User Case

Bank of East Asia: Partnering with Anffy saved us 80% of IT cost while increased 10times development efficiency

Financial services

Digital transformation for Financial Services Industry, not an Easy Task

The Bank of East Asia (BEA) is a large bank with over 250,000 customers. The bank's massive size, complex organization, and strict regulatory requirements present a number of challenges for BEA's digital transformation efforts:

Long and complex processes

To ensure the safety and accuracy of its operations, banks typically have multiple, multi-level approval processes. For example, a project at BEA must go through a series of steps, including approval from the branch, the head office's technology department, the finance department, the compliance department, and the security department, before it can be approved. "Many people complain that by the time the process is finished, the opportunity is gone," said Eugene Leung, BEA's head of technology products.

Inadequate IT capacity

Unlike the head office, which has a large technology team, BEA's branches have a core team of only five people. Each team member must simultaneously manage around 10 projects. Even if the bank outsources projects, it still needs to be involved in a lot of project management, communication, review, testing, and deployment, as well as post-deployment operations. This takes up as much time as self-development.

A lack of IT thinking among business users

BEA has a financial technology strategy that aims to encourage business users to think in an IT-oriented way to solve challenges in their work. However, in reality, many business users still think in terms of following simple instructions, and they lack innovative thinking.
As early as 2018, BEA realized these three challenges and recognized that low-code development tools could help address them. The bank tried to purchase low-code tools from external vendors, but the market and products were not yet mature at that time, so the effort was unsuccessful.
"So, we eventually decided to build our own tools, but it was very expensive," Leung said. From 2019 to early 2021, the project cost increased from the original estimate of HK$1.5 million to over HK$3 million. However, the bank was able to validate the team's commitment to low-code development through the project. Since the project went live, the demand for business applications has continued to grow, and the bank has received positive feedback.
In 2021, BEA's low-code project reached the 4.0 stage. At the crossroads of whether to continue building its own tools or purchase from an external vendor, the branch team evaluated low-code tools on the market. "We found that Anffy was a good fit for our needs, and it had a comprehensive set of features. So we decided to work with Anffy," Leung said.

Reasons for choosing Anffy

  • Supports private deployment, ensuring the security of information systems.
  • Can significantly improve business processes, reducing the time it takes for processes to flow through by 75%.
  • Increases development efficiency by at least tenfold, with some projects taking only an afternoon to complete.
  • Can help BEA implement its financial technology talent strategy, with 35% of business applications being developed by business users themselves.

What they built with Anffy

After Anffy was officially launched at BEA, Leung's team quickly trained business users on how to use Anffy. Once business users got the hang of it, they began to build applications for administrative management, accounting management, organizational management, internal audit, process management, finance management, and retail lending.
Connecting three networks to achieve horizontal data penetration
To ensure data security, BEA has divided its internal network into three areas: office area, data area, and production area. Each area operates independently. While this has improved system security by isolating data, it has also made business digitization management less convenient.
To address the inconvenience caused by data isolation, Anffy's development manager personally stepped in to help BEA connect the three networks using Anffy. "We are very grateful to Anffy's implementation team for providing us with a solution. They are very professional," Leung said. "We never thought that we would be able to achieve horizontal data penetration across networks one day."
Over time, BEA's trust in Anffy has grown, and the bank has gradually migrated 12 modules and 189 sub-functions from the old system to Anffy's private deployment environment.
Semi-automated anti-money laundering investigations, with efficiency improved by more than double
In recent years, the government's regulatory requirements for anti-money laundering have been constantly tightened. This has led to an increase in the workload for banks' anti-money laundering departments. When suspicious transactions are identified, anti-money laundering (AML) customer managers are required to issue investigation reports. "On average, an AML employee has to write nearly 20 AML and compliance reports every day," Leung said. "In addition to attaching data, they also have to write a series of logical arguments. It's a very heavy workload."
After building an AML application with Anffy, the workflow automatically captures and organizes relevant data, which is then handed over to customer managers for verification and completion. This semi-automated approach has doubled business efficiency.

Automatic transmission of marketing data

Within BEA's data network, there is a data warehouse that primarily executes algorithms for targeted customer marketing. It generates daily marketing tasks for customer managers, which are pushed to Anffy's private deployment environment through an API.
BEA's team used Anffy's workflow to create a task dispatch management system. When customer managers receive a task order, they execute it by phone. A telephone call system provided by a telecommunications company converts the content of the manager-customer conversation into concise text, which is transmitted back to the data warehouse in real time for the next round of targeted marketing analysis.
With Anffy's involvement, marketing tasks issued by the data warehouse can also be managed independently in the branch. Customer managers do not miss marketing tasks, and branch managers have tools to monitor and manage tasks, as well as gain more timely feedback on work progress.

Efficiency and Agility improved

  • Improved efficiency of cross-departmental task collaboration through applications such as dynamic updates, knowledge base, and report management.
  • Full online management of project progress, with synchronized progress and open information on results.
  • Standardization of internal materials for improved retrieval and maintenance efficiency.
  • Standardization of processes to ensure compliance and control of business execution.