Top 10 bank in Kazakhstan

Helped launch non-financial services for business

From finding ideas to entering the market: we tell you how we helped launch non-financial services to a bank that is in the top 10 in Kazakhstan.

We do not limit ourselves to one development and have been launching full-cycle projects for a long time. Technical implementation is one of the components "under the hood" of what we do — we carefully study the market, test hypotheses, find suitable forms of a digital product and ways to achieve success for the client's business. For example, our fintech expertise center works with financial sector players: from large banks to crypto startups. He takes on core tasks and develops the creative potential of the market: creates ecosystems of services, introduces innovations and builds digital platforms - in order to make people's lives better and help businesses achieve targeted results. How exactly we do it is in our fresh case.

Konstantin Kolotov
Director of fintech direction red_mad_robot


The case under the NDA — we can't name the bank, but here are a few details to have an idea about it:

  • was included in the top 10 banks of Kazakhstan according to Forbes in 2020
  • was recognized as one of the best banks for business in Kazakhstan by user reviews and ratings

It is necessary to launch a new product for the market and increase the number of customers in it.

In 2021, when the client turned to us, he successfully competed with other banks in Kazakhstan on banking products — loans, cards, deposits, accounts for individuals and legal entities. He was one of the leaders in SMEs, and among the strategic goals he intended to further increase the volume of business and customer base in SMEs.

The bank wanted to provide not only financial services — transfers and payments, settlement accounts. Competitors have already been doing this. The client's team planned to go further and launch non-financial services (NSF): online accounting, business registration, electronic document management, legal advice, employee search, etc.

Banks in Kazakhstan helped clients to maintain accounting and document management. All other services for business had to be searched for yourself

How to understand what services entrepreneurs need and how to launch them on the market?

The client developed financial services independently. And he began to form hypotheses for the launch of non-financial services. But I quickly realized that I didn't know for sure what services customers really needed, in what order to develop them and how to create an MVP that would meet the needs of entrepreneurs as accurately as possible.

The client developed financial services independently. And he began to form hypotheses for the launch of non-financial services. But I quickly realized that I didn't know for sure what services customers really needed, in what order to develop them and how to create an MVP that would meet the needs of entrepreneurs as accurately as possible.

The bank was looking for a digital partner who could quickly test hypotheses and start developing NSF. red_mad_robot became such a partner.

The guys from the bank had their own ideas about how non-financial services should look like. We took their hypotheses as a basis. Together we had to understand what value these services bring to users, in what order they need to be released and how they integrate with other products of the bank.

It remains to test the hypotheses of the bank, draw up a roadmap of the NSF and release services with the highest priority for customers and businesses

The bank has assembled its own backlog of non-financial services, which has become our starting point. We pochellengil it, added hypotheses from our research and went to test it.

We conducted a functional analysis of the largest banks in Russia and Kazakhstan, as well as other products popular with entrepreneurs. We have filtered the resulting list of potential NSFs by relevance and relevance for small businesses. After that, we combined our backlog with what we received from the client and prepared a questionnaire for user research.

Nikita Shamanov
red_mad_robot business analyst

Our task is to prioritize hypotheses from the backlog and draw up a roadmap for development: which services to create first and why. The whole study took a month.

We conducted a study in 4 stages

Stage 1: 150+ entrepreneurs with a turnover of no more than 100 million tenge per year were interviewed.

The most popular request from them is for information. This is a news service about changes in legislation affecting the business of a particular entrepreneur.

The needs of the audience are only part of the research. To create a sought-after MVP that covers the needs of customers and solves business problems, you need to take these tasks into account.

Stage 2: We gathered a workshop with top managers of the bank and prioritized services at the business level.

Evaluated according to four criteria:

  • attracting new customers
  • increasing Retention
  • increasing revenue from banking products
  • revenue from the sale of the subscription service

The favorite has changed — online accounting has come out on top.

From a business point of view, prioritization turned out to be different. The information received a low rating — the impact of other services was much higher.

Stage 3: We studied the Russian online banking market and the experience of top banks in the Russian Federation

It was important to track the releases of non-financial services and understand which features were released in the first place.

As a result, we realized that banks primarily issue business registration, online accounting, financial analytics and information. So we made sure that we prioritized the services correctly.

Stage 4: Another prioritization — from the point of view of the developer.

It was necessary to understand which services are easier and faster to implement.

We combined all the priorities and got the final list of features. At first, we were glad that we got a single list, but we quickly realized that these disparate services do not fit into one user scenario and do not "match" with the current services of the bank. Then we conducted a series of interviews with entrepreneurs from Kazakhstan to study their path from business registration to scaling. Based on them, they created CJM, understood the actual pains and learned what financial and non-financial tasks they perform. As a result, we have a full-fledged user path and services that are able to cover the needs at every stage.

