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We built the Financial Brokers Association of Australia an innovative membership application, with full Salesforce synchronisation

The FBAA wanted to streamline their membership process and drastically improve approval times from weeks down to just minutes.

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It was of critical importance that the company we selected knew what they were doing and had the experience and know-how to achieve that symbiotic relationship where all things balance and work smoothly.
— Peter J White AM, Managing Director, Financial Brokers Association of Australia

The Finance Brokers Association of Australia Limited (FBAA) is the leading national association representing more than 8,000 finance and mortgage brokers throughout Australia. They monitor legislation and makes representations to Regulators, Commonwealth Government Departments, and Members of Parliament, both state and federal as appropriate.

Brokers are required to undertake annual Continuing Professional Development to maintain their knowledge. The FBAA works with professional training organisations to provide market leading training programs to the industry and keeps their Members up to date with changes to government legislation and regulations.

To better manage and service an increasing membership, FBAA executives envisioned an innovative membership software application to transform what has been a labour intensive and often lengthy process. They were looking to create an application that would accept multiple pieces of evidence supplied by applicants into a streamlined membership application and renewal process. It would allow a new member (meeting all criteria) to be approved within minutes, instead of weeks.

This app would simplify and digitise all aspects of the application process, providing greater visibility and control of the process for both the applicant and FBAA.

Choosing a software development partner

Choosing the right software partner is an important undertaking. The right partner brings top technology skills and best practice, high levels of communication and transparency, and a flexible agile method. In practice, this means the client has complete control over the progress of the project and knows its status at any time.

Peter White, Managing Director of the FBAA, was looking for a software development partner to provide the needed skills in development and ongoing management, along with an ability to be flexible and grow development services with the FBAA into the future.

We have larger digital technology plans in addition to this specific project and so it was important for us to ensure that we chose a company with depth and an experienced history. We wanted a software partner with the capability to come along with us on our journey, offering the skill sets that will help bring our visions to reality.

Peter J White AM, Managing Director
Financial Brokers Association of Australia

Salesforce® integration vital

The FBAA uses Salesforce extensively to manage their membership database. Thus, any new application they built needed full integration with the Salesforce platform. As the world’s number one CRM, Salesforce offers a wide range of functionality, including the ability for developers to build open-source custom applications on its cloud Platform as a Service (PaaS) offering, Heroku. Heroku is easy to use, flexible and provides developers a simple path to deploy, manage, and scale modern apps.

It was essential that FBAA’s software development partner be skilled at Salesforce integration and Heroku Connect, the add-on that synchronizes data between a Salesforce organisation and a Heroku Postgres database. Heroku Connect, along with Heroku Postgres, allows developers to build applications that interact with a Salesforce organisation, using the languages and frameworks supported by Heroku. The result is a fully synchronised system, with solutions that span Salesforce and Amazon Web Services (AWS), allowing employees to provide better service to members and drive customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Salesforce Connected application

The Salesforce component for us was critical. The software firm we chose had to have a solid understanding of Salesforce and who knew how to build an application that fully integrated with our existing systems. It was an unquestionable must for what we were doing. We have a highly customized platform with various components that must all work together. When it came to building the new membership application and all of the features we wanted, it would be laying another level of complexity over the top of our existing system. So, it was of critical importance that the company we selected knew what they were doing and had the experience and know-how to achieve that symbiotic relationship where all things balance and work smoothly.

Peter J White AM, Managing Director
Financial Brokers Association of Australia

Building a new membership application.

The FBAA had been processing membership applications manually. The various pieces of evidence were supplied by the applicant and sent in varied formats. Manual processing was also required when existing members submitted evidence of their yearly Continuing Professional Development, a requirement for their membership to remain valid.

A consistent growth in new members saw a corresponding increase in paperwork, necessitating more staff being added to deal with that.

With the new membership app launched, routine business operations were effectively digitised and automated, removing staffing stress and eliminating manual double entry of data into disparate systems, which can introduce errors. With digital solutions in place, large increases in traffic can easily be accommodated, without affecting any other part of the association. Personnel can then be utilised in providing high-value member services.

