How Fisa Group helped to integrate 55,000 new banking clients and $110 million in assets in under 36 hours
A BMSC and Fisa Group case study
The integration of external clients, assets, and liabilities can easily be considered one of the most complex IT tasks to undertake within a banking environment. This is especially true when the integration deals with different core banking systems and heterogeneous IT structures, which need to be accurately mapped and transferred. Fisa Group specializes in this kind of projects and has over 20 years of experience with this type of integration. Continuity is essential to a bank’s business, and accordingly, there is little room for error when dealing with large integrations.
Thus, the Banco Mercantil Santa Cruz (BMSC), Bolivia's largest and most liquid bank, was faced with a lofty challenge when it won a discrete auction amongst the largest banks in Bolivia to acquire the assets and liabilities of the exMutual La Paz at midday on Saturday the 14th of April 2016. According to Alberto Valdez, vice president of BMSC, one of the main reasons the local regulator (ASFI) decided that BMSC was the best candidate to acquire the assets and liabilities is its current technological capacity, as an integration of this scale requires a robust IT infrastructure and in depth IT know-how. BMSC currently operates with FISA-System, Fisa Group’s core banking product.
To add to the complexity of the task, La Paz clients had been lining up outside the bank during the week, worried about the status of their deposits. BMSC would be required to provide full service to these clients at opening on next Monday morning, May 16, 2016. This gave BMSC less than 2 days to fully integrate over 55,000 clients and over 110,000 USD in assets.
Work commenced promptly at 14:00 on Saturday afternoon, at which point the talented members of the BMSC team in Bolivia were joined by a team of six Fisa Group experts to devise a structured plan for the integration. The goal of any such project is to ensure fluid continuity of IT systems to free up resources to deal with client concerns and requirements. The work involved a sophisticated and complex mapping of current accounts, term deposits, and loans from La Paz’s core banking system to BMSC’s Fisa Group Core banking system (FISA-System), and entailed several hours of expert meetings to understand the current IT structure at La Paz and to convert it into a format and structure that could be integrated by BMSC. Work continued uninterrupted until the early hours of Monday morning and culminated in a series of rigorous tests prior to opening the bank.
At 9:00 am BMSC was able to begin to attend the queues of former La Paz clients and welcomed over 55,000 fully-integrated new banking clients. The bank was able to begin addressing further client concerns without losing momentum due to IT disruption.
This IT integration showcases that, despite the high complexity of IT in the banking environment, it is possible to overcome even the largest IT challenges by leveraging in-depth expertise and strong work ethic. A strong IT infrastructure and fluid continuity of the IT framework is essential to allow businesses to focus on their core business and to attend client needs and requirements. Fisa Group is proud to have contributed to the successful IT integration of the BMSC assets.
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