Keeping up with a promising lending digital transformation journey amid COVID-19

Keeping up with a promising lending digital transformation journey amid COVID-19: the case of a successful remote implementation for a TIER 1 Vietnamese bank

Following the long-lasting COVID-19 outbreak, remote work has become a new life habit and part of our daily routine. However, we all wonder how are our fellows in the FINTECH industry managing to achieve objectives and keep the business running without compromising the quality of work while sacrificing the usual physical meetings?

From scoping to testing all the way to the Go Live, what are the key success factors to implement a loan origination software taking into consideration the preset objectives while ensuring the agreed-on budget and respecting timelines?

Istabrak, Project Director at axefinance will share one of his latest successful ACP implementations within a leading Vietnamese bank that took place while having to deal with the jet lag caused by being a thousand miles away.

Q 1: Istabrak, I’ll leave the floor to you to start with an introduction.

A: “Sure, thank you. Well, speaking of this specific financial institution, we are here talking about one of the leading Vietnamese banks in terms of asset value and financial health. It is a pride to mention that we are dealing with the unique Vietnamese bank that is part of the top 30 successful banks in The Asia-Pacific Region. The bank network is composed of around 600 representations including branches, transaction offices, and representative offices & affiliates both in Vietnam and abroad.

Q 2: Please tell us a bit about the loan origination project scope?

A: About a year ago from now, in December 2019, the bank went LIVE with ACP solution automating the credit risk management process for all business segments: Corporate, SME, Financial Institutions & Non-Bank Financial Institutions. Afterward, in August 2020, the bank went live with a version upgrade offering what we call mACP: the mobile portal version of ACP and part of axefinance Omnichannel module.
About a month later, around 1500 bank users started processing all credit applications through ACP via their desktops and mobile devices (iOS/Android). From the KYC & customer’s file creation to approval, the credit lifecycle has been automated for each and every bank segment thanks to our platform ACP. A seamless integration of ACP with the bank’s CBS & the credit bureaus has been ensured as well. The project scope also covered post-approval events such as document perfection.

Q 3: Knowing that a major part of the previously mentioned implementation phases took place during the COVID-19 crisis, please share with us some of the main challenges and the key success factors that helped you to overcome them?

A: Indeed, the project described earlier has been mainly implemented remotely. Some of the key elements contributing to this success are as follows:

  • A cutting-edge technology is definitely an important key factor to succeed in such a remote implementation.
    At axefinance, we benefit from a reliable, fast, and safe remote VPN. We also benefit from a cloud backup to ensure that critical data on the user’s device is automatically & continuously replicated and stored on the cloud as well as easily recovered in case of data loss.
    Thanks to the various videoconferencing platforms, we ensured smooth internal communication & collaboration between our team and the bank’s stakeholders, that we both were able to replay using the recording tools when needed.
    These technology advancements helped to manage time efficiently and facilitated collaboration between team members.
  • A successful well-planned project preparation: axefinance assisted the bank in building the scoping document communicating the detailed guidelines. Every single aspect of the Business Requirements was very carefully defined and reviewed by all stakeholders to avoid any misunderstanding that may cause any project deadline extensions.
  • An effective remote project implementation methodology in sprints with zero defaults thanks to upstream white scenarios testing. These were performed during the weekends which was a good timing to roll out ACP modules.
  • Advanced training: all the bank staff was well trained to benefit from self-sufficiency for the credit stakeholders. This knowledge transfer ensured smooth hands-on and well-grasped change management within the bank.
  • Successful Project Management: including setting clear objectives, responsibilities, and regular communications with team members fostering transparency and team spirit.
  • A committed team with a well-tied project plan: involved a team capable to make the most of a jet lag and turning it into an advantage to move forward very quickly and deliver on time. The project spirit was a predominant element; the bank and axefinance teams unified to build a committed project team guided by trust, solid teamwork, and a strong focus on the objectives.

In a few words Technology, Trust, Timing & Commitment are mainly the key pillars for a successful ACP implementation, especially during the COVID-19 context.

Q 4: Impressive Istabrak! What are the next milestones with the bank?

A: The current step is the implementation of ACP module related to Limit Monitoring and Portfolio Management. Be it on or offsite, I’m confident we will benefit from the past learning curve and succeed in the last phase of this project.

We asked the bank’s Deputy Director at the Credit Risk Management Department for her feedback, she conveys about this implementation saying:

“It was a pleasure working as one team with axefinance on this credit risk management digitalization project. Being amidst COVID-19 lockdown and with all the related constraints, we succeeded in implementing ACP solution smoothly thanks to the involvement, support, and the dedication of axefinance and the bank’s team as well.
A well-tuned implementation methodology from preparation to Go Live and a successful knowledge transfer through advanced trainings ensured to the credit teams a smooth hands-on of the solution to adopt it and benefit from its powerful features. ACP will help us gain in terms of efficiency especially in this pandemic context, indeed, working remotely and benefiting from mACP, the mobile version of ACP solution, is of great help to continue serving customers remotely and ensuring a shortened Time to Yes for all credit segments at the bank (Corporate, SME, FI & NBFI).
I would like to appreciate the milestones we have reached together throughout our co-operation in this project. I hope to continue the remarkable fruitful streak, and may our collaboration flourishes into further accomplishments”

Current external factors mainly due to the COVID-19 pandemic are pushing banks to explore several pathways to achieve performance, of these we find the credit process automation path. Customers are leveraging digital channels for their lending journey and the adoption of a scalable and flexible platform offering a high level of self-efficiency to the bankers is key to stay ahead of the competition and adjust to the market changes in a blink of an eye

Stay tuned, we will be sharing with you a second customer story about the Go-live of Société Générale subsidiaries that took place in the same pandemic context.

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