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Russia’s Second Largest Bank’s Digitisation Ahead of Schedule Due to the Pandemic

VTB bank has created a digital transformation strategy that set out development until the end of 2022, which is sooner than anticipated as a result of increased digitisation due to the pandemic. Only a year and half in, more than half of the planned volume of technological transformation outlined in the strategy has been completed. 

By the end of 2020, the bank had already received twice the forecasted profit from the introduction of new technology products – more than 10 billion rubles ($130 million). The acceleration of the schedule means VTB now expects to complete all major transformation by the end of Q1 2022.

As part of the implementation of the bank’s digital transformation strategy, VTB has:

  • Transferred the mobile bank to a new IT architecture, doubling the speed of VTB Online operations and speeding up the response time of the interfaces by 10 times.
  • Increased system reliability with a 57% uptick in the number of change implementations (33,000 per year).
  • Created 7 new technology platforms that plan to make market leaders – reduced the time to market of products and services for customers by 8 times.

Vadim Kulik, Deputy President and Chairman of the VTB Management Board, said: “We needed to accelerate the introduction of new products and new functionalities to the market. We are focused on establishing VTB as a technological innovator, giving us a competitive advantage against other market participants, whilst at the same time improving stability and reliability.

“We decided that we need to build VTB on completely different technological principles, a completely new VTB. In order to restructure all the bank’s technological systems and create innovative IT platforms, we have changed our technology production model, now more than 1,200 teams work on the products, including more than 13,000 people. We have opened 14 programs within the framework of the ‘600 days’ program, written all the layers of the IT architecture, and in the next two years, we are set to become the market leader in almost every layer. ”

Kulik noted that VTB has created and is implementing seven technology platforms that will allow the bank to develop faster than the market, build an open ecosystem, as well as simplify and accelerate interaction with partners, the state, and business.

This is an omnichannel platform, a retail credit pipeline platform, a corporate credit pipeline platform; an open interaction interfaces (open API) platform; a data analytics platform, geo-and graph platforms, a development automation platform, and a cloud platform.

“We are building these platforms so that in 2022 we will be leaders, not just in the top 3 or five, but leading the way across each layer of the technological system,” Kulik stressed.

VTB is also actively implementing artificial intelligence in the bank’s business processes as part of its technological transformation.

“As for artificial intelligence, we do it not for the study of high matters, but where it offers us efficiency and a specific income. During the first year of this program, we earned more than a billion rubles ($13million), built several systems, and introduced 130 different models across the business, from predicting customer churn to text recognition. In January, we launched a voice assistant in our mobile app. We are extremely proud of the way we’ve been able to implement automated functionality as well as train and develop artificial intelligence. By the end of 2021, we plan to robotise the development of AI algorithms. The robot itself will identify suboptimal processes, form models, implement them into the work and monitor their effectiveness.” Kulik explained.


  • Francis is a journalist and our lead LatAm correspondent, with a BA in Classical Civilization, he has a specialist interest in North and South America.

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