African Bank, a large retail bank in South Africa, recently went through a large-scale restructuring in order to bring more efficiency, transparency and collaboration to the way it made decisions. Working with FICO, the bank applied a standards-based decision management methodology to fully modernize its decision system. Now that the new solution has been implemented, we spoke with Dawid Van Zyl, Program Executive of Credit Decisioning at African Bank, to learn more.
Q: What challenges was African Bank facing with its existing credit decision process?
Dawid: Our credit decision lifecycle was fragmented over different applications and teams. This was causing inefficiencies and missed opportunities for our executives to react to the market. We knew we needed to do a complete overhaul of the existing process in order to be effective and profitable.
Q: How did you and the FICO team create a solution for this challenge?
Dawid: The first step was an extensive internal review of bank operations. We had the entire bank look at all existing logic going into our decision-making process, which was fragmented over different applications and teams. We challenged and rationalized existing frameworks until we came up with an optimal plan.
Q: How did technology help transform your decision management process?
Dawid: We were already using FICO Blaze Advisor for rules management. Through our review, we found that Blaze Advisor could make strategy changes within two days, but the ecosystem around it took as long as two months. We looked at what was happening and created a proposal to completely overhaul the way we make decisions. We decided to extend Blaze Advisor capabilities at African Bank and use it as our hub for all decision making.
Q: How did FICO help you create a solution?
Dawid: FICO introduced a new standards-based decision-making methodology to us called Decision Implementation Accelerator. We refer to it as DIA3. The FICO consultants worked with us to help us understand how to approach certain decision scenarios, as well as get strategies configured and defined in Blaze Advisor. The methodology was integral to the success of this project. As we became more familiar with the approach, each iteration improved and this was key to the reduced total time taken.
Q: You mention a reduction in time to implementation. What specific benefits have you realized?
Dawid: After this overhaul, we now have a very complex but elegant solution in place that enables collaboration and complete transparency. We’ve been able to develop and implement new strategies 30% faster than expected, and we have reduced costs by 25%. Now we have a decision system that can make changes in two days, not two months. That makes a big difference to our efficiency and profitability.
We’d like to thank Dawid for taking the time to speak with us. If you’d like to learn more about how African Bank is using FICO solutions to manage credit decisions, read the case study.