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Steward Bank transforms infrastructure with smart integration solution

Monday, January 22, 2018

Case Study - Steward Bank
i-Con Integration Platform

Steward Bank engaged with ProSolutions to create a sophisticated integration solution designed to overcome legacy challenges in bank infrastructure and transform capacity capabilities. The goal was to rapidly develop and deploy a solution that could handle the increased load in the online banking and electronic delivery channels. The weight of customer demand meant that the bank urgently required a solution to be delivered in record time.

Executive summary

Customer profile

Name: Steward Bank
Location: Multiple offices, Zimbabwe
Activity: Financial Services

  • Steward Bank required a solution that could resolve capacity issues in bank infrastructure
  • A need to develop and deliver the solution as quickly as possible to prevent customer churn and revitalise engagement
  • Crisis levels in transaction load management – customer requests timing out and overflow moving to the call centre resulting in account closures and reputational loss
  • i-Con Platform integrated seamlessly into Steward Bank
  • Transaction times transformed to 300 milliseconds per transaction
  • Real time transactions effortlessly routed using the i-Con Platform
  • New services can be rolled out quickly without the need for lengthy integration or complexity
  • Customer satisfaction
  • Proof of Concept to implementation in under three weeks
  • Improved agility and capability alongside enhanced capacity
  • Long term relationship with ProSolutions alongside relevant support and training

The Challenge

Steward Bank engaged with ProSolutions to develop a sophisticated and seamless integration platform designed to resolve capacity challenges, transform infrastructure and improve client service delivery. Steward Bank was experiencing significant capacity issues in its infrastructure due to the success of its online banking and electronic delivery channels. Point of Sale (POS), ATM, and mobile transactions, along with online banking and app requests were overloading the system and stretching it beyond its ability to function effectively.

“We urgently required a solution that could handle the load that was affecting these channels,” says Takudzwa Muzvidzwa, IS Projects and Enterprise Architecture Manager, Steward Bank. “For example, we could be receiving around ten customer requests per second and our system was only able to process five before it timed out. These are not exact numbers, but the impact on service delivery and system capacity is clear – we were reaching crisis levels.”

The organisation required a solution that could address these issues without impacting on existing infrastructure and within very tight timelines. Customers were already dissatisfied with the performance of the system and some of those who were forced to the call centre to resolve their issues were closing their accounts. Whatever the solution, it had to be done urgently.

The Solution

ProSolutions had already demonstrated capabilities in resolving challenges of this magnitude and this expertise formed the foundation of its relationship with Steward Bank.

“We urgently needed something that could handle the load hurtling through our channels and ProSolutions convinced us that their solution was capable of transporting this volume,” adds Muzvidzwa.

“We are also now able to roll out new services quickly and the methodology is so much more efficient. We can introduce transactions that previously we would not have been able to do without the platform in place.”
Takudzwa Muzvidzwa
IS Projects & Enterprise Architecture Manager
Steward Bank

The ProSolutions team prepared a Proof of Concept (PoC) and delivered it within a week. Three weeks later the PoC was taken into production – an impressive time to market achievement. The solution was structured around the capabilities of the i-Con integration platform and transformed transaction rates to a phenomenal 300 milliseconds per transaction, light years away from the original time-outs and delays.

Real-time transactions - bank to wallet; wallet to bank; balance enquiries and mini statements are now sent from Liquid Telecom’s Postilion Switch to a socket hosted on i-Con. The platform decodes and maps the incoming requests to an OFS message in T24 – the core banking at Steward Bank. Then, based on the response from T24, i-Con sends back a response to Liquid Telecom. And all this takes place in under half a second.

The Benefits

“We were never made to feel like just another client, our relationship with ProSolutions has ensured that the solution and its implementation were flawless,” says Muzvidzwa. “Service delivery, support and speed to market were remarkable and we will continue working with ProSolutions long into the future.”

In addition to customer satisfaction, improved service delivery and seamless channel load management, the solution has allowed for the bank to investigate new ideas and solutions. The configuration of i-Con and the services it delivers have provided the bank with the ability to extend offerings and improve capabilities.

“The rate of processing our own transactions has improved by at least 20%,” concludes Muzvidzwa. “We are also now able to roll out new services quickly and the methodology is so much more efficient. We can introduce transactions that previously we would not have been able to do without the platform in place.” 

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