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Cases Digex Co. Akbars

Mortgage automation and grey zone testing

Mortgage automation and gray zone testing for Ak Bars Bank
Ak Bars Bank
2021 – present
Ak Bars Bank is registered at the Central Bank of Russian Federation and has been on the national market since 1993.

The bank owns all banking licenses available in Russia and offers 100+ services for corporate and private customers in over 220 branches all over the country. Major exporters of the Tatarstan, and companies from oil & gas, petrochemical, machine building, telecommunications, construction, chemical, transportation, trade and agricultural industries are among Ak Bars clients.
50 bln rubles of paid-in nominal capital guarantee the bank’s stability. Own capital of the company reaches 76 bln rubles as of January 1, 2022.

About the client

Cases Digex Co. AkBars Bank
Cases Digex Co. AkBars Bank
Ak Bars Bank has been recently heading towards digital transformation. Mortgage has been a significant business process for Ak Bars. The mortgage process consists of several end-to-end subprocesses involving several bank’s departments and IT systems, as well as external state regulators and accounting systems.

Previously, the mortgage process included manual processing of documents, conventional communication channels (email, telephone, mail), and homegrown legacy systems.

As the bank’s digital transformation vendor, Digex Co. had to digitally transform and automate the mortgage process and all its subprocesses for physical persons. They needed a single IT environment for mortgage processing that would include 4 subsystems for the following:
  • Client authorization,
  • Deposit reconciliation,
  • Income documents collection,
  • Underwriting.

Grey zone testing
Since Ak Bars Bank employs several client interaction environments, it needed gray zone testing streamlined. A grey zone is an environment where an IT product user can browse the bank’s services and promotion offers without being the bank’s client. Also, they can submit a request, fill-in a form and become the bank’s client with a quick and easy onboarding.

Any environments for interacting with unauthorized users are a gray zone. We had to launch a testing engine on the bank’s website and iOS and Android mobile apps.

Such comprehensive testing makes any product ordering procedure transparent and predictable for bank management. Ak Bars Bank monitors closely the functionality of its website and mobile apps so people can become clients without visiting a bank.

The challenge

Mortgage process
Digex Co. delegated this project to a team that consisted of DB-ATL developer, business analysts, analysts, and QA experts. First of all, the existing mortgage process and IT systems involved were examined.

They had to develop a stack of 4 subsystems for the following:
  • Client authorization,
  • Deposit reconciliation,
  • Income documents collection,
  • Underwriting.
The Digex Co. team based its web apps on a microservice architecture. They took care of the back end, front end, and integration into an IT landscape. All the systems were developed for everyday use by the bank’s teams engaged in end-to-end mortgage processes.

Grey zone testing
The QA team of Digex Co. was contracted by Ak Bars to test the bank’s grey zone, all parts of its website and mobile apps, including UI and back end. Our teams employed its signature comprehensive QA approach.

A regular step by step testing was introduced and included the following:
  • Component testing,
  • Integration testing,
  • System testing,
  • Regression testing.

Work progress

The Digex Co. team compiled a set of 4 microservices, each with its own interface and back end, to comprehensively automate the mortgage process and all its subprocesses by aligning the IT landscape of Ak Bars Bank with third-party systems of state regulators and services.

The app authorizes clients as physical persons. The system requests data on the person from external and internal sources: Federal Tax Service (FTS), Federal Bailiff Service, National Bureau of Credit Histories, and others. The app verifies all possible financial and other data on a lead that applies for a mortgage.

The app points at discrepancies and verifies or confutes the client’s data. A verification report then becomes available to the bank’s employees.

Deposit reconciliation
The system checks all the property belonging to a physical person. Property data are carefully reconciled: whether a property exists, whether information about it is correct (up to the planning correctness), whether it is on pledge, and whether real features of the property match the claimed ones. Property data are submitted automatically, because the bank’s systems are integrated with the accounting system of state regulators and controlling authorities.

A special underwriting module to analyze the paying capacity of a lead. A decision on whether a loan can be granted is taken based on a process developed by Ak Bars.

Income documents
An income documents processing workflow existed, but it had to be streamlined due to a great number of legacy settings and technology wear impacting the application support. The system verifies the documents submitted by a physical person when applying for a loan or a mortgage. These are the documents related to a physical person’s employer and employment. The system checks whether an employer exists, whether it is really engaged in the business mentioned, etc. Information from paper documents is automatically reconciled with the data from the Pension Fund and other state and regulatory IT systems.

Grey zone testing
Ak Bars Bank regularly reports grey zone testing results for its website and mobile apps, specifying the number of bugs and errors, and concludes on whether another update is needed or not.

Grey zone testing stages
  • Component testing: app interaction is verified, service components are tested via POST and other methods.
  • Integration testing verified service interaction with other parts of the IT landscape. The testing is conducted on a test bed to check viability of new service updates.
  • System testing checks whether an update implemented is viable inside the customer’s ecosystem. Interaction between microservices and new functionality is checked.
  • Regression testing: new app functionality is tested on a test bed before production. This is like a final test bed to verify updates before they are launched on release servers. They check new features for viability and performance with third party modules developed by multiple developers engaged by Ak Bars Bank IT department.

The result

4 000+
regression tests of the custom grey zone conducted monthly
faster processing of mortgage applications
faster processing of requests for payment documents verification
1 000+
mortgage applications are registered monthly

Facts and figures

apps are used by Ak Bars Bank employees to process mortgage applications
less update bugs in mobile apps and the website grey zone

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