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AFFIN HWANG AM
Advancing Customer Experience with AHAM

Spearheading unconventional customer service through innovation

Background

overview
Corporate identity is essential to the success of any brand, regardless of its size or industry. It is not just the corporate culture that is important, but also the actions that a company undergoes to achieve good perception from their target audience. This is why AFFIN Hwang Asset Management (AHAM) is committed to maintaining the consistency of its identity across all platforms.

Engaged by AHAM, XIMNET was tasked to reimagine AFFIN Hwang Asset Management Investor Portal’s customer service, particularly realigning the i-Access portal with the revamped corporate’s website look and feel. Ultimately, this revamp exercise aims to reinvent the portal to provide an application-like experience to all its investors and digitise while simplifying application processes to serve the customer better.
the client
Affin Hwang Asset Management - AFFIN Hwang Asset Management Berhad of Malaysia (“Affin Hwang AM”) is an independently-managed, bank-backed asset management firm that started its roots in 2001
Affin Hwang Asset Management Berhad (“Affin Hwang AM”) is one of the fastest-growing investment management houses in Malaysia, overseeing close to RM80 billion in assets on behalf of their esteemed clients. Coming from humble beginnings since 2001, the Company’s consistent outperformance and business excellence has garnered multiple awards and recognition from both local and international rating agencies.
challenges
We prioritise mobile-first experience since transactions can be done with a few taps away. It was challenging for our team to ensure user experience on mobile devices is not compromised. One of the key features AHAM is keen on implementing in the i-Access portal is the ability for users to keep track of their invested capital after years of managing their portfolio by doing multiple investments, switching and redemption. 

Since every user has their own distinctive investment portfolio, it is not straightforward to streamline the content presentation of large datasets meaningfully and attractively across devices of multiple dimensions, all the while emphasizing its responsiveness and clarity. The information displayed on the portal must be concise as well to avoid any confusion for users to make use of the portal.

Despite the technical aspect of investing with i-Access, our team wants to ensure that the user experience of the portal is optimized for every user age group, including new users and sophisticated investors. Thus, the portal must be kept intuitive and easy to navigate across each module.
our approach
Our focus was to consolidate and unify all services offered by i-Access to better serve and empower investors of all ages through self-servicing tools and platforms, simultaneously increasing the organization’s productivity by automating repetitive tasks.

Since there are multiple key modules being implemented at the same portal, we implemented the API-First approach in our development process. The APIs are treated as “first-class citizens”, which involves thorough planning and more time spent on the design of API structure rather than just the code implementation, which helps to minimize any error of data displayed on the portal. This is made possible by building the front end with XTOPIA.IO while the AHAM team handles the data processing and storage.
Figure 1: API-first approach
We prioritise mobile-first experience since transactions can be done with a few taps away.
The Work

Research
Stakeholder interviews were conducted to better understand the strengths and weaknesses of the previous i-Access portal. The questions are mainly focusing on what are the usual main investors’ activities and key pain points based on current investors’ feedback. Some feedbacks which include other platforms as benchmarks are then used to carry out a gap analysis to identify suboptimal or missing strategies, processes, or capabilities, which might be feasible for implementation in the portal. With the study and research the team has done on technology and trends, we managed to identify some of the latest web technologies and what was available in the financial market that can be used for the portal revamp.

Figure 2: Before and after look of i-Access portal
Progressive Web App
Building the portal as a Progressive Web App (PWA) is important because it enables users to install the digital touchpoint on their phone, making updates easier to access. With push notification for Android users, the website now has the capability to broadcast the latest updates to investors directly from announcements compared to the conventional method of using emails or newsletters. With PWA technology, the overall loading time is improved, which tackles the declining attention span problem of mobile users, enables them to get an overview of one’s investment promptly at ease.

Figure 3: Installable platform at user's device
Agile Methodology
Due to the vast number of investors that i-Access is currently serving, constant updates and development are required to keep the users up with the trends, especially new investing tools and processes that will be implemented in near future.
 
The extensibility of the features offered by i-Access encourages the implementation of Agile Methodology, which breaks the project into several phases and requires evaluation of the processes and structure individually. With Agile Methodology, we can be responsive to the market needs and the customer feedback, able to change direction as the situation demands. Our team cycles through a repetitive process of planning, executing and evaluating with the stakeholders internally. This includes technologies proposing and reviewing, weekly meetings, code development and user acceptance testing (UAT) for each module implementation.
With Agile Methodology, we can adapt to the market needs and the customer feedback.
Third party modules integration
As users expect a certain extent of self-servicing while investing, our team had integrated third-party modules to handle multiple investing scenarios. Since the portal involves online transactions and storing sensitive and discrete investors information, an authentication system plays an important role as security to secure data and systems by requiring additional input beyond username and password. For example, a TAC code is requested prior to any transactions being processed. 

Transaction components including Buy New Fund, Top-Up, Switch and Redeem are implemented at ease with XTOPIA.IO which allows reusability. For Buy New Fund and Top-Up, the user needs to make payment via the payment system which is then built on top of FPX. Live Chat module is implemented as well which serves as a concierge to fellow investors to address any enquiries they encounter when navigating or performing any transactions on i-Access.
Design Concept
The portal is designed as easy to navigate, with quick links on the side menu for users to access other pages. As part of the user experience, our team strongly adhere to 5 key principles while designing and building the dashboard, namely purposeful, clear, consistent, personal, and flexible.
 
  • PURPOSEFUL: Summarising user’s portfolio with meaningful info and numbers.
  • CLEAR: Communicating to users with accurate data using various chart visuals.
  • CONSISTENT: Maintaining similar naming conventions, layouts, and colour themes.
  • PERSONAL: Displaying data info that is relevant to their own investment portfolio.
  • FLEXIBLE: Allowing users to customise content and layout according to their needs.

Figure 4: Consistent design concept
With a seamless UX across all services offered in the portal, investors are now more independent and empowered to manage their portfolios.
The Results

Having gone through the revamp exercise, the i-Access portal has been able to serve investors in multiple investing scenarios. With a seamless UX across all services offered in the portal, investors are now more independent and empowered to manage their portfolios.

Thanks to XTOPIA.IO and the effort spent in developing the extensible system integration, new transaction components can be introduced and implemented in the future which allows i-Access to always adapt to the ever-changing and evolving global economy, consumer preferences, technology, and regulations.

Other works
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