A Case Study of the First Banking App Streamlining House Loans in Romania

Insight categories: AgileDigital TransformationMobilitySecurityFinancial Services

In the rapidly evolving digital banking landscape, convenience and efficiency have become significantly important for both customers, and financial institutions, with customer experience becoming a key differentiator across businesses. One area undergoing transformation is the mortgage application process. Traditional mortgage application processes have long been plagued by inefficiencies, including extensive paperwork, manual verification processes, and prolonged wait times for applicants. These challenges not only inconvenience customers but also strain resources and hinder operational efficiency for banks. Recognizing the need for a more streamlined approach, the banking industry has increasingly turned to digital solutions to revolutionize the mortgage application process. The innovative banking apps, such as the one we'll explore in this case study, succeed in transforming the house loan application process into an easy and positive experience.


The Need for Innovation

Driven by market research and customer feedback, the need for innovation in mortgage applications became apparent. Customers expressed frustration with the complicated and time-consuming nature of traditional methods, prompting banks to explore digital alternatives. The goal was clear: to create a seamless, user-friendly experience that simplifies the mortgage application process while maintaining security and compliance standards.


Development and Implementation

Banca Comercială Română (BCR) is the first bank in Romania that developed a mortgage app to digitize the whole application process for a house loan. The development of this app involved collaboration between IT professionals, banking experts, and UX/UI designers. Together, they created a comprehensive solution that covers all stages of the loan application process. From initial application  and offer request to document upload and verification, and up to to the final stage of signing papers, the app aims to streamline every aspect of applying for a house loan directly from a mobile device. The experience is 100% online, and it is unique on the Romanian banking market.


Key Features of the Banking App

The banking app boasts a range of key features designed to enhance the user experience and streamline the mortgage application process. These include:

- A user-friendly interface that guides applicants through the application process step by step.

- Secure document upload and verification capabilities, ensuring the integrity and confidentiality of applicant information. The documents are uploaded from a mobile device (pictures from gallery or taken with the phone camera/ local or virtual storage). Upload is available as both a single or multiple-file option. 

- Real-time status updates, allowing applicants to track the progress of their loan application at any time, view loan stage and details (requested loan type, amount, period, interest type and percentage, APR, etc), time estimates (determined by BCR for loans of the same type, based on its own records)  and stage resolution.

- Direct communication channels with bank representatives, enabling resolution of queries and concerns and push notifications (correction for documents & stage resolution).


User Experience and Feedback

With more than 10k downloads in the Google Play Store, the initial feedback from users highlighted the app's intuitive design and seamless functionality. Users appreciated the convenience of applying for a house loan from the comfort of their own homes, without the need for tedious paperwork or in-person visits to the bank. Moreover, the iterative nature of development allowed for continuous improvements based on user feedback, further enhancing the app's usability and effectiveness.


Impact and Benefits

The impact of the banking app has been significant, with notable benefits for both customers and the bank. Customers have reported higher satisfaction levels and reduced stress associated with the mortgage application process. Additionally, the app has resulted in shorter processing times and improved operational efficiency for the bank, leading to cost savings and a competitive edge in the market.


Challenges and Lessons Learned

While the development and implementation of the banking app were largely successful, it was not without its challenges. Technical complexities, regulatory requirements, and integration issues posed significant hurdles along the way. However, through proactive problem-solving and effective collaboration, these challenges were overcome, becoming valuable lessons for future projects.



In conclusion, the case study of the BCR banking app serves as proof of the transformative power of digital innovation in the banking industry. By streamlining the mortgage application process and enhancing the user experience, this app has not only met, but exceeded customer expectations. As the landscape of digital banking continues to evolve, there is no doubt that innovative solutions like this will play a pivotal role in shaping the future of financial services.


About BCR

Banca Comercială Română (BCR), a member of Erste Group, is one of the most important financial groups of Romania, and includes universal bank operations (retail, corporate & investment banking, treasury and capital markets), as well as specialized companies in the leasing market, private pensions and housing banks.

BCR uses a network of 20 business centers and 18 mobile offices dedicated to companies and 418 retail units located in most Romanian towns with more than 10,000 inhabitants. BCR offers to its customers the
largest national ATM network – 2,000 ATMs, Mobile banking, Phone-banking and E-commerce services.




Diana Socaciu

Lead Marketing Specialist

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