Banking Innovation of the Month: VakifBank’s VAI Cognitive Services

Digital Reinvention
22/08/2023 Article

Qorus-Accenture’s Banking Innovation of the Month award for August goes to VAI Cognitive Services 2.0, a cutting-edge project that democratizes AI implementation and affirms VakifBank’s position at the forefront of AI innovation in the financial services industry. 

While many traditional banks are struggling to keep up with AI developments, Turkey’s VakifBank has come up with a versatile AI cognitive services model that not only dramatically enhances efficiency across the bank’s own units, but is also being honed for adoption by other organizations as a one-stop shop for AI empowerment.

Unlike conventional approaches that demand specialized AI expertise, VAI Cognitive Services open the doors to AI-driven transformation for developers across the spectrum. The project’s pioneering approach eliminates the prerequisite of AI and data analytics proficiency, allowing software developers of all backgrounds to seamlessly integrate a spectrum of AI-driven functionalities into their applications. 

VAI Cognitive Services encompass a wide range of tools that enable users to create end-to-end cognitive solutions to help process data, interpret image and text information, make predictions with different datasets, run training models and validate data. Delivered through APIs, SDKs and comprehensive solutions, these services are grouped into three categories: data processing and prediction, image processing, and text processing.

From the discovery phase through iteration and service prototyping, the VAI journey stands out for its holistic framework, intuitive organization and commitment to accessibility. By categorizing AI services into easily digestible main groups, the model bridges the gap between complexity and usability, enabling developers to swiftly integrate AI capabilities into their applications without the need for deep AI or data analytics knowledge. 

Implementation of the VAI project within VakifBank has already resulted in heightened operational efficiency, reduced costs, simplified implementation and amplified employee satisfaction through automated AI-driven applications. To cite just a few of the project’s milestones, the precision of anomaly service models reached an impressive accuracy rate of 95%, while the trend models service achieved a success rate of over 85%, translating into a significant monthly turnover increase. The branch sales targeting service streamlined operations considerably through predictive modeling, reducing several weeks of work across four business units to a single team's effort over a few days. 

Groundbreaking work in ATM cash management resulted in a total savings of TL 80 million, while the inventory management service led to a significant reduction in card stocks and a 40% reduction in inventory costs. Meanwhile, the automatic classification of scanned documents resulted in an exponential increase in control capability, and the signature comparison and face comparison services have proven instrumental in curbing fraudulent transactions. The AI models are being constantly refined, to the point that the project’s face capture model now boasts a staggering 99.1% success rate, while the image classification model for scanned documents has reached 98.4% accuracy. 

Moving ahead, Vakifbank plans to offer VAI Cognitive Services to other institutions through open banking APIs, and eventually to develop a SaaS model by creating a service package for its SME customers. It’s an ambitious and groundbreaking project, that we’re pleased to honor with this month’s innovation award. (Read the full case study)


VakifBank’s VAI Cognitive Services will be automatically selected as a top-9 nominee for the Qorus-Accenture Banking Innovation Awards 2023. Submit your innovations on the Banking Innovation portal until 13 September. Participation is free of charge and open to all financial services players.

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