How we built a revenue-generating, custom software application to replace an antiquated legacy system for processing mortgage applications from loan applicants in just 6 months.


THE CHALLENGE

As a major financial institution, effective receipt and processing of loan applications is an essential part of the organization’s ability to keep up with their growing business. For years, HSBC had been relying on legacy mainframe applications to support their loan application process which, over time, became limited in functionality, expediency, and unable to scale with the increasing amount of data quality that was required. Furthermore, because of its antiquated platform, it was becoming harder and harder to find developers to support and maintain the system.

As a result, HSBC decided to upgrade its mainframe applications to web applications.

Initially, HSBC contracted another company that underperformed on the project, generating errors and critical delays that required them to seek out a new team to complete the project.

THE SOLUTION

The chosen solution, named the Intranet Mortgages Manager (IMM), was a system that would allow lending operators and credit officers to follow all the credit approval processes, from the beginning of a loan application from the prospective borrower, through to the last point of approval to fund the applicant. The process needed to start from the collection of data from the loan candidate, along with relevant relative’s data, through to the time at which the mortgage was granted.

HSBC wanted to keep its core apps of the business in the AS400 and mainframes system for reasons of continuity and protection, but the rest of the systems need to be revamped, starting with standard back-end interfaces and three-tiered architectures.

THE EXECUTION

In order to achieve the goal of moving all of HSBC’s applications to the web-based IMM, it was necessary to create an architecture and programming standard based on Microsoft .NET platforms and XML messaging between back-end and front-end interfaces, as well as to integrate different and disparate applications used throughout the group seamlessly.

A team of 10 was configured to execute the project, which included a Project Manager, Team Leader, Architect/DB Expert, Senior Business Analyst, (5) Senior .NET developers and a Senior Web Designer/UX expert.

The project was divided into modules that followed the logical flow of the application. Milestones were associated with those modules or their respective sections. The first version was released 3 months after the project had started, and provided the first, and most complex, step of the mortgages tracking process. The main purpose of this version was to perform QA on a real-world data sample and evaluate the tool and its User Experience (UX). The second version was released after 6 months and was deployed immediately for use.

THE RESULTS

After 6-months, a fully functional version was deployed for immediate use and regionalized to several different countries in which HSBC maintains operating facilities.

Based on the further discovery of the commercial loan officer’s daily work requirements, a third version of the product was released which further improved both the UX and performance.

This loan application product continues to be used to this day, providing the service quality required by HSBC’s Global Bank Group.

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