At a Glance

5x growth in online applications for vehicle loans since initial Temenos deployment in 2017

21.3% completion rate of new digital application process, much higher than industry norms

91.3% increase in loan applications following first simple changes to online journey

MTF Finance has offered a helping hand to New Zealanders for more than 50 years. Started as a cooperative of car dealerships delivering finance for vehicle purchases, the non-bank lender now operates a nationwide franchise network providing personal, home improvement, and business loans. Listed on the New Zealand Debt Market, MTF Finance manages total assets worth 845 million New Zealand dollars.

Back in 2017, MTF Finance’s main routes to market were in-person interactions at its branches and calls to its contact center—typically the most costly channels to manage for a financial service provider. While the lender offered an online loan application option, this consisted of simple web forms built and maintained in-house.

Max Shields, Product Owner, Digital Onboarding at MFT Finance, explains: “Our online loan application process was difficult to customize and gave us limited insight into completion rates and points of friction. To drive more business through our online sales channel, we decided to redesign and streamline the digital onboarding journey, making it as simple and intuitive as possible for applicants to complete all necessary steps.”

Selecting a best-in-class digital onboarding tool

To revamp the digital application process, MTF Finance selected Temenos Infinity Journey Manager—a purpose-built platform that provides integrated tools to design, implement, manage, and optimize the customer acquisition pipeline. MTF Finance worked closely with Temenos to deploy the solution, going live and launching a re-designed online loan application journey after just five months.

“Temenos offered a proven solution that has helped many leading financial institutions to build seamless online customer journeys. The flexible front-end design and development capabilities were impressive, enabling us to customize every field in the application process. They would also allow us to incorporate best practices and track the performance of changes to our online forms.”

Max Shields, Product Owner, Digital Onboarding at MFT Finance

Harnessing powerful analytics to pinpoint friction

A problem soon emerged, though, as completion rates for the new forms were no higher than industry standard levels of around four percent. To identify the reasons behind this, the lender again turned to Temenos for a one-month engagement. A team of Temenos specialists used the Journey Analytics tools in the platform to investigate user behavior during the onboarding journey and pinpoint sources of friction.

The Temenos team found a key problem on the ‘Getting Started’ webpage. Specifically, the back and forward navigation buttons were causing confusion, leading users to abandon applications. Temenos recommended changes to the color, font, text, and positioning of the buttons, and helped MTF Finance to redesign the page. The lender then worked with Temenos to run A/B testing to evaluate the impact of the changes.

Max Shields adds: “Using Temenos Infinity to run A/B testing was really easy. We had an improved webpage deployed inside a day, and although we were initially skeptical that the design changes would solve the problem, we saw much less drop-off on the B version right from the start. We ran the test for 30 days to build a significant sample size to prove the trends, and it was really exciting to watch the results come in.”

Following the changes, MTF Finance saw 5.6 percent more users clicking through the new Getting Started webpage, while overall applications rose, too, as Max Shields comments: “Completion rates for the digital onboarding process went from 4.14 percent to 7.92 percent. That’s a 91.3 percent increase in actual loan applications just by making a few small changes to the buttons on the interface.”

Making ongoing improvements to the customer journey

Since then, MTF Finance has continued to optimize the loan application process, reaching version 40 of the online forms. One key change was removing an entire page that was introducing unnecessary complexity. The lender also re-ordered pages to focus the start of the journey on what applicants want to achieve with their loan, rather than collecting personal details—leading to a greater emotional investment in the process.

“The training we received from Temenos made us self-sufficient in terms of running A/B testing and continually improving the digital journey. And Temenos Infinity Journey Manager gives us everything we need to streamline the customer experience. It’s great for transparency and accountability, too: we can take the data from testing to our internal stakeholders to demonstrate the value of our work.”

Max Shields, Product Owner, Digital Onboarding at MFT Finance

Achieving outstanding return on investment

The results from the ongoing optimizations have been staggering. Every improvement to the design has helped to remove friction and reduce the time for users to step through the application process—ensuring MTF Finance offers a market-leading digital onboarding experience.

Max Shields continues: “We started this project with our completion rate at 4.14 percent. Today, the rate for our vehicle loan applications stands at 21.3 percent, which is much higher than the norms across the lending industry. It also represents a fivefold increase in online lending applications simply by enhancing our digital onboarding experience. The return on our investment with Temenos has been truly outstanding.”

The new online loan application process also helps MTF Finance to operate cost-efficiently. Handling more and more business through the digital channels offers a much lower cost of customer acquisition compared to the traditional routes to market, such as contact center and branch-based interactions.

“Our online sales channel is now much more important, and the rest of the business has taken note. With Temenos Infinity Journey Manager, we have created a seamless digital application process that has sparked massive and sustained growth in our lending business. There is no finish line to the project; we will never just ‘set and forget’. We’ll be using the platform to offer bigger and better things for customers in future.”

Max Shields, Product Owner, Digital Onboarding at MFT Finance

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