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Blanc Labs Expedites the Development of Mortgage Product for Canada’s Top Brokerage

Case Studies

Blanc Labs Expedites the Development of Mortgage Product for Canada’s Top Brokerage

59% of organizations looking to add BaaS capabilities are currently in the testing phase
Financial Services | Integrations | Services

Defining the Opportunity

Questrade, Canada’s leading discount brokerage had an aggressive target date to launch and debut its residential mortgage product to originate loans through an in-house, proprietary Loan Origination System (LOS) . The LOS solution needed to collect loan application data and documents from the borrower and co-borrowers. The challenge was to buy or build the document automation layer of the solution in a short period of time.

Questrade partnered with Blanc Labs to leverage their experience as a technology partner with experience in building digital lending products.

A big goal of the digital direct mortgage offering was to automate as much of the document collection and document management function by offering a secure upload workflow for the borrowers and secure document storage for underwriters and internal team members. The solution also had to enable a seamless document viewing and proofing workflow for mortgage officers to define the loan conditions.

Ultimately, Questrade selectedĀ  Blanc Labsā€™ for their expertise in the Canadian mortgage industry as a long-term partner which dramatically accelerated the timeline to design, build and launch the award-winning with Quest Mortgage platform in 2020 .

Challenge: Aggressive delivery target
Challenge: Limited internal resources
of banking leaders are prioritizing BaaS capablities

Approach and Solution

To deliver the requirements, Blanc Labs collaborated with the online brokerageā€™s stakeholders in two phases: Discovery and Design, and Solution Delivery and Integration.

 

Phase 1: Discovery and Design

During several agile design workshops, Blanc Labsā€™s multidisciplinary team of subject matter experts and specialists in user experience (UX), product, and engineering worked closely with the online brokerageā€™s senior executives and stakeholders representing both business and technology teams. The goal was to understand the requirements and imagine the total solution while keeping in mind the capabilities of Blanc Labsā€™s document automation product, Kapti.

Kapti is an automation software for document capture and processing. With Kapti, users can automate the document collection workflow through a web-based application and APIs. Kapti also uses proprietary machine learning (ML) technology to intelligently classify and split multi-page documents to extract, analyze, and deliver critical data from documents to generate decision-making insights. For more information, visit www.kapti.io.

The result was incorporating Kaptiā€™s Application Programming Interface (API) and web-based user interface (UI) in the following arrangement:

    • Use Kapti headless as an API-first product to initiate document request flows

    • Use Kapti UI for document upload by borrowers and mortgage officers

    • Use Kapti UI for document proofing by mortgage officers

    • Integrate Kapti with the online brokerageā€™s Google Cloud Platform (GCP) to store uploaded documents

    • Integrate Kapti with the online brokerageā€™s enterprise virus software to scan each document for malware

    • Integrate Kapti with the online brokerageā€™s single-sign-on and identity manager for borrower and employee login

    • Deploy Kapti as a container on the online brokerageā€™s private GCP cloud (GKE: Google Kubernetes cluster)

Phase 2: Solution Delivery and Integration

Blanc Labs had a major advantage over other vendors and options: All the features and requirements listed during the discovery phase were part of Kaptiā€™s out-of-the-box specification. This meant that the solution delivery didnā€™t need any developmentā€”Kapti just needed to be installed and configured to fulfill its duties.

During this phase, Blanc Labs worked on two streams of product and tech to deliver the solution. The Kapti product team worked closely with the online brokerageā€™s business and mortgage operations teams to configure the document types and user experience flows. In parallel, the Kapti engineering team worked with the online brokerageā€™s technology and infrastructure architecture teams to deploy the product and integrate it with the final state cloud solution ecosystem.

Blanc Labs had a major advantage over other vendors and options: Its product. Kapti, just needed to be installed and configuredā€” extra development wasnā€™t necessary.

Approach

Everything We Make Starts With People

1 From career growth and compensation, to company financials and decisions – the communication is incredible and truly honors an open door policy.

Edward Kholodenko
Software Engineer

2 From career growth and compensation, to company financials and decisions – the communication is incredible and truly honors an open door policy.

Edward Kholodenko
Software Engineer

3 From career growth and compensation, to company financials and decisions – the communication is incredible and truly honors an open door policy.

Edward Kholodenko
Software Engineer

4 From career growth and compensation, to company financials and decisions – the communication is incredible and truly honors an open door policy.

Edward Kholodenko
Software Engineer

1 From career growth and compensation, to company financials and decisions – the communication is incredible and truly honors an open door policy.

Edward Kholodenko
Software Engineer

2 From career growth and compensation, to company financials and decisions – the communication is incredible and truly honors an open door policy.

Edward Kholodenko
Software Engineer

3 From career growth and compensation, to company financials and decisions – the communication is incredible and truly honors an open door policy.

Edward Kholodenko
Software Engineer

4 From career growth and compensation, to company financials and decisions – the communication is incredible and truly honors an open door policy.

