FinTech solutions are gaining importance on the market. Seeing ourselves as the ‘Tech’ in FinTech, we actively push forward this development with the aim of creating a platform that allows Erste Bank and Sparkassen to realise products for their customers quickly and cost-effectively. This happens either with a new app or a cool new feature of an existing product.
Cutting-edge thanks to experience
Our company is modern, performance-driven and built on experience. By using up-to-date open source components and trends such as virtualisation, Docker, SOA, REST, and OAuth, we are able to create customised solutions and operate them 24/7. However, at the same time, we do not lose sight of 15 years of software development and gradually migrate ‘legacy’ systems.
We consistently focus on agile methods such as Scrum and Kanban to implement our customers’ demands in an optimal and timely manner. We are supported by steadily progressing test automation as well as automated build and deploy tools during the process.
To us, the quality of our in-house software is just as important as the quality of our products. Of course, we use tools like SonarQube or Checkstyle to ensure that software is not rendered obsolete after several years and does not need to be rewritten.
Users or employees – we focus on people
In addition to the use of Java and .NET Server, we realise our web applications in AngularJS. We develop entirely native apps because we believe that this ensures the best user experience.
To work efficiently, we rely on products from Atlassian: BitBucket, JIRA and Confluence are therefore part of our day-to-day business to the same degree as Eclipse, IntelliJ, Maven and Jenkins. Training courses, personal development and conference visits are an integral part of our identity as software engineers and ensure that we stay at the cutting edge.
The future will remain exciting
IT is also going to play an important role for banks in future. We will consistently pursue our strategy of service orientation and surprise our customers with innovative FinTech solutions.
With banking being in a state of transition, the purpose and design of bank branches change as well. While branches will keep their essential role for banks, communication between them and their customers will develop thanks to technical innovation. For Erste Bank and Sparkassen savings banks in Austria, this is an opportunity to prove they have really understood how the financial industry has to orientate itself in terms of branches.
The new branch
The new branch concept should serve as a prototype for the modernisation of numerous branches in Austria. To this end, as well as to make products and services more transparent, we have collected valuable experience from modern banks and fundamentally rethought the role of the branch.
"Taking into account the changing needs of customers, redesigning branches under the heading of digital integration creates a modern banking experience."
Susanna Schöndorfer, Head of Branch & Workplace
New branch, new IT requirements
The implementation of these ideas is our mission and poses great challenges to the responsible IT units regarding flexibility and innovative strength. We complement the bank with the latest technological developments and an efficient and stable operational management.
How do customers and bank interact today?
Today, financial matters have become routine tasks. More mobile banking via smartphones, ‘intelligent’ machines and the growing use of debit cards have significantly changed the image of the classic bank branch. From processing centres, branches evolve into spaces filled with unusual elements that promote interaction between customers and bank employees.
Images, films, animations and interactive applications also support the dialogue with customers as well. Depending on the situation, customer advisers can use different devices such as tablets when interacting with customers. Staff at other sites can join the conversation in no time via videoconferencing. Virtual communication between customers and banks is also a topic to address in the branch of the future.
As customers become more autonomous, the self-service area should be a link between customer advisers and customers. By integrating the self-service area into the banks’ personal service area, customer advisers can focus on the customer, which enhances both service and sales. In order to pique our customers’ curiosity again and to invite them to stay for a bit, we are in the process of developing new concepts in terms of atmospheric room design. The bank branch of the future brings service and the Erste Bank brand to life.
A reliable and robust core banking system is the heart of any bank and thus an important key to success. From money transfers to savings and financing, our systems in the Core Banking Solutions, Mainframe and Middleware division have to reliably and safely process up to 17 million transactions per day and up to 190 million per month. Accordingly, its responsibilities also include permission systems for data security as well as state-of-the-art mainframe resource management.
More customers than residents in Austria
The core banking services provided by s IT Solutions Austria are tremendous. In addition to the data of all 3.7 million Erste Bank and Sparkassen customers, our customer data systems include those of another 6.2 million people with business relationships in the sector. In accordance with compliance demands, 75,000 users of IT systems are serviced in a central security and access management system.
"A modern, digital bank without a powerful core banking system is like a pedal-powered sports car."
Anita Prochazka, Head of Portfolio Management Branch & Lending
More self-service kiosks than Austrian municipalities
With more than 4,000 Sparkassen self-service kiosks – twice as many as the number of municipalities in Austria – our team in this area also ensures the population’s round-the-clock access to financial services.
A little technical detail to end with: If you burned all of the data saved in our Mainframe data warehouse on CDs and piled them up, the tower would be several hundred meters high. Most of it provided via a high-performance online access with up to 30 million transactions a day.