How the Open Banking team is changing product development at Revolut

Sonja Polimac

 · February 19, 2020  · 02/19/2020

“I was only going to borrow it!” is the line you hear from your sibling when you’ve just found out that they took something of yours. And that’s what Open Banking Product Owner Josh Fernandes always intended to do with the custom-built internal team that brought Open Banking to Revolut. However, there would be bigger plans in store for them.

Faced with delivering a crucial product fast, Josh could have hired in a new team, but bringing them up to speed and building rapport would take precious time. Instead, with the blessing of our co-founders Nik and Vlad, he went on a mission to poach the best and brightest from within the company. “It was very much ‘Avengers Assemble!’ as I brought in the top talent from different products.” He wanted them to have a great contextual knowledge of the entire app, so he chose from the core and product teams, finally assembling Kirill Akhmetov for Android, Diomidis Papas for iOS, and Donato Lucia for Backend Engineering.

The four-person core team that launched Open Banking was deliberately leaner than the Revolut average to enable more efficient communication and faster delivery as a result. As they worked on the project, the huge benefits of integrating an agile launch team into the way that we build and deliver new products for customers became clear.

The best discoveries are made through experimentation and our agile engineering launch team is no exception. Their contribution won’t end with bringing Open Banking to us faster than could have been expected under different circumstances, but also that they’ll be supporting and guiding the new team taking over. As they move into new projects, their growing experience will be a massive benefit, bringing better products to our customers faster.

Josh Fernandes in our London Revolut offices

None of this would have been possible without Josh Fernandes. Four years ago, he joined Revolut to manage quality assurance (QA) for all our mobile and web products. He eventually helped to redefine how we test features and changes before they go live, a system of responsibility which now sees more robust code from the first iteration. On the inside track of all our products, he had a broad view of the app and company, “I was part of every release, I got to work with every team, and that helped me build solid context for what we were doing and where we could go.” This was a natural lead-in for technical product ownership.

He has a real passion for Revolut’s vision, one that has sustained him throughout the everyday processes we all have to battle through. He talks about keeping this vision at the forefront of everything he does with such passion that it’s difficult not to feel fired up when talking to him. This feeling is so powerful that he tells us about how it spills over into every area of his life: in some ways, he is the embodiment of Never Settle.

He asks us “what kind of a legacy do you want to be leaving for the people coming in to take over when you’re ready to move on?” and it’s a question that we should always be asking ourselves. “Revolut started a revolution with Nik’s (our founder) vision, but everyone needs to bring their own vision to everything we do as we expand, because it’s not  just his vision anymore...it belongs to all of us.”

Becoming part of the vision can start with even the smallest idea. We’re building one of the best fintech teams in the world and there’s never been a better time to join the rocketship. If you think that you’ve got what it takes to help us launch our next product, check out our careers page for opportunities.