented, ensuring that it had the minimum technical time and cost investment.
Structure and Executive Summary within the Confluence Page detailing the problem and its solutions

Mini-Missions: Our Side Quests

As Interim Product Managers, we supported teams with multiple missions:

  • Proof of Address Standardization between German and French Market
    • Problem: A standalone Proof of Address module had been developed and launched for the German market, however, certain changes needed to be made to this standalone module to scale for more market use cases.
    • Solution: We met with French operational and compliance managers to understand the French compliance needs as it relates to Proof of Address verification for purposes of KYC and provided the delivery team with detailed requirements for the minimum required changes to be compliant in France, with minimal delivery investment needed.
  • Kicking off new teams after the re-org had been finalized
    • Problem: Team members were moved around based on their experience and skillsets, but they were new to the domain and each other. It was needed to have a kick-off with this team to agree on ways of working, scope, and goals.
    • Solution: We attended the workshop creation and delivery for the team and helped set up the necessary process changes needed to get the team up and running.

Mission Achievements: Delivered Outcomes

💡 Testing and Roll-out of the French IBAN migration.
💡 Discovery of the risk-based approaches to TaxID collection balanced with business and user value.
💡 Discovery and delivery of French SIRET and IE compliance.
💡 Documenting and solving for Customer Support related fraud issues.

The client initially brought us in to be with the team from July 2023 until December 2023, and we were extended until the end of February 2024.

In the Client's Own Words

Space Crew of this Mission

Associate Management Consultant
VP/Director/Head of Product
Senior Product Management Consultant

For Clients: When to Hire Us

You can hire us as an Interim/Freelance Product Manager or Product Owner

It takes, on average, three to nine months to find the right Product Manager to hire as a full-time employee. In the meantime, someone needs to fill in the void: drive cross-functional initiatives, decide what is worth building, and help the development team deliver the best outcomes.
If you're looking for a great Product Manager / Product Owner to join your team ASAP, Product People is a good plug-and-play solution to bridge the gap.