How CGD built a cutting-edge PFM app in 6 months

Portugal’s biggest bank, Caixa Geral de Depósitos (CGD), wanted to transform how it interacted with its customers. So it asked Tink to help build a first-class mobile experience that would also leverage open banking tech. Six months later, CGD launched a brand-new PFM app to give millions of consumers unprecedented insight into their economy.

CGD + Tink = Dabox

Mobile banking is spreading like wildfire. In times when neobanks like Monzo and N26 are drawing in users by the millions, banks are starting to realise that reaching customers in their smartphone is not just a nice-to-have – it’s a necessity. 

But how do you suddenly leap into the mobile age? CGD, Portugal’s leading bank, faced this burning question in early 2019, as it was looking to respond to the evolving needs of its customers. The 140-year old giant was convinced it needed to upgrade its digital offering in order to build stronger engagement in an increasingly cashless Portuguese market. 

So CGD decided to build and launch DABOX, a standalone PFM app that would give the bank’s four million customers a smarter and easier way to manage their money. From the moment Tink started building the app, the implementation took just six months.

A game-changing PFM app

Launching this week, DABOX provides millions of Portuguese consumers with tangible insights into their economy. Users can gain better control of their finances by keeping track of their income and spending over time, and setting up budgets in various categories. They can also gain data-driven financial advice and establish savings goals.

What’s more, DABOX allows users to view their account details from all other Portuguese banks in one place. Since many users have accounts with different providers, this spares them from having to switch between different banking apps to see how their finances are spread – they can see it all through DABOX.

Dabox app

This in-depth financial overview gives CGD a novel way to engage with customers. By learning more about their spending patterns and preferences, the bank can provide more personalised insights about their finances – which, compared to traditional one-size-fits-all banking services, can boost customer loyalty. 

An open banking milestone 

DABOX is one of the first open banking-powered services in Portugal, as it’s currently entirely powered by PSD2 APIs. The current account data from the country’s banks are made available through a single Tink API  – that in turn connects to Portugal’s jointly bank-owned open banking interface, SIBS. 

In building the app, CGD leveraged both pillars of the Tink platform – what we call ‘the rails and brains’ of open banking. ‘Rails’ refers to the connectivity that allows access to data from banks, and the ability to transfer funds between banks; ‘brains’ being the tech that refines and makes sense of all that data, allowing for automatic categorisation and deeper insights.

Using open banking tech means that DABOX will potentially be eligible for a wider audience in the future. The fact that the app connects to Portugal’s entire banking ecosystem sets the ground for inviting non-CGD users to use the app.

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