Improving Microfinance

First e-loan mobile app in Russia


business strategy / analytics / product design / prototyping / UX/UI design /
Android / iOS / backend / tech sutpport / app promotion / Java/JEE / API integration

About the project
Making of

Analysis: the quest for perfect KPIs

Operating with a specific business model, SMSFinance decided to investigate how a mobile app would fit into the equation. We always keep track of the KPIs and aim to develop a solution that will raise the bar ever higher. An app must meet not only the clients’ expectations, but also the users’. Thus, we collected a tremendous amount of data to depict a detailed portrait of the perfect user, including his/her values and behaviour. Android users were at the core of the target audience, so we developed the app for this platform first.

UX design / Prototyping: take my hand and guide me

First-time user registration is the most challenging part of the microloans app. Being a banking institution, we need to know a great deal of user details to comply with regulations and prevent identity theft and fraud. On the other hand, for mobile app users, it is not easy to fill out many fields on a small screen and pass all the authorisation procedures. That’s why we created a unique registration guide for our users, taking them through the process in 5 screens and reducing the average registration time down to just 4 minutes.

Production: dream team times 3

We have two teams working simultaneously on mobile and server development. They are both based in the same office, making it easy to discuss features, bugs, and how all the parts of the app fit together. In addition, we worked closely with the IT Department to smoothly integrate our service into the client’s infrastructure. An added benefit is that this enables us to fix problems immediately as they show up, rather than after the release.

Publishing: guidelines between the lines

Google Play is quite democratic about the apps it hosts, while App Store has a strict moderation policy. Despite following all of the review guidelines, we still had concerns because our app requests a lot of personal data. Not to worry: our explanatory letter made the moderation process a breeze, with no questions asked.

Support and updates: you break it—you buy it

Managing microloans is not quite as simple as shooting pigs with angry birds. We have to constantly make sure that everything is working while scaling it just right. The server load skyrockets during major holidays (such as Christmas) and after TV campaigns, but SMSFinance must be available to its customers 24/7. Apart from business processes and the user experience, optimisation platforms also evolve (brace yourselves, iOS9 is coming and Google already has the material design guidelines). Thus, we implement major design updates based on the user behaviour analytics and platform guidelines.

Project phasing


UX design, prototyping

Programming / Testing


Support and upgrade