“The goal for our membership app was to provide members both new and existing with a streamlined mechanism to process their applications, allowing them to be approved on the spot rather than waiting weeks and weeks for the application to spit out the back end of a manual process. Because it is integrating with Salesforce, the app sends all data to Salesforce centrally and it means there’s no double handling of cross data entries. It is a seamless process. That is the key to it.

“The pressures on our staff have been greatly removed by introducing the app as it does the front-end work and we are letting technology run that. We have the benefits of optical character recognition and the learning gained from the use of artificial intelligence to ensure that we keep improving on our processes constantly.” — Peter J White AM, Managing Director FBAA

Digital technology solutions are transforming the Financial Services sector.

Mr White states:

“Looking at Open Banking, block-chain platforms and all that is coming in the lending sector, the financial services industry is very much at the forefront of the digital technology progression. From where we sit, as an industry association, the FBAA is still undergoing our own journey and with our new application built by reinteractive, we are now leading the way and we are looking at taking that hand-in-hand globally to our association colleagues around the world.”

Why reinteractive?

reinteractive brought to the table a large team of senior developers, skilled at building complex and large-scale web and mobile applications. Additionally, reinteractive is expert in building custom applications on the Salesforce Heroku platform, as well as Heroku Connect, maximising all that Salesforce has to offer.

Experts in the Ruby on Rails development framework, with more than 200 applications built for clients, reinteractive developers are skilled at solving problems and requirements of any size. Clients have all the services in the one development agency—reinteractive is a one-stop-shop, providing a complete solution from application scoping and planning, user experience design and visual design, software development and also managed services, taking care of applications once launched.

Benefits:

The FBAA has seen immediate and positive benefits since the launch of The App. An applicant can now digitally upload all required evidence items relevant to apply for membership and fill out necessary forms online. All membership data is immediately available in Salesforce with the near instantaneous synchronisation between the app on the Heroku platform and their Salesforce org. FBAA staff have a comprehensive central view of their members within the Salesforce dashboard. Additionally, the system is integrated with their accounting and other required business software.

“We are seeing enormous benefits. If all requirements are met, with no queries, the applicant’s membership is instantly approved, with a certificate issued within 30 seconds of them finishing the process. The broker is then able to go about their business. The emphasis is on the applicant providing all of the details and being responsible for their application. Any rejects or queries are sent out as well, enabling these to be fixed and resubmitted. Under the old system, it could take anywhere between 2-6 weeks for an application to be finalised. So, this is a significant improvement. It will allow us to continue to grow and at the same time control our staffing costs because technology is now dealing with something that previously had to be handled by multiple staff.”

— Peter J White AM, Managing Director FBAA

We chose reinteractive because we felt confident that the personnel we were dealing with understood our project and had the skills and knowledge to work with us to develop our application. They knew what we wanted first up and also where we want to take this as we head into the future. Price ultimately also comes into any decision, and while reinteractive didn’t offer the cheapest price, as a not-for-profit (where we are accountable to our members as to what we spend), it was certainly within our spectrum. So, we were able to meet at an appropriate point and we had the confidence that we had the right people working with us.

reinteractive’s greatest strength was understanding the concept of our vision of what we wanted to achieve with this application in terms of ability and functionality, and then being able to conceptualize that, scope it out from a technology perspective and then realise it for us. That ability was critical.

Peter J White AM, Managing Director
Financial Brokers Association of Australia

Partnering with Businest to build their bespoke accounting application

Working with the founder of Businest, Rhondalyn Korolak, we created an award-winning financial management and cash-flow prediction web application.

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reinteractive is the biggest Ruby on Rails development house in the country and has a fantastic reputation in the market, so we were confident that the right number of resources could be assigned to the project. We were very impressed with the level of dedication and care on the project, with development hitting the ground running.
Rhondalynn Korolak, Managing Director, businest

Our Services

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