Aktia bank, the first to complete a full core banking replacement in the Nordics

Tieto’s Emric team was a key player in Aktia’s core banking replacement, implementing an automated and dynamic lending solution that enabled Aktia to reduce running costs by half and speed up loan processing from taking days to just hours.


Automated lending platform, key to lowering operational costs

Delivering efficient and customer-centric financial services means quick time to market while maintaining high quality and flexibility. This is a huge challenge many banks are facing. In 2013, Finnish bank Aktia had made the decision to change their banking system to accomplish more cost-efficient processes and annual savings of EUR 5 million in IT expenses.

“Our two main drivers for the program were to cut down on the running costs of the entire system and the duration of the lending processes”, says Juha Volotinen, CIO at Aktia.

Automated and compliant solution, put into production in a single weekend

For this massive undertaking, Aktia selected its current netbank partner Tieto to provide the hosting services and to deliver the Emric lending solution.

The Emric team provided a complete lending platform – for both consumers and corporates – that includes origination and loan administration, with integrations to business partners. The automated solution provides full support for Aktia’s specific business requirements and is compliant with the regional requirements for the Finnish lending market. After deciding on a big bang go-live approach, the entire core system was migrated and put into production over one weekend. Tieto’s Emric team performed the complex migration of all customers, loans, credits, guarantees, collaterals, etc to the new lending platform.

Juha Volotinen, CIO, Aktia

                         Juha Volotinen, CIO, Aktia

“We are very happy with the outcome of the project. The fact that we went live without any major problems for the customers is a great achievement. Many similar projects have been unsuccessful, so we are very proud and thankful to everyone involved who did a tremendous job”, says Juha Volotinen.

The importance of close collaboration

The project was based on agile principles: development was planned in month-long sprints where software was delivered to Aktia at the end of each sprint, so they could provide feedback quickly and efficiently. The collaboration and co-creation were fruitful from day one – and further improved after each sprint. The teams embraced change and developed the specifications during the course of the project. That meant that all the challenges could be resolved quickly and efficiently as they arose. Because all stakeholders embraced the agile approach, the final product is a great fit for Aktia and their users.

“With a proper focus and an agile approach, we could manage this highly complex project, despite the different changes and challenges that arise in a project of this magnitude”, says Juha Volotinen.

“Now that Aktia bank is in full production with the new core banking solution, we are extremely happy to see the result of the fantastic partnership between Tieto’s Emric team and Aktia bank. Having Aktia as a customer utilizing the full value chain provided by Emric is a strong proof of the capabilities of the lending suite. We believe that the new automated and dynamic lending suite creates a lot of business value for Aktia and its customers”, says Pedram Tadayon, Head of Emric, part of Tieto Group.

Integrated solution drives development for Aktia

As many banks today, Aktia was facing the challenge of changes in customer demand and banking regulations. This made Aktia wanting to increase their competitiveness and become the first choice within financial services in Finland. To achieve this, Aktia needed to improve their accessibility and flexibility across all channels and have a faster time to market for their new products and services.

The solution from Tieto’s Emric team means that Aktia has an up-to-date, business-critical core banking system that integrates business partners, putting Aktia in the driving seat within Finnish banking. The lower IT costs, workload and maintenance means that Aktia can focus their time and energy on other things, such as developing and broadening their offer and their customer service, which is vital for banks today.

“We expect there are more benefits to come from the Emric solution when we go even more digital. We will be able to invest in new ventures, focusing more on development. This puts Aktia in a very good position”, says Juha Volotinen.

How Tieto helped:

  • An integrated lending platform, front to back, that is fully compliant with Finnish market requirements and regulations – covering housing loans, subsidy loans and student loans to mention a few.
  • A lending platform that is built to co-exist in a complex banking environment where the lending part is integrated to Aktia bank’s other systems such as card and account management.
  • An automated and more efficient and secure solution to originate and manage credits including credit scoring capabilities.
  • A platform which enables Aktia bank to further develop their business, with lending suite products maintained and managed by Tieto to ensure that the product evolves over time and supports compliance, technical and market demands during the years to come.
  • Project and delivery approach with foundation in agile principles, leading to true collaboration focused on the solution.

What Aktia achieved:

  • Reduced loan processing lead time, from days to hours.
  • Running costs reduced by 50%.
  • Ability to monitor and analyze the credit process based on business rules and process steps.
  • Possibility to increase revenues, through the ability to further digitalize their bank offering with a customer-oriented platform.
  • A modern and up-to-date business-critical lending platform which is integrated to third party and internal/external service providers, putting Aktia in the driver’s seat within Finnish banking.
  • Potential to leverage from ongoing generic development in the Emric lending suite. Development which is initiated by Tieto as well as by other banks and financial companies in the Nordics and globally.
  • Task automation.
  • Faster time to market for new products and quick adaptation to market changes.

The 5 secrets to a successful core banking replacement:

  • Early and continuous delivery helped avoiding things being discovered too late.
  • True collaboration between all dedicated stakeholders, no prestige or finger-pointing and strong project organisation and communication between the different teams.
  • Never losing sight of the business objectives, always driving development forward.
  • Testing done both early and after every delivery, reducing risk and the effort needed in final acceptance stages.
  • Embracing change – constantly adapting to change, instead of fighting it. Also, a dedicated customer who sees the benefits of a core banking replacement, and goes all in to get there!

Read more about Emric lending solutions


Tieto aims to capture the significant opportunities of the data-driven world and turn them into lifelong value for people, business and society. We aim to be customers’ first choice for business renewal by combining our software and services capabilities with a strong drive for co-innovation and ecosystems. www.tieto.com


Aktia is one of the largest Finnish financial groups under Finnish ownership. The Group provides its customers with individualised solutions from a wide range of banking, asset management, insurance and real estate services. Aktia operates mainly in coastal areas, in the Helsinki region, and in inland growth areas. The Group has around 350,000 customers, 140,000 of whom are active users of online services. Aktia is owned by Finnish Aktia and savings bank foundations, institutions and private individuals. www.aktia.fi



Måns Larsson
Senior Sales Manager
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