QNB Finansbank’s tablet the right dose for core banking
QNB Finansbank, QNB Group’s subsidiary in Turkey, has developed TouchFinans, a core banking application for the bank’s SME division to carry on their Windows tablets.
The project was one year in development and is the first of its kind in Turkey, says Ulaş Ergin, consulting designer and team leader, software infrastructure at Ibtech (the IT subsidiary of QNB Finansbank).
TouchFinans span out of the necessity of the bank’s staff who visit their SME customers in their offices to have better capabilities on their work tablets, Ergin explains.
“Our 10,000+ users are using a Windows desktop client, that was developed in-house, to interact with our core banking system, CoreFinans.
“This desktop client has 3,000 menu items, such as retail, corporate, SME, treasury and so on – all modules and menu items are in one single system.”
This is great if you are at your workstation, but QNB Finansbank’s SME business team often visits clients in their own offices – “to better understand their needs, offer them relevant products and sign the paperwork”.
The process is time-consuming, particularly for loans, as they require credit scoring, contact signing, back office approvals and so on.
“We first started with developing a dedicated tablet application for this purpose but each day the users stated the need to access another CoreFinans menu tab or module,” Ergin recalls.
“Customer information update, customer visit planning, customer limit and risk enquiry, credit bureau enquiry, loan requests, corporate cards request, debit card request – you name it.”
So Ibtech stopped developing the tablet application and started the renovation of the existing Windows desktop client to make it touch-aware (supporting touch gestures like pinch, swipe etc). The main SME screens were completely re-written, too.
“Now our users are carrying core banking on their Windows 2010 tablets to our clients. They have access to all 3,000+ menu items,” Ergin states.
Additional features include “customer map” screens where users plan their visits to customers on the map and see the nearby customers.
TouchFinans has been well received by the bank’s users and their customers, he says.
There are nearly 1,500 tablets in the field now and another 500 have been recently bought to be distributed.
“The solution of using all core banking and not just some limited functionality over a specific-built application is the first in the Turkish market,” he states.
What’s at the core
The bank’s core system – CoreFinans – is an in-house development, written in Java.
It uses Oracle database, IBM AIX machines and IBM WebSphere application servers.
Desktop client is also homegrown, written in C# .Net using Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) technology.
It processes around 150 million transactions daily, with 99.99% availability, from the bank’s 650 branches, 300 ATMs and online channels (internet, mobile and call centre).