Russia’s VTB Bank has deployed high-end technology and its main aim is to achieve truly multi-channel customer access environment:
A systemically important bank in Russia, VTB Bank is a leader in the financial services sector in the country. It offers all the categories of banking services to its 17 million customers across the world, comprising corporate, SMEs, private entrepreneurs and individuals.
The bank gives absolute priority for its customers and their experience with the bank. In its endeavour to become a first-choice bank in the market and be an industry leader in service quality and customer convenience, it is obviously using high-end technology, personalized communications with specialized access platforms, and advanced data analytics and modelling tools. Its priority has been to induct digital customer communication channels, which has no doubt helped it to achieve a novel target – now over 50% of sales is through digital channels without visiting a branch, and over 80% of banking services is provided remotely.
It continues to be a universal bank, but its branch network and other traditional infrastructure have been transitioned to create a truly multi-channel customer access environment. It also has created an almost paperless office and maximized electronic document workflow with external counterparts.
UNIFIED OPERATING FACTORY
The bank has said its major objective is to build a state-of-the-art operational platform using a new-generation microservice IT architecture. It is also creating a ‘unified operating factory’ ensuring higher reliability, scalability and efficiency of operating processes. Its tech investments are mostly in creating solutions like biometric identification platforms, robotics and advanced analytics, AI-powered virtualization of processes, creating open interfaces for prompt partner integration, and cloud infrastructure automation for accelerating and scaling capabilities.
The bank had aimed to expand its client base in the retail segment by 1.5 times to 18 million customers, while increasing market share in retail lending to 22%, and, respectively growing the proportion of retail loans in the Group’s total loan book to 35%.
As of end-2022, the bank says, it has completed more than half of its planned technological transformation. Its mobile banking now has a new IT architecture, which nearly doubles the speed of VTB Online operations and speeds up the response time of the interfaces by 10 times; it has created 7 new technology platforms that plans to make market leaders, and it has also reduced the time to market of products and services for customers by 8 times.
8 NEW PLATFORMS, SERVICES
VTB Bank has gone on record saying it expects to save $1.5 billion over a 4-year period through its ongoing digital transformation projects. These projects involve the deployment 8 new platforms and services, which include changes to omnichannel provision; a new retail and corporate credit pipeline service; new data analytics, automation and cloud platforms; and a new open API interface.
AI TO IMPROVE INCOME
The bank has been a pioneer in the use of AI for modernizing its business processes. It has been using AI more for bringing in efficiencies in generating income. During the first year of an AI program, the bank has said it has earned more than RUB 1 billion, built several systems and introduced 130 different models across the business, from predicting customer churn to text recognition. It now has a voice assistant in its mobile app.
LOCATING BRANCHES USING AI
The bank is also using AI to determine the ideal locations for branches and ATMs. It has implemented a machine learning model that uses Big Data analysis to predict the demand for banking services in specific locations of the city. More than 5000 parameters are used to determine the potential number of customers and sales volumes in new locations. These include the population of the region and the proximity of the branch to shopping centers and transport stops.
The bank has also developed what it calls a machine learning (ML) model management system, which uses Agile and service approaches to development thereby speeding up the introduction of each new AI technology into commercial operation by 1.5 times. This will also increase the efficiency of employees by 25%.
The bank has developed and implemented a new VTB cloud platform, called VTB.Cloud. The platform has facilitated the creation of a single-entry point for all areas of the IT landscape, as well as reducing the time taken to receive infrastructure products from several weeks to just minutes. At the same time, the user’s products are received completely in self-service mode.
VTB Online and VTB My Investments mobile apps have already been transferred to the new cloud platform, which makes it easier and faster to develop new products and services to customers.
Meanwhile, the bank is also creating additional platform modules responsible for new functionality – like an analytics module that allows customers to upload and visualize data, or a module for predicting the optimal use of equipment.
This article has been compiled based on publicly available information on the web, particularly the bank’s own website.