Virgin Money

Virgin Money

Virgin Money unifies app development with Flutter


Virgin Money were starting on a journey to combine their separate mobile apps for different financial products into a single customer app, to help them deliver a customer experience that lives up to their purpose of ‘making you happier about money’.

At the same time, the team were thinking about how to simplify the way they work. Virgin Money has historically developed and maintained separate Android and iOS mobile apps, resulting in duplication and additional cost. The engineering team wanted to switch to a more unified app development process to speed up change and enable Virgin Money to deliver a class-leading user experience. However, they were cautious about moving away from the native programming they were familiar with to something new.

Why Flutter?

With those goals in mind, the team started to research what options were available to them to make development faster and more efficient, whilst maintaining the quality of app build they were used to. When you’re looking after customers’ money, it’s vital to get it right.

They looked at the various technology options available and, following a selection process, with some creative proof of concepts along the way, they landed on Flutter. Building a brand new consolidated app for all customers would require significant time and resource, and the appeal of Flutter was only needing to do that once, rather than replicating the build and operate with two different mobile platforms.

Their solution

Flutter promised fast development, simplified testing, and a beautiful, on-brand experience. Most importantly for Virgin Money, it offered a unified toolkit, streamlining collaboration between QA, UX, and development. Eliminating platform-specific differences would mean less testing of unintended variations, saving valuable developer time.

After allocating engineers to help validate their thinking and address any final concerns, the team got the go-ahead to begin adopting Flutter. As they began, Virgin Money leaned on the active Flutter community for solutions to pipeline, security, and other cross-platform challenges, finding it an invaluable source of assistance.

Our senior engineers were up to speed from a standing start within a matter of weeks.”

- Gary McLellan, Head of Engineering Frameworks & Core Mobile Apps, Virgin Money


Virgin Money’s Swift and Kotlin developers found the transition to Flutter's declarative style relatively easy. Their top engineers were using Flutter and contributing changes within a week, and even their less experienced developers were able to adapt in a short amount of time.

Cross-training their engineers in Flutter from Kotlin, Swift, and Java initially reduced productivity for about four weeks, but after the team got up to speed, Virgin Money’s developer efficiency increased dramatically.