Efficiency Gains in AB Bank Nigeria – From an Idea to FieldApp
By Dusko Dimitrov
Every journey starts with an idea…
This sounds familiar, right?
The idea to develop a tool that would help microfinance institutions achieve greater outreach without the need for physical brick and mortar presence in the area, provide excellent as well swifter service to its clientele, increase efficiency, and simultaneously ensure desired underwriting quality has been floated around for a long time. Eventually, AH and ABN have acted on this idea and started the process of developing the FieldApp, a tool that would bring to life all the above-listed points.
The project team in charge started mapping out the road that would lead us to the desired outcome. We created an initial process flow, listed desired functionalities, agreed on delivery timelines, and were ready to start.
Two years down the road, we have achieved all that was planned, even more considering global events that have unfolded during this period. ABN is now a proud owner of the FieldApp that enables its loan officers to freely roam their respective lending zones, visit their clients, conduct loan assessments, and receive loan decisions without physically visiting the branch. The first result was as planned – the satisfaction rate of the users exceeded the initial expectations. Clients have expressed satisfaction with the service’s speed and quality, coupled with the overall increase of loan officers’ productivity, which amounted to 20% growth compared to before introducing the digital tool.
The first phase made us work faster and increased the bank’s efficiency. Additionally, there is great gain resulting from less paper usage. For the next phase, we expect the overall outcome to be better than the first phase.
Elizabeth, Group Leader Back Officer ABN
Following the initial release, the project team has continued developing the tool by enhancing existing processes and adding new ones, introducing improved reporting capabilities, establishing full integration with the core banking system and third parties like credit bureau and scoring engine. Newly developed functionalities will enable better service, improve efficiency, and give the necessary support to the institution to reach its developmental goals in the upcoming period.
The road to delivering the above described was not straightforward. In parallel with the development of the FieldApp, ABN has also been actively re-developing itself by challenging the legacy operation model and adjusting its operations methodology accordingly. Change management is as important as the tool itself, and only if coupled together they will deliver the expected result.
The FieldApp keeps us abreast of changing financial technology and innovations in the financial world. It gives the bank a more refined outlook regarding loan processing, thus emphasizing ABN’s cutting edge among its competitors. The next phase will be a breakthrough in financial technology for the bank where a fast, efficient, and productive loan process is achieved seamlessly.
Taiwo, Group Leader Credit ABN
This project has been a three-member partnership of the ABN team led by Oluwole Olaijide, the Juakali team, who developed a tailored made app that ticked all the boxes and the AH team who have supported the project in question.
Dedication, commitment, and transparency were the secret ingredients that helped the project team succeed. The new enhanced release is currently in the final testing stage, and its launch is just around the corner, expected in early April 2022. That will mark another significant milestone in ABN’s operation history and help the institution reach its goals in the upcoming period.