Founded in 1995 and headquartered in Bucharest, Romania, OTP Bank Romania S.A. is a subsidiary of OTP Bank Plc., one of the largest financial service providers in Central and Eastern Europe. With a network of 95 branches as well as its online offerings, OTP Bank Romania S.A. provides current and savings accounts, mortgages, loans, credit and debit cards, and other financial services to individuals and businesses across Romania
A major player in the Eastern European financial market, OTP Bank Romania S.A. is under constant pressure to improve its services in the face of tight regulations and startup competitors. A long-term investment in SUSE® Linux Enterprise Server has equipped the bank with a robust platform to handle an increasing volume of online transactions, enabling it to deliver convenient, cost-effective services to its customers.
Operating a large network of branches and online services in the heavily regulated financial services industry, OTP Bank Romania S.A. faces an ongoing challenge to reduce costs and improve customer service. This is especially true in recent years, as new regulations have allowed many startup competitors to enter the market.
Bogdan Stefan, executive director at OTP Bank Romania S.A., says: “Right now, the biggest challenge to the banking sector is coming from outside. The barriers to entering the financial market are much lower than they used to be, and greater competition from new startups means we need to offer even more convenient, cost-effective services to maintain customer loyalty.”
OTP Bank Romania S.A.’s response to these challenges has been to centralize its IT systems to enable smoother services. Stefan continues: “The more we can simplify our IT environment, while maintaining full regulatory compliance, the better our customer service will be. SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) is a key part of that strategy for us.”
“More and more, online banking is becoming simply banking, and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server provides a stable platform for us to meet consumer demand, as well as compete with our newer competitors in the online space.”
A longtime user of SLES, OTP Bank Romania S.A. has employed the operating system as the basis for its core operations for more than 12 years. “From an IT perspective, there are two key priorities for the banking sector: security and reliability,” says Stefan. “SLES delivers both of those qualities for us, and so it helps ensure a consistent, dependable service for our customers.”
OTP Bank Romania S.A. currently runs the majority of its core banking applications on SLES. These include internet banking, credit and debit card processing, credit approvals, treasury operations and related internal applications. “We try to maintain a homogeneous IT landscape for smooth operations and easy compliance,” says Stefan. “The standardization of SLES helps guarantee that consistency for us, which is a huge benefit when you’re dealing with customer demand in the way we are.”
OTP Bank Romania S.A. is also very satisfied with the supporting documentation provided by SUSE. Silviu Marin-Caea, senior IT architect at OTP Bank Romania, S.A., comments: “SUSE provided us with an excellent set of introductory material when we were setting the solution up, which gave us a clear indication of the solution’s new features and capabilities. This was a real boon to us and has continued to be useful for system maintenance.”
As OTP Bank Romania continues to keep pace with a changing financial market, SLES remains the bedrock of its IT infrastructure.
The bank is seeing increased usage of its online banking platforms, and the transactions carried out there depend on the stability of the SUSE platform. “Over the last few years, we’ve seen a huge uptick in the number and length of internet banking sessions,” says Stefan. “More and more, online banking is becoming simply banking, and SLES provides a stable platform for us to meet consumer demand, as well as compete with our newer competitors in the online space.”
OTP Bank Romania S.A. is deeply satisfied with its long-term investment in SLES. “Whatever problems we face in our daily operations, none of them are coming from SUSE,” says Marin-Caea. “SLES is by far the most advanced and feature-rich enterprise Linux distribution, and it’s hard to imagine any other platform occupying the same position within our business. SUSE’s technology is always dependable — for us, it just works.”
OTP Bank Romania is excited by the future potential of the SUSE technology. Marin-Caea concludes: “We have always been impressed by how well SLES integrates with the other technologies we use. That integration, combined with SUSE’s future strategy around products, gives us confidence that our investment in SLES will continue to pay off well into the future.”