ING Direct Opens New Frontiers via Mars Project for Mortgages in the UK

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Capgemini in the UK and India, working for ING Direct, helps steer a complex integration program bringing many technology and business partners together

“We are very excited about the launch of our Mortgage Product and pleased that we chose Capgemini as our development partner. Capgemini’s values closely aligned with ING Direct’s and together we worked as a single team focused on successful delivery.” Simon Andrews, Operations Director, ING Direct UK

The Situation

Three years ago, ING Direct launched a highly successful savings product in the UK. Key tenets of the product were keen pricing, excellent customer service and high levels of automation. The bank wanted to repeat the success on a much more complex process�€• Mortgages. Critical success factors included convenience and simplicity for customers with high flexibility and automation that exploited technology.

The Solution

The solution was centered on ING Direct’s existing CRM system. It would demand real-time interfaces with a host of business partners for processes like land conveyance, valuations, credit scoring, fraud detection, card and automated payments.

Equally important, technology platforms based on J2EE, Oracle and Visual Basic demanded adoption of Service-Oriented Architectures, SOAP web services for integration and extensive use of XML. The resultant architecture had to be highly scalable and available without compromising user security. 

ING Direct recognized the scale of the challenge the largest implementation at any ING Direct business unit, worldwide. Capgemini was closely involved as a strategic partner from the outset. Rational Unified Process (RUP) was deployed as a software development process. Rightshore, Capgemini’s approach for distributed delivery, was leveraged to include Capgemini specialists in the UK and India working alongside an offsite team that included ING Direct’s technology partners.

The Result

ING Direct UK has a fully integrated, highly automated and secure customer-friendly system. The level of automation is such that for many re-mortgage applications, the only manual intervention required is verification of an applicant payslip. The underwriting, valuations, land conveyance and payments are all coordinated using real-time messaging with ING Direct’s business partners. Customers access their application online.

“We awarded this key contract to Capgemini because of its technical skills, quality of its people, willingness to work in close and flexible collaboration with us, and above all its can-do’ attitude – all attributes that we value highly in our own staff. I am delighted that the end-result of the project fully matches our high expectations.”          

Peter Knight, IT Director, ING Direct UK