Reimagining your digital experience involves a lot of moving parts – technical evaluations, banking host communication accessibility audits and several other pieces that can begin to feel overwhelming when paired with day-to-day operations and concurrent initiatives. Finding a partner who can take some of that weight off your shoulders will be invaluable as you begin your project, ensuring you can focus your attention where it’s needed most. But how do you identify the right partner for you?

To help with the search, here are four criteria that The Agency at Central 1 recommends taking into account:

End-to-end implementation support
Your public site is just one piece of a larger digital branch puzzle. Make sure you consider your mobile app and online banking as well. Does your partner have the expertise to help with these implementations too? Things to look for include channel theming, functional testing, customer journey through transactional flow, what can and can not be customized and controlled etc. If they can support you in some or all of these areas, it will not only take tasks off your to-do list but also accelerate your launch and ensure a consistent, cohesive experience for customers across your channels.

Beyond Backbase certification
Backbase certification is a good foundation for working within the Forge Experience Manager, giving you a solid understanding of its tools and components. However, when choosing a public site design partner, it’s important to look for someone with hands-on Forge-specific implementation experience. While you don’t need technical or development expertise to build in Forge, you do need to know how to creatively combine its widgets to deliver the experience you want. Those who have yet to go into Forge Experience Manager may take a little time to get up to speed and, if you’re paying someone, you want them to be an expert from the outset.

Limited custom coding
The Forge Experience Manager isn’t just designed for developers. Its simple interface and building block-style widgets mean anyone can put together a strong public site. You don’t need coding expertise, just a good understanding of these components. When assessing design partners, it’s important that you find out how much they rely on custom coding to create your site. This is essential for two reasons. The first is the long-term stability of your site. When Forge platform upgrades happen, custom code isn’t guaranteed to carry over correctly, leading to potential site malfunctions you need to fix and pay for. The second is site maintenance. If your site is built using custom code, you either need to have in-house coding skills to make updates or pay for an external provider to do it for you. None of which is necessary if your design partner builds with out-of-the-box widgets.

Training for you
Finally, don’t forget to consider your own team’s training. With one-on-one coaching, they’ll have the know-how to dive in, but additional practical training will help them hit the ground running even faster. So finding a partner who offers training within Experience Manager as part of their package will be a big bonus. With the Forge Omnichannel Digital Banking platform, you have the exciting opportunity to create an innovative digital experience that wows customers for years to come. By following the criteria set out above, you’ll be able to find a design partner capable of supporting that vision and accelerating your journey to the digital branch of the future.

Looking for a design partner capable of taking your Forge digital experience to the next level?

The Agency at Central 1 is the most experienced end-to-end partner in Canada – because we are Forge. Part marketing agency, part brand consultancy and part extension of your team. With over 20 years of experience helping clients transform their digital marketing, we’re the most experienced Forge design partner out there. No other agency can match our expertise. Led by Jen Gerald, we are a full-service marketing agency for Canadian financial institutions with an in-house team of experts, consisting of marketers, project leads, strategists, creative designers, graphic artists, writers, coordinators and researchers, taking your project and campaigns, end-to-end. We inherently understand Canada’s digital banking landscape. Our experience is second to none, servicing and collaborating with over 150 financial institution and credit union partners throughout the years.

The Agency has become the leading design and build experts in Forge public site, working every day to help make engaging, member-centric digital banking experiences a reality of Forge. As part of Central 1, we have the advantage of the inside scoop and behind the scenes access to Forge. This further establishes us as the most experienced and knowledgeable digital partners to get you to market in the shortest amount of time, while saving you money along the way.

Click to view a selection of our work:
laptop and mobile phone

Need help with your brand, your Forge Public Site or anything in-between? Reach out through your Central 1 Relationship Manager or visit our website to find out more about how we can support you.

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