Edward Kholodenko
Software Engineer

1 From career growth and compensation, to company financials and decisions – the communication is incredible and truly honors an open door policy.

Edward Kholodenko
Software Engineer

2 From career growth and compensation, to company financials and decisions – the communication is incredible and truly honors an open door policy.

Edward Kholodenko
Software Engineer

3 From career growth and compensation, to company financials and decisions – the communication is incredible and truly honors an open door policy.

Edward Kholodenko
Software Engineer

4 From career growth and compensation, to company financials and decisions – the communication is incredible and truly honors an open door policy.

Edward Kholodenko
Software Engineer

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Building An Enhanced Commercial Lending Credit Risk Platform for EQ Bank

Case Studies

Building An Enhanced Commercial Lending Credit Risk Platform for EQ Bank

Unstructured Data Processing
Financial Services | Commercial Lending | Integrations | Services
and

Summary

Equitable Bank (EQB) approached Blanc Labs to envision, build, and implement a highly complex commercial lending credit risk platform. Blanc Labs has been an integral part of EQBā€™s digital transformation journey. In this case study, we provide a brief overview of EQBā€™s digital transformation journey, share highlights from its recent work with Blanc Labs on a new commercial lending platform, and identify the key factors that have made the collaboration between Equitable Bank and Blanc Labs so successful.

$6.7 Trillion Potential savings by 2025 for businesses that adopt automation.

Challenges

Equitable Bank is Canadaā€™s challenger bank, ranked No 1 for two years running (2021-23) in the Forbes list of the World’s Best Banks. Since 2014, it has strategically focused on being a leader in digital banking, embracing an ambitious digital transformation agenda centered around its lending and deposit businesses. The bank knew that to survive and thrive in an increasingly digital world, it needed to get better control over its data and use innovative technologies more effectively to create value both inside the bank and for its brokers and end customers.

To digitally transform their operations, EQ Bank approached Blanc Labs to create a customized commercial lending credit risk platform for improving its data governance, underwriting and decisioning processes, and its client and employee experience.

Our Approach

Blanc Labs took an Agile approach to developing the bankā€™s commercial lending platform.

Concept to First Release

EQ Bank was determined to launch its commercial lending platform as quickly as possible. The bank and project team set a target to release Version 1 of the platform within 12 months, with the understanding that additional releases would follow to address gaps, improve functionality, and enhance the user experience.

To meet the tight timelines, the team designed and built the platform in parallel with additional discovery related to the requirements of the bankā€™s three commercial lending business units. The strategy was to ensure that the business line with highest volume and most standardized deals would be the primary focus on the first release, followed by the business line with small to medium sized deals on the second and finally the business line with deals representing low volume, high dollar value and more complex credit structures to be addressed in the third release. To expedite the entire process and drive more value, the team introduced feedback sessions with senior management to share design work visually and get immediate feedback. This process not only made feedback more efficient, but also helped align all stakeholders on prioritization.

The team completed the design and build work for Release 1 in mid-2019, conducted appropriate testing, and deployed the first release of the platform on schedule.

Darren-Lorimer
Darren-Lorimer
Darren Lorimer
Senior Vice President and Group Head, Commercial Banking at EQ Bank

What we have built with Blanc Labs as our partner, is a data-centric model which is unique in the Canadian marketplace. As we continue to optimize the build, we will realize many benefits over the years.

Building a Release Train

As confidence in the project rose, stakeholders became increasingly more involved and collaborative. At this point, employing a very efficient and disciplined release cycle was paramount. To make the release process more effective and efficient, the project team introduced the concept of a release train. This meant that the timing of each release was predefined, but the scope of each release was flexible and agile. When fully implemented, the release train resulted in high utilization of all team members and a more predictable cycle of activities and releases.

By November 2021, the bank had fully migrated all loans to the new platform and all lines of businesses were using the platform. This was a critical milestone for EQB as it meant the bank was now well positioned to begin reaping the rewards of the new platform with better data governance, enhanced risk management and a better employee and customer experience.

Establishing a foundation for future growth

With the platform now fully in use, new releases are expected to target niche lending scenarios and improvements to the user experience. Future releases will focus on shortening the end to end customer journey. The platform is expected to be fully mature by 2023.

Dan-Broten
Dan-Broten
Dan Broten
CTO, EQ Bank

The solution we created with Blanc Labs was an early adopter of our cloud-only, digital platform architecture. The platform approach provided capabilities for the team to incrementally build the solution using agile techniques while also providing consistent security and operational resilience.

Key Results

Blanc Labs was able to work closely with Equitable Bank to build a customized, data centric commercial lending platform that produces a consistent and accurate risk assessment leading to better decision making. Over time, the improved collection and accessibility of data will allow Equitable Bank to refine their risk rating models and further improve their risk management.

Stay ahead of the curve with our advanced solution engineering capabilities.

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