Core Banking Platform
Developed for AlfaBank
Core Banking Platform
40 Business Analysts, 40 Developers, 20 Quality Assurance Engineers
The Russian financial market has always been highly regulated, and, in many essences, still is. In the late 90s, It was enough for the Bank’s core system to be highly performant in processing large data volumes and be compliant with the internal regulators’ requirements.
However, by the beginning of the 2000s, the Bank grew to several hundred offices in Russia and abroad, and its initial internal systems could not withstand the arising challenges. Long processing times, uber-complex functionality, high support and maintenance costs, and lack of flexibility were all highly damaging in the age of rising consumer expectations and skyrocketing competition.
With the project lasting for more than two decades, we’ve had multiple teams working with its various aspects. The total team count varied from roughly 100 people (30-40 business analysts, 40 developers, 20 QAs) at the earlier stages to 10 experts (3 BAs and 7 developers) by 2021.
Like most traditional banks, AlfaBank evolved its digital landscape over many years. By the early 2000s, their complex, compliance-centric environment had grown increasingly difficult and costly to maintain, slow to introduce new products and services. The need for change became apparent.
Our first core banking collaboration dates back to 2001. We started with what later set the background for our future projects. OTR customized and integrated Misys Equation and Misys EBA by Finastra (former Misys) for the AlfaBank Express retail branches providing lending, settlement, and cash services in Moscow.
Though no out-of-the-box solution could fully serve their needs, we required a secure ground to form the final system’s backbone.
In close cooperation with the Accenture team, our experts described business requirements, determined and assessed the improvement points, outlined and designed the necessary updates to the core banking platform. Together, we successfully adjusted the primary system and its modules to meet the local requirements and performed the integration. We ran system integration and stress testing to identify possible issues and rectify them before the launch.
The system went live by the end of 2004 in all AlfaBank Express offices located within the Moscow region. It facilitated client servicing with cash and plastic cards management, salary projects, and more. Our team continued supporting the project, delivering timely improvements and fine-tuning some of the features to ensure smooth employee and customer interactions.
The Main Project
We received highly positive feedback from all the parties involved, resulting in upscaling our cooperation nationwide. In 2005, we began implementing Misys Equation as AlfaBank’s core banking platform for the entirety of its corporate and retail operations in Russia. With the Express “pilot” system already in production, we had a lot of expertise and lessons learned. Retail took a little more than 2 years — a more straightforward solution but much greater volumes and integration and testing complexity. In 2007, several months after, we proceeded with the migration of several hundred thousand corporate clients and accounts across national branches.
In 2009, we started implementing a pay card servicing module. The process was interrupted though in 2010, after the Equation software updated to ver. 3.9. Our client requested migration to the new release to launch new services before their competitors. Once again, OTR took care of all the migration processes, focusing on testing and complying with the security protocols at every stage, and continued developing and introducing new extensions to the updated core. The most notable modules included the following:
- Paycard module
- Salary project
- Account closure
- Client SMS notification
- Custom reporting and customer statements
- Module for additional services
Those units were developed based on Misys Equation capabilities and continuously integrated with the front office and digital products that had already been in place, like the Cash Back system, the Internet and mobile banking. By 2015, we completed integrating the modules with payment providers and gateways, e.g., Visa IntelliLink, centralized customs payment acceptors, the Multiservice Payment System, and more.
The introduction of the digital core systems managing the Bank’s back-office operations in all branches and offices across the country resulted in a significant increase in performance, improved security, and stellar customer servicing.
The system allowed the Bank to relieve branches of the need to perform back-office functions and provided end-to-end data processing for all products and services. There’s a 60% to 75% reduction in costs, time, and effort needed to process operations, make decisions and launch new products.
Processing complex operations and requests by Misys Equation now takes less than 5 sec per item. Batch processing of applications or transactions is complete within as little as 20 min per 1000 items. For AlfaBank, the new core banking system has set the ground for rapid market expansion and sustainable business growth.