Introducing Salt Bank: Launched by GFT & Engine by Starling

Digital transformation specialists GFT and partners Engine by Starling have launched Salt Bank, a new Romanian digital bank

Romania has a new digital challenger on its banking scene; Salt Bank. 

Launched by digital transformation specialists GFT, in partnership with Engine by Starling, Salt Bank is the first neobank using Engine by Starling’s core banking system outside the vendor’s parent company, Starling Bank. 

While the launch of Salt Bank represents increased competition in the Romanian market, its emergence is perhaps most notable for a different reason: it has been built and debuted in under 12 months, a staggering feat even by modern standards. 

Salt Bank: Leveraging cutting-edge tech for rapid onboarding

Operational in less than a year, the launch of Salt Bank continues a transformative trend that GFT only expects will continue in the banking industry. 

Financial organisations are reinventing their technology capabilities, adopting a ‘platform of platforms’ approach, which includes the consumption of ready-made capabilities from the wider tech industry. 

The approach has worked wonders for Salt Bank too, which has already onboarded over 300,000 customers using fully automated client acquisition strategies. 

GFT was engaged to provide the overall design and integration services of the bank, for its deep expertise in launching banks on next-generation technologies. 

This included the development of Salt Bank’s onboarding capabilities as well as its technology model, designed so that Salt can effectively manage its ecosystem of service providers as it becomes more successful. 

Carlton Hopper, GFT

Carlton Hopper, Engine by Starling Executive Sponsor and UK Managing Director at GFT, says: “The launch of Salt Bank showcases our global leadership in digital banking on modern platforms. This is the latest of many modern banking platforms we have launched worldwide in the last two years.

“We delivered an integrated, tailored, robust and secure banking platform for Salt. And as the first to deploy Engine's flexible platform, the programme sets a new standard. It incorporates all the innovation from Starling, enhancing efficiency in the industry.”

Frictionless customer onboarding

Indeed, one of Salt Bank’s early successes has been its ability to acquire a significant customer base in rapid time. The fully automated, secure process takes a matter of minutes, and the bank managed to onboard 100,000 in the first two weeks of its soft launch alone. 

With this rapid rate of acquisition, Salt Bank is well on course to reach its target of 1 million customers within the first three years of operation. 

The bank already has a robust set of advanced features on offer, including multi-currency accounts and cards. 

With offers tailored to local markets, Salt Bank has customer experience front of mind from the outset. 

Gabriela Nistor, Salt Bank CEO, adds: “Our collaboration with GFT has set a new benchmark for digital banking. 

“Salt’s rapid onboarding and advanced features reflect our commitment to providing seamless, cutting-edge financial services to our customers. GFT’s dedicated team of specialists has excelled in delivering our new bank within a very challenging timeframe.”

A local bank built with international effort

Meeting the needs of Romanian locals has, ironically, required an international effort from GFT teams in the UK and Poland. 

This is not just in terms of infrastructure, but in terms of joint banking industry knowledge, working to best serve the local market. 

GFT helped Salt Bank establish its programme, execute the transformation and launch readiness, and help prepare the new Salt Bank team for future success. 

Sam Everington, CEO of Engine by Starling, concludes: “Our platform was effectively integrated by GFT for the Romanian market, delivering feature-rich and highly personalisable banking products that can be deployed around the world to attract impressive customer volumes. 

“GFT’s specialist team delivered the implementation and they see the significant potential of our platform.”


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