Launched in 2006 by serial Russian entrepreneur Oleg Tinkov, Tinkoff has been a disruptor from day one. It began as a branchless credit card issuer and evolved into an online financial ecosystem with one of the world’s largest independent digital banks at its core.
With a focus on lifestyle banking, the Tinkoff ecosystem enables 13 million customers to assess and plan personal spending, invest their savings, earn loyalty programme bonuses, book trips, buy movie tickets, make restaurant reservations and more. As its workforce grew—it now has 14,000 employees—so did its IT requests and queries, and resolving them by email was no longer practical.
Tinkoff introduced Slack in 2017 to provide a central place where IT questions could be easily asked and answered. It was so impressed by how it improved productivity that it deployed Slack to its entire organisation.
Since then, Tinkoff has integrated its most-used apps into Slack and built over 1,400 custom apps of its own. With Slack, Tinkoff has streamlined its internal processes, such as recruitment and onboarding, and has given its people the tools they need to collaborate effectively and get complex work done. It has also created hundreds of workflows that automate common tasks and, with Slack Connect, its teams can work securely with outside partners. Here’s a look at how Slack has become the engine that drives Tinkoff’s efficiency.
“Slack allows our employees to seamlessly switch from raising a service desk ticket to contributing to a group conversation to discussing burning questions about the New Year’s Eve work party.”
Automating IT requests for a smoother employee experience
In the past, when employees in Tinkoff’s ecosystem had IT issues—network access difficulties, laptop emergencies, software requests, etc.—they would email the IT department. The problem was that those emails could be sent to the wrong people or get forgotten about in the day-to-day.
Even minor issues could generate lengthy, hard-to-follow email threads and replies were only ever shared with the person who asked the question. No-one else could benefit from the answer, which meant that the IT team had to respond to the same queries again and again. By introducing Slack, Tinkoff gave its employees access to channels, a central place to share messages, tools and files—and ask tech questions.
Nikita Makhnev, Tinkoff’s deputy director of internal services automation, helped Tinkoff to make the switch. He began by using Slack’s Workflow Builder, which allows any Slack user to automate routine functions in just a few minutes, to create a straightforward IT ticketing system.
All tech questions are now asked and answered in the
#tech-help channel. If an employee has an IT problem, they go to the channel and call up the workflow, which brings up a form where they explain their issue. Simple queries such as Wi-Fi password requests trigger an auto response, while more complex enquiries are sent directly to the most suitable expert. All questions and solutions are visible to everyone, encouraging transparency and fast, comprehensive replies.
Makhnev gets 10 or more requests from employees every day. Before Slack, he was continually checking his email, opening messages and following links to resolve queries.
“Now I just get a notification on my phone and press approve or deny. It’s freed up my time massively,” Makhnev says .
He also likes how Slack gives him a more informal way to connect with his team.
“Sending someone a Slack message is an excellent way to keep on top of what’s going on with them, and a quick ‘thank you’ can mean a lot,” Makhnev says.
Tinkoff realised that Slack’s benefits were too good to keep to just one area of its business, so it rolled it out across the entire company. All departments, including HR, security, accounting, product development and sales, now use Slack as their communication platform. All queries, not just those related to IT, are dealt with through Slack channels. Together, Tinkoff employees have created over 800 workflows that automate common tasks and processes, giving them the space they need to focus on more meaningful work.
With 1,400 custom Slack apps, Tinkoff’s productivity has reached new heights
The Tinkoff ecosystem is a busy one, and a variety of different apps compete for employees’ attention. Switching between them is a drain on efficiency, which is why the company has integrated over 1,000 of them right in Slack. Everyone can use their favourite tools without leaving the Slack workspace, boosting productivity and making it easier to share information.
“Tinkoff’s approach to task management is similar to Slack’s. We have created a super application for our clients which allows them to seamlessly switch from checking their account balance to buying plane tickets, making restaurant reservations or chatting with our AI voice assistant Oleg. In the same way, Slack allows our employees to seamlessly switch from raising a service desk ticket to contributing to a group conversation to discussing burning questions about the New Year’s Eve work party,” Makhnev says.
As well as integrating popular apps like Zoom and Polly, Tinkoff has created over 1,400 custom Slack apps to suit its unique needs. Its bespoke recruitment and onboarding apps have transformed its hiring process, for example.
With the recruitment app, the in-house recruiter posts candidate CVs in the
#recruitment channel. The relevant HR manager then receives a Slack message that asks them whether they want to proceed with the candidate’s application. A “yes” starts the ball rolling with the interview process, while a “no” will send a message to the recruiter telling them that the applicant has been unsuccessful.
With just a few clicks, a significant part of the recruitment process is completed. In fact, the recruitment app has helped to reduce the time it takes from receiving a CV to a first interview with the hiring manager by 30%.
“When we used email, it could take three days to get a yes or a no on a candidate. Now it’s literally minutes,” Makhnev says.
Tinkoff has also built a welcome app to help its new hires onboard successfully. It gives them information on the company, shares important documents and reminds them to fill out forms and complete training modules. The company has even created a mood app that gauges how employees are feeling, so it can surface any potential issues in its work processes.
“Slack is so intuitive, even for new employees who have never used it before. It makes it possible for them to get acquainted with our company and their colleagues really quickly.”
Collaborating with outside partners and triaging issues, thanks to Slack Connect
Slack hasn’t just helped Tinkoff to improve its internal communications—external relationships have benefited too. With Slack Connect, it can share channels with its partner organisations and collaborate with them in real time. It has over 20 companies on its roster so far, and Makhnev is convinced that it is the way of the future.
“Slack Connect is great for to-the-moment messages, which allow us to triage issues faster. That immediacy also helps us to build better rapport with our partners. It’s easy to ask them a question about their weekend, for instance,” Makhnev says.
With 13 million customers banking, investing and managing their lifestyles on its mobile app and website, Tinkoff is naturally concerned about keeping its data safe. Slack Connect, with its enterprise-grade security features, gives it peace of mind.
“We can control who sees what, and we have a record of everything that’s been sent. If we were using WhatsApp or text messages, we wouldn’t have that sort of visibility over our information,” Makhnev says.
Forbes recently named Tinkoff as the third-best company to work for in Russia, and it has ambitions to reach the No. 1 spot. Slack will be a part of that journey, says Makhnev: “Slack has elevated our communications to another level, and its automation features save us so much time. We couldn’t be without it now.”