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Aktia: The first full core banking replacement in the Nordics

As part of Aktia's core banking replacement, we helped implement an automated and dynamic lending solution that cut running costs by 50% and sped up loan processing times from days to hours.

Kristian Hovden

Head of Sales, Credit Solutions

An automated lending platform was key to lowering operational costs

Delivering efficient and customer-centric financial services requires flexible, high-quality products, with a quick time to market. Currently, this is a huge challenge for many banks. Finnish bank Aktia made the decision to change its banking system to accomplish more cost-efficient processes, and annual savings of EUR 5 million in IT expenses.

'Our two main drivers for the program were to cut down on the running costs of the entire system and the duration of the lending processes,' stated Juha Volotinen, CIO, Aktia.

An automated and compliant solution put into production in a single weekend

For this massive undertaking, Aktia selected us, its current netbank partner, to provide hosting services and deliver the new lending solution.

Our team provided a complete lending platform, for both consumers and corporates, that includes loan origination, administration and integrations for business partners. The automated solution provides full support for Aktia’s specific business needs, and is compliant with the regional requirements for the Finnish lending market. After deciding on a big bang go-live approach, the entire core system was migrated and put into production over one weekend. Our team performed the complex migration of all customers, loans, credits, guarantees and collaterals to the new lending platform.

'We are very happy with the outcome of the project. The fact that we went live without any major problems for our customers is a great achievement. Many similar projects have been unsuccessful, so we are very proud and thankful to everyone involved who did a tremendous job,' stated Juha Volotinen, CIO, Aktia.

The importance of close collaboration

The project was based on agile principles with development planned in month-long sprints. Software was delivered to Aktia at the end of each period, so feedback could be provided quickly and efficiently. The collaboration and co-creation were fruitful from day one, and further improved after each sprint. The teams embraced change and developed the specifications during the course of the project. That meant any challenges that arose could be resolved quickly and efficiently. Because all stakeholders embraced the agile approach, the final product is a great fit for Aktia and its users.

'With a proper focus and an agile approach, we could manage this highly complex project, despite the different changes and challenges that arise in a project of this magnitude,' stated Juha Volotinen, CIO, Aktia.

'Now that Aktia bank is in full production with the new core banking solution, we are extremely happy to see the result of the fantastic partnership between Tieto and Aktia bank. Having Aktia as a customer, utilising the full value chain provided, is strong proof of the capabilities of our lending suite. We believe it will create a lot of business value for Aktia and its customers,' stated Pedram Tadayon, Vice President, Credit Solutions & Services, TietoEVRY.

Integrated solution drives development for Aktia

Like many banks today, Aktia faced the challenge of banking regulations and new customer demands. This made Aktia want to increase its competitiveness and become the first choice within financial services in Finland. To achieve this, Aktia needed to improve its accessibility and flexibility across all channels, and have a faster time to market for its new products and services.

Our solution means that Aktia has an up-to-date, business-critical core banking system that integrates business partners, putting Aktia in the driving seat within Finnish banking. Lower IT costs, workload and maintenance mean that Aktia can focus its time and energy on other things, such as developing and broadening its offering and customer service, which is vital for banks today.

'We expect there are more benefits to come from the Tieto solution when we go even more digital. We will be able to invest in new ventures and focus more on development. This puts Aktia in a very good position,' stated Juha Volotinen, CIO, Aktia.

What we provided

  • An integrated lending platform, front to back, that is fully compliant with Finnish market requirements and regulations, covering housing loans, subsidy loans, student loans and more
  • A lending platform that is built to co-exist in a complex banking environment, where lending is integrated within Aktia’s other systems, such as card and account management
  • An automated, more efficient and secure solution to originate and manage credits, including credit scoring capabilities
  • A platform which enables Aktia to further develop its business, with lending suite products maintained and managed by us to ensure that the product evolves over time, and always supports compliance, technical and market demands
  • A project and delivery approach with a foundation in agile principles, leading to true collaboration focused on the solution

What Aktia achieved

  • A reduced loan processing lead time, from days to hours
  • Running costs reduced by 50 percent
  • The ability to monitor and analyse the credit process, based on business rules and process steps
  • The possibility to increase revenue, through the ability to further digitalise its bank offering with a customer-oriented platform
  • A modern and up-to-date business-critical lending platform which is integrated to third party, internal and external service providers, putting Aktia in the driver's seat within Finnish banking
  • The potential to leverage ongoing development of the Emric lending suite, which is initiated by Tieto, as well as other banks and financial companies in the Nordics and globally
  • Task automation
  • Faster time to market for new products and quick adaptation to market changes

The five secrets to a successful core banking replacement

  • Early and continuous delivery helps avoid issues being discovered too late
  • True collaboration between all dedicated stakeholders. Strong project organisation with good communication between the different teams
  • Never lose sight of the business objectives – always drive development forward
  • Testing done before and after every delivery, reducing risk and the effort needed in final acceptance stages
  • Embrace change instead of fighting it. A dedicated customer who sees the benefits of a core banking replacement and goes all in to get there

Read more about our lending solutions

About Aktia

Aktia is one of the largest Finnish financial groups under Finnish ownership. The Group provides its customers with individualised solutions from a wide range of banking, asset management, insurance and real estate services. Aktia operates mainly in coastal areas, in the Helsinki region, and in inland growth areas. The Group has around 350,000 customers, 140,000 of whom are active users of online services. Aktia is owned by Finnish Aktia and savings bank foundations, institutions and private individuals.

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