MoneyToday.ch: Gioia 3a – mit der Graubündner Kantonalbank betritt der nächste Player die FinTech-Vorsorgebühne
Built in: 144 Days
The 3a pillar (3a Vorsorge) market in Switzerland currently has a volume of approximately CHF 130 billion and is growing by around 5% per year. Currently, about 2-3% of the total assets are managed in digital 3a solutions. More than enough space for additional players and further innovation.
Since May 2020, various partners have been working together on the Gioia 3a project. Together with a cross-functional team from various companies and areas, the digital product is built and the market developed. New improvements are being launched continuously in frequent releases.
The first MVP with a corresponding break-through to the Finnova core banking system was launched internally after 144 days on September 22nd, 2020. The product went live in the market on 21.02.2021. Since then, the product has continiously been improved by an iterative approach and market scaling is in full progress.
Dr. Martina Müller-Kamp, Leiterin Marktleistungen, Mitglied der Geschäftsleitung GKB
Retirement savings (Säule 3a) is totally boring and yet it pays off - in fact, it's almost a no brainer. And the sooner you start, the better and the longer your investment horizon will be, which in turn means that it's best to invest in stocks and shares. In Switzerland the payments into the personal 3rd pillar can be carried out up to a maximum value of 6’883 CHF / year (if one is connected to a pension fund) or 34’416 CHF / year (if one is not connected to a pension fund) from the income in the annual tax return.
Currently, only 65% of employed Swiss have a 3a pillar. 59% of the 25-65 year olds then pay regularly into their 3rd pillar. Ideally, people should start as early as possible and unfortunately, only about 20% of young people (18-24 years old) have a pillar 3a account after starting work and retroactively for a previous year, in Switzerland tax-optimization may not be paid.
An important element of the project is the new way of collaboration, which breaks new ground. Since the project requires agile mindset and action and has to deal with a lot of uncertainty and permanent plan changes (the new normal), the decision was made against a typical project and supplier organization.
Rather we are on the road as 1 common team with 1 goal, aligned interests and an interactive approach directly to the market succeeds an effective and fast collaboration. The two currencies are Speed and Trust, with which small mountains are moved and everybody loves to see his impact come to life.
So there is one cross-functional team from various companies and areas working on the digital product, the required organizational processes and the preparation of the market launch. With over 100 product iterations the product became suprisingly simple for the user and all the therefore needed integrations and processes are established.
The product is meant to be feminine (hence the name Gioia), to bring joy to retirement savings in a super simple and fresh way.
With GKB Gioia 3a you have your retirement planning under control: deposits, assets, returns, asset development. All with just a few clicks in the app and everything totally simple.
• Opened in just a few minutes: It's easy and there's no paperwork involved.
• Everything under control: Investment strategy, goals and pension development always in view.
• Sustainable provision: Invest responsibly with the GKB pension funds.
• Save taxes: Your payments are deductible from your taxable income.
Since February 2021, new improvements are being launched continuously in small interations and frequent releases which is reflected with increasing mAUM and customers.
FINMA distinguishes between video and online identification in Switzerland. For a comprehensive process automation, only the online identification is suitable. According to the latest FINMA circulars (2016/7 Video and Online Identification and all subsequent partial revisions, media releases including the one dated May 17, 2021), full onboarding is even possible by reading passport data with an NFC chip. However, the current coverage in Switzerland with biometric passports is not given, which is why a corresponding micropayment from the customer of the same name is required for full onboarding.
The 3a retirement savings is a linked pension plan and therefore the withdrawal is subject to certain conditions. Regular payments are only made at retirement and early withdrawal is only possible when buying a house, moving abroad or founding a company. The withdrawals are processed manually and therefore no one can "withdraw" money. This circumstance helps the onboarding process and allows for simplification.
So the project team was redesigning, simplifying and completely digitizing the onboarding process and related to the KYC, the Integration of the Swiss Post Adress Check and Onfido KYC incl. Document Verification and Liveness Check drove down the time to onboard a new customer to 5 minutes.
Existing customers of another market player can use the customer transfer service to easily transer their funds to Gioia 3a in 1 minute without the need for a printer or a trip to the mailbox. One simply selects the provider from a list, enters the current IBAN of the 3a account and hits the button.
Gioia 3a relies on a stateless architecture which is in charge of handling the business logic and user management. While being securely hosted within Switzerland at the Inventx ix. OpenFinancePlattform, it is possible to offer an SLA level of 98 % uptime/availability. Gioia empowers itself with a mix of containers and images to deliver fast responses to all of its components, while communicating with multiple services. The services communicating with Gioia includes the address validation offered by the Swiss Post, the national postal service of Switzerland and Onfido, the leading identity verification system. Firebase is used to send push notifications based on triggers or schedules, and to notice irregularities or crashes on the application level. U-Safe authenticates users using their groundbreaking approach to customer portals and identity access management.
Within the containers, a SQL based relational database is leveraged to maintain the user management and their transactions. However, the business logic is forwarded to the core banking system Finnova, through integration layers in the middle called FILS (Finnova Integration Layer Services).
Gioia is built using Docker images and containers to provide a true stateless architecture which can be scaled horizontally. It is connected to U-Safe as its IAM provider, Onfido using their provided SDK and PdfBox to generate documents on the fly. It is written using Java Spring Boot, leveraging JDK 17.
The frontend is built for multiple platforms using React Native, allowing the application to run on both iOS as well as on Android devices. Reanimated 2 is used to provide animations which can run up to 60 FPS, without loosing quality or affecting performance on any of the platforms. And in case of any unexpected crashes, Firebase is used to report helpful findings. OWASP CVE reports are constantly closely monitored using Snyk and Dependency-check to discover potential vulnerabilities and upgrade them as soon as possible.