BankservAfrica: The CRAFT Platform

Discover how SovTech's CRAFT platform transformed BankservAfrica's operations; a case study on streamlining data management, and enhancing interbank efficiency.
Dean Spooner
Copywriter

Overview

BankservAfrica works with banks to advise on potential fraud risks for SME lending. However, tracking was manual, creating issues: Bankserv lacked visibility into banks' actual lending decisions post-advice. Meanwhile, banks lacked the incentive to act fast on recommendations. This left Bankserv in the dark on outcome and impact. Recognising the need for innovation to maintain excellence, BankservAfrica approached SovTech, a leading software provider known for groundbreaking solutions.

The goal was to streamline Bankserv Africa's information management in service of its clients - the major South African banks. By centralising data and enabling seamless integration between banks, huge efficiency gains could be achieved. The vision was to save time through automated credentialing and verification checks compared to manual processes.

After aligning on the vision, SovTech and BankservAfrica entered a strategic partnership to build the CRAFT platform. This new platform aimed to deliver a secure, centralised hub to integrate bank information and transform BankservAfrica's role as an advisory partner. By leveraging SovTech's innovative capabilities, BankservAfrica took a major leap forward in facilitating interbank interactions.

The end result was a cutting-edge solution fitting BankservAfrica's high standards for security and reliability. CRAFT provided a foundation to enhance services and maintain BankservAfrica's reputation as Africa's leading payments clearing house.


Client’s Challenges

Bankserv was ready to evolve beyond Excel spreadsheets and manual processes to automate data collection and analysis.

The platform introduced a centralised database system that facilitated automated data capturing and secure storage.

Bankserv sought to champion transparency and efficiency among all banks by implementing reliable data visibility which would enable the banks to make more informed decisions by accessing shared, credible information.

To combat this, a transparent dashboard allowed Bankserv’s clients to monitor and understand their banking activities. Clients could now discern which banks were efficient and which were not, leading to a more transparent and effective decision-making process.

Bankserv envisioned incentivising their clients to react swiftly to their recommendations.

The platform gave Bankserv’s clients a 20-day window period to decide on pursuing a relationship with said clients. Optimising the verification process altogether.

By consolidating data from various platforms into a unified system, the aim was to streamline verification and unlock the power of integrated analytics.  Bankserv aimed to streamline the verification process and unlock the full potential of integrated analytics by consolidating data from various platforms into a unified system.

SovTech leveraged its robust API capabilities to simplify the integration process. The platform was designed with modularity in mind, accommodating different data structures and formats, ensuring a smooth and unified data flow.


Project Approach

Embracing Agile: SovTech, being an ardent adopter of the agile methodology, structured the entire project around iterative development and continuous feedback. This ensured that the CRAFT platform was developed in alignment with Bankserv's evolving requirements. Regular sprint reviews allowed Bankserv to be an active participant in the development process, ensuring the final product met and exceeded their expectations.

API Capabilities: Leveraging the agile framework, the development team prioritized the integration of robust API capabilities early in the process. This quick-win strategy ensured a seamless and efficient data interchange between Bankserv and its partners, enabling real-time updates and smooth operations.

Integration with Regulatory Body: The agile approach enabled SovTech to quickly adapt to the complex requirements of integrating with a prominent financial regulatory body. By breaking down the integration into manageable tasks and prioritizing them in different sprints, SovTech ensured that the CRAFT platform was not only efficient but also compliant with financial standards and regulations.

Resource Allocation: Bankserv began its journey with SovTech on a package that involved three full-time resources. However, as the project scaled and complexities were uncovered, Bankserv transitioned to a custom package. This new package focused on continuous integration and development, embodying the spirit of agile. The phased approach allowed for structured rollouts of features, ensuring stability and adaptability.

Scalability: In line with the agile tenets of adaptability and forward-thinking, the success and efficiency of the CRAFT platform led to its scalability in other departments of Bankserv. This intra-departmental implementation was executed in phases, ensuring each department's unique needs were catered to without disrupting their operations.

Tech Stack

Admin Portal

Front-End:

  • Javascript React

Back-End: 

  • TerraForm

Hosting: 

  • AWS

SovTech opted for Javascript React for the front end due to its flexibility, efficiency, and capability to deliver a responsive user experience. Relating to the project approach, its compatibility with various APIs ensured seamless data display and interaction on the client side. For the back end, TerraForm was the choice. This open-source infrastructure as a code software tool allowed SovTech to provision and manage any cloud, infrastructure, or service.

Given the project's integration with a major regulatory body, it was vital to have a reliable and adaptable back-end solution. Amazon Web Services (AWS) was selected as the hosting platform. Being one of the world's most comprehensive and broadly adopted cloud platforms, AWS offers scalability, reliability, and security. Given the project's nature and the need for uninterrupted service, AWS provided the reliability required for such a crucial platform.

Recap

In collaboration with Bankserv, SovTech crafted the revolutionary CRAFT platform to address key challenges using agile methodology. Beginning with three dedicated resources, the project matured into a custom package, emphasising continuous development. Through agile, the platform now boasts robust API integrations, regulatory compliance, and scalable solutions across Bankserv's departments. The CRAFT platform exemplifies the power of strategic partnerships and progressive methodologies in software development.

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