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Cases Digex Co. AkBars Bank

Upgraded automated loan processing

Digitalization of automated loan processing for legal entities
2021 – present
Ak Bars Bank has been registered with the Central Bank of Russia and successfully operates in the Russian financial market since 1993.

The bank holds all types of existing banking licenses in Russia and offers over 100 types of services to corporate and private clients, with more than 220 branches throughout the country. Among Ak Bars Bank’s clients are the largest exporters of the Republic of Tatarstan, oil and gas companies, machine-building, telecommunications, construction, chemical, automotive, trade, and agro-industrial enterprises.

The bank’s stability is guaranteed by its paid-up capital of over 50 billion rubles. As of January 1, 2022, its equity capital amounted to more than 76 billion rubles.

About the client

Cases Digex Co. Ak Bars Bank
Cases Digex Co. Ak Bars Bank
For over 20 years, the bank had been using its own customized accounting system, which handled internal document flow and all key business processes. This system was used for interactions with individuals, corporate clients, bank products' sales, and marketing communications. Internal workflows were heavily reliant on the system. However, in addition to its outdated technology and numerous legacy issues, a major drawback of the system was the lack of digitalization of the loan process for corporate clients.

Loan issuance to companies wasn’t fully automated. The turnaround time for corporate loans was up to 3 weeks from the application date. Most of the loan approval work was provided by the bank’s employees, who visited private companies and conducted on-site checks to verify the accuracy of the business information provided in the loan application.

Hundreds of metrics were taken into account for each loan application, and multiple checks were carried out. Here are some examples of these metrics:
  • The psychological and physical condition of the authorized representative of the company
  • Foreign incorporation check
  • Verification of the types of business activities performed according to the Russian classification of economic activities
  • Adequacy of the requested loan amount and reasons for the loan application.
Several hundred checks were conducted for each corporate loan application. All of them were physically performed by bank employees based on business rules, regulations, and instructions. There was a need to create conditions for faster loan approval and automate the process.

The challenge

The first order of business was to create a new version of the bank’s internal accounting system, in parallel with the current system, which turned 20 years old in 2022. The top priority in this process was integrating the two systems and creating a unified gateway between them. This was meant to ensure consistency in the bank’s customer data, processes, and deals. The ability to conduct the credit process in either the old or new system was a key requirement for the bank.

In addition to data consistency across different systems, the Digex Co. team set up integrations with government services. This allowed the bank to quickly refinance loans taken from other financial institutions and speed up the loan application process at Ak Bars Bank.

Throughout the development process, there were regular code reviews to simplify future maintenance of the new IT solution. Documentation and development followed guidelines that were generally accepted within the bank.

Digex Co. specialists created an orchestrator system to integrate the bank’s own IT subsystems with the accounting systems of the bank’s partners. The bank’s partners included marketplaces like Yandex. Market and Wildberries, as well as other companies that provided services for businesses. These companies were given the opportunity to develop joint products with the bank for legal entities. The core of the orchestrator, based on Camunda BPM, used data from various internal subsystems (application submissions, CRM systems, etc.) and the bank partners' IT systems, from which loan applications were received.

Digex Co. developers integrated the bank’s internal subsystems: CRM, reporting service, customer data repository, business entity verification system, and tax base. The Camunda BPM engine described all processes within the BPMN and was responsible for their execution. Depending on the outcome of checks through various services, a loan application or other bank offer would either be approved or rejected. After all checks were completed with Camunda, the summary was passed to a supervisor at the bank, who made the decision based on the results of automated checks. That’s how the automation of the loan process works now.

A separate service for short SMS links was set up for the bank’s marketing activities. SMS was used to inform customers about the bank’s promotions and special offers: approved loans, mortgage loans, and so on. In addition, SMS remained one of the most important elements of authorization in banking services. The development team set up tools to track every interaction with the advertising message. With each touch, additional scenarios are activated: messages through various advertising channels and further work with the client. Thousands of interaction scenarios with bank clients are taken into account, as well as the use of different communication channels: SMS, mobile app notifications, calls, and email.

Work progress

When it comes to applying for a loan at Ak Bars Bank, legal entities can breathe a little easier now. No longer do they need to go through the hassle of providing separate certificates. That’s because all the pertinent data on taxes and credit history is automatically added to the application with the help of integrations with partner IT systems and government services.

But that’s not all. Bank employees are now equipped to process deals and applications using two different systems that are integrated with each other. This means that if a process isn’t fully developed in the new system, or if an error occurs, bank operators can comfortably process the application in the old system while maintaining data consistency.

The Digex Co. team ensured that all data was synchronized and data consistency was maintained in both accounting systems: the old system with a 20-year legacy and the new one built on a modern technology stack that went into operation in 2022. Additionally, a credit factory was launched that contains information on all bank loans throughout its existence.

Thanks to the hard work of the Digex Co. team, Ak Bars Bank has significantly accelerated the review of loan applications. It used to take up to 3 weeks before automation, but now it only takes 2 days. Every week, the bank generates an impressive 100,000 pre-approved loans. And with the help of the automated loan processing, over 15,000 entrepreneurs across Russia obtain bank credit products every month.

The result

100 000
pre-approved credit offers the system generates per week
bank specialists are working in the new accounting system with the updated credit factory
Ak Bars Bank offices are using an automated loan process
15 000+
entrepreneurs in Russia apply for the bank's credit products every month

Facts and figures

days is the review period for loan applications for legal entities
accounting systems of the bank implement the automated loan processing

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