Simplifying and Automating the Bank Account and Loan Application Process
How implementing user-friendly forms and processes optimized product offerings at Raiffeisen Polbank
Since 2009, e-point has been digitalizing the buying processes at Raiffeisen Polbank. We’ve helped the bank implement several key changes to their account opening, tax processing, and online banking procedures.
The challenges in this project included:
- Expediting processes’ implementation: project deadlines were firm.
- Adjusting to a difficult project management scenario, specifically the project’s flexible scope paired with its firm deadlines.
- Maintaining the efficiency and responsiveness of a system that’s continuously connected to many external data sources.
- Simplifying bank clients’ user experience by requiring only a minimum of input fields and building an intuitive and clean user interface.
The two application processes involved in this project were related to 1) opening a personal account for individual clients, and 2) opening an account with an overdraft facility for sole traders. For the front layer, we used the tried and true tool Active Forms. The development of the process engine was customized, allowing us more agility in accommodating the bank's complex requirements.
“These amazing results prove that clients appreciate a high-quality product. We feel truly rewarded after months of intensive work on a complex project”.
Opening an Online Account
Personal accounts are a flagship banking product; for Raiffeisen, designing a modern online process for them is a matter of prestige. Thanks to the bank’s customized system, the entire process of opening an account takes only 3.5 days, from submitting the application to signing the contract, which is delivered by a courier. This is the shortest time on the Polish market. For the six months that this application process was used, Raiffeisen acquired approximately 5,000 new online personal banking clients.
Applying for a Microloan Online
The other process we implemented is the online microloan. In this case, that’s opening a bank account with an overdraft facility for sole traders. On the bank’s side, the application process consists of integrating five external processes and issuing a preliminary credit decision immediately; for the sole trader, it simply requires filling an online form. For the Polish market, online microloan applications are a key example of innovative and fully digitalized banking products.
The Importance of User Experience
Apart from the back-end technology, we were also responsible for the visual appeal of the bank’s new online capabilities. From the very start, good UX and UI (user experience and user interface) practices were deemed essential. Raiffeisen did not want their clients to be overwhelmed with an excessive number of fields; instead, the goal was to make the whole process intuitive and easy to follow.
Avoiding bloated, complicated forms was the very foundation of our approach. In testing various solutions, we tried to reduce the number of steps and the form design itself to a minimum. Starting with a single-column, mobile-optimized approach and carrying on right through NLF (natural language form) patterns, we arrived at a hybrid solution. It combined classic fields with tiles, which made the input fields very clear and still allowed the bank to show the selection options quite clearly. Simultaneously, the entire ordering process was streamlined, which resulted in a simple, logical, and clear progression for the whole path.
To achieve this, we needed (and got) full cooperation from the bank. During a workshop attended by bank and e-point stakeholders, a new ordering path and the final view were designed. This workshop included each stage of the project (service design, UX/UI, programming), which gave employees the opportunity to quickly brainstorm new ideas and eliminate impractical solutions.
Internally, we employed a TDD (test-driven development) methodology for this project. This allows the client to save costs, especially when dealing with a complex system and flexible (i.e. evolving) requirements. (On its side, the bank employed a scrum framework). TDD saves time that otherwise would be needed for developers, testers, and clients to test and correct solutions. As there were multiple entities engaged in the project, time was of the essence; schedules and deadlines for submitting particular code parts had to be seamlessly synchronized.
Productivity was also highly important to the bank. Thanks to using the latest technologies (Docker, Spring Boot 2, and Flyway), we could develop the required systems swiftly without sacrificing efficiency and mobile optimization.
Having implemented this e-point solution, Raiffeisen Polbank now owns one of Poland’s most cutting-edge systems for handling sales processes. After a November 1 merger with BGŻ BNP Paribas, this means that Raiffeisen and BGŻ have acquired a solution capable of developing new processes and benefiting from established methods of building sales results.
Internally, we employed a TDD (test-driven development) methodology for this project.