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API Management

Khan Bank: Using APIs to make banking faster and easier in Mongolia

November 20, 2018
Ariunbold Buyan-Ulzii

Head of Enterprise Platform Management, Khan Bank

Editor’s note: Today’s post comes from Ariunbold Buyan-Ulzii, Head of Enterprise Platform Management at Khan Bank. Khan Bank is the largest financial institution in Mongolia, providing a full range of services to retail, enterprises, and corporate customers. They’re using Apigee to help them modernize their systems and better serve customers.

The Soviet era left Mongolia with a legacy of manual banking processes that requires huge quantities of paperwork. This means that customers need to visit branches frequently for simple things like changing a PIN number or requesting a credit card. Since we count 2.8 million of Mongolia’s 3.3 million citizens as our customers, this could mean long lines at the bank, with an average wait time of 25 minutes for each visit. We wanted to change that.

We knew expanding our online banking options was the solution, but our legacy of monolithic applications didn’t allow us to do quick development and release new services. So we decided to go with an API strategy using Google’s Apigee API management platform. It enables us to provide APIs to all of our existing channels so that our customers can immediately begin transacting online.

Now, once a customer activates their services at the branch, they can transact almost all of their banking online without needing to line up at the bank. Today, about 90% of our transactions happen through either internet banking, mobile banking, or SIM-based banking.

Now that we have our Apigee gateway in place, we’re working with our business and corporate customers to provide them banking services directly from their enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. This saves them from needing to send spreadsheets manually to the bank, or worse yet having accounting employees wait in line at branches to conduct company business. Now they can do salary disbursements, pay invoices, and perform other banking tasks online.

APIs have also helped us expand our services to foreign embassies. We count all of the embassies in Mongolia as customers for current accounts, payroll, and visa escrow services. This is important because for a Mongolian citizen to obtain a visa to travel to most foreign countries, the embassy requires that they place a certain amount of money in escrow that is released only when the citizen returns to Mongolia.

In the past, customers would need to walk into a branch, set up the escrow account, and get a receipt. Then, they would go to the embassy and apply for a visa. If the visa was granted, they would return to the branch and deposit the money into the escrow account. Then, they would go back to the embassy with the proof of deposit and pick up their visa. When they came back to Mongolia, they would have to go through the reverse process to get their money back. Thanks to Apigee, we’ve been able to automate all that. The U.S., Korean, and German embassies are already live with the solution, which has streamlined their visa processes, and we expect to roll it out to more embassies quickly.

We’ve also been able to help streamline the mining industry supply chain. Mining is big business in Mongolia, and mining companies do large amounts of payments every day. We’re completely automated this process so companies no longer need to process payments individually, which is a huge time and money saver for the industry. Mining customers tell us they can now reassign up to six full-time employees who previously just did these payments.

We’re excited about all of the new services we’ve released for retail banking, too. Thanks to the more than 30 new APIs we just rolled out, we’re expecting to see more than 100,000 new online banking transactions per month flow through the API gateway. Everything from reviewing statements, paying bills, making peer-to-peer payments, transfering money, conducting international transactions, changing PINs and passwords, and unblocking credit cards can now all be done online. No more lining up at the branch. With the help of our Apigee API Gateway, our customers are getting a huge chunk of time back.

Choosing Apigee has also made our employees’ jobs easier as well. Previously our monolithic coding and testing took months. Apigee was incredibly fast and easy to implement, enabling our IT department to mature to the next level—like supporting continuous delivery.

We’re excited by what the future holds now that we have a robust API strategy in place. Thanks to Apigee, we’re able to provide a better banking experience for Mongolian citizens and the businesses that serve them.

Learn more about Apigee's API management platform, including how other customers are using Apigee, on our website.
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