Anastasia Romantsova
Head of Business Intelligence Department red_mad_robot

We have built the NSF roadmap and protected the backlog of services

To start the work, we had to go through the most important step — to protect the results of the research and the backlog of services on the board of the bank.

To do this, we have fully calculated the entire economy of the project:

  1. The cost of development.
  2. The number of potential users of non—financial services - current customers of the bank and new ones who have become them thanks to these services.
  3. Stimulation of transactional income — it consists of the payment of tax payments and integration with the bank's financial products.
  4. Impact on Retention (customer retention) and NPS (an indicator of how satisfied users are with the product).

As a result, the defense was successful, the bank's business approved the implementation of the project and the roadmap for a year and a half.

The result of four scores, which helped us determine which services should be taken into operation first. Goal #1 is online accounting. But the first service we made for the bank was the opening of a checking account

Launched the main entry point to the bank for entrepreneurs in a mobile application

This point is the opening of a checking account. Without it, entrepreneurs cannot do business in the bank and use other services. The bank has already successfully operated an online platform on the web for this, and it was obvious that it needed to be created in a mobile application. Top banks in Kazakhstan (for example, Kaspi and Halyk) already had such a service, the client only had it in the web version.

We started designing and developing the opening of a checking account in parallel with the study of non-financial services. Each service was designed as a separate module — this made it possible to make releases independent, so that changes in them were isolated from the main functionality.

We have assembled a target scenario. The task is to speed up the opening of an account so that the user spends no more than two minutes on it. To do this, we added data verification in the tax service and the ability to sign an application online

It remains to test the hypotheses of the bank, draw up a roadmap of the NSF and release services with the highest priority for customers and businesses

If opening a checking account is a story about development and release, then online accounting is a full—fledged product. And before integrating it into the bank's application, it was necessary to conduct tests and launch.

We conducted in-depth interviews with entrepreneurs, identified the pains and needs in the field of accounting. This helped to highlight the functions that needed to be embedded in the service. For example, each of the respondents forgot to pay taxes at least once and got fined. That's why we added mandatory payment reminders. Calculating taxes took up entrepreneurs' time at the end of each month — we made it so that the service calculated the amount independently.

Inna Kondratieva
art director red_mad_robot
Added to the bank's application the ability to add employees and see what taxes, for whom and why you need to pay

Where to start — with automated accounting or an outsourced accountant

We conducted additional research to understand the demand for an outsourced accountant - this service covered more of the needs of SMEs at the start. But its development required more time. It would be necessary:

  • to understand how to make the service in accordance with the legislation of Kazakhstan — the bank has no right to provide accounting adviceу
  • hire accountants or find partners
  • provide a communication channel between entrepreneurs and accountants

We assumed that competitors at this time could work on the accounting service in parallel, and therefore did not want to be late. In the survey of entrepreneurs, automated accounting was higher, and its potential release was easier. As a result, we decided to release it.

We started with the most popular and simple taxation system — the USN, or simplified

In the first release , we did:

  • onboarding,
  • notifications about upcoming tax events,
  • employee directory,
  • automated calculation and payment of taxes and deductions — for yourself and employees,
  • the history of taxes and deductions.

In subsequent releases, we planned to add primary documentation: certificates of work performed, invoices, services of an outsourced accountant and financial consultant.

We have added an important feature for entrepreneurs — a warning about the timing of payment of taxes, which we have placed on the main screen of the application. Paid taxes are displayed in green, and unpaid taxes are displayed in blue. If the deadline is overdue, the screen will turn red

What is the result

  1. We came up with a concept and a roadmap for launching non-financial services. At the beginning of 2022, two of them were successfully launched — opening a checking account in a mobile application and online accounting.
  2. Helped the client to increase the customer base. In just the first month after the release, even without strong investments in the promotion of the service, we received excellent results that fully corresponded to a well-developed business case.
  3. We have released convenient products to the market. The current account registration scenario was the fastest among analogues in Kazakhstan. And at the time of the first release, more than 500 people used online accounting.
  4. We have formed a backlog of the remaining services for the complex solution of the tasks of entrepreneurs: informing, checking contractors, document designer, electronic document management, bidding and procurement.
  5. Once again, we were convinced that a partner approach to working with a client is a successful way. We not only help determine the product concept and the optimal launch format, but also test hypotheses, research the audience and market, think through and design services. Because the point of competition of the client is precisely in the synthesis of business tasks, technologies and user needs.
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