Award description


In 1996 two friends from New Zealand started the first office for New Zealand Home Loans to help New Zealanders achieve financial freedom faster. Over the last 25 years, the business grew into a nationwide network, saving their clients billions of dollars.

The ingredients to their success were:

– listening to their client needs and truly understanding what they want,
– making a tailored financial plan to suit,
– to ensure that the advisors are so helpful to their clients to the point they remain for the life of their home loan.

The 'Smart Home Loan' structure has found that income and savings work better for clients; in a number of cases, by a decade.

Business owners of each office are passionate New Zealanders who live and work in the local communities that they serve.

We engaged with NZHL to help on its transformation journey. NZHL suggested that their user experience was a bit behind time, they were operating on legacy platforms and missing opportunities in streamlining processes and automations.

While most of the work was focused on collecting data and simplifying processes, we started utilising data in the client-facing side of the business.

NZHL is not a brokerage company, it owns its clients, while lenders secure the mortgage. That is how a client's journey lasts for years, and continuity of care becomes so important.


  • Product & Delivery Leadership
  • Product Strategy,
  • Business Case
  • Solution Architecture
  • User-research & UX
  • Prototyping
  • High-fidelity UI & Visuals

The problem

The existing solution was built around a sales pitch. Therefore, the client journey was a bit disconnected across client lifecycle.

The goal of this product was to enable the advice process, emphasizing NZHL value proposition, by providing them with accurate and reliable data, at all stages.


The Client Portal features historical balances data, visualizing loan structure to allow users to quickly see how they perform and get valuable insights based on daily financial activity, baked by OpenBanking APIs.

The visual aesthetic of the web app maintains a clean and streamlined appearance while allowing for opportunities to add personality through the use of the client's house image and its location. UI elements formed the company's design systems, unifying the customer user experience across all the apps.

The new Client Portal is currently being built to release in early 2022.

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