- Albury-Wodonga, Australia
Hume Bank is a regional institution in Albury-Wodonga, established over six decades ago to help locals buy their own homes. When the bank’s digital offering needed a refresh to expand their customer base outside of the region, they came to S1T2. Together we embarked on a comprehensive process to reimagine their entire ecosystem – from a refreshed brand and modern website, right through to a feature-filled Broker Portal. With seamless onboarding, an integrated content system, and analytics to support continued customer engagement, the new digital ecosystem reimagines the way Hume Bank engages with customers.Visit the website
Hume Bank is an established financial institution with over 68 years of experience operating in the Albury-Wodonga region. But the bank’s digital offering was in need of a refresh.
As part of a wider strategy to expand the bank’s customer base outside of the region, S1T2 was tasked with reimagining the Hume Bank website design in Albury. This project focused on crafting a digital experience that brings Hume Bank’s products and values to life in a way that showcases the institution’s unique potential for customers across Australia.
The first step to creating the new Albury website design was to undertake a collaborative Discovery phase so that our team could develop a deeper understanding of the project outcomes. We started with a week-long Discovery sprint with key members of the Hume Bank team in Albury-Wodonga. The sprint included 5 days of intensive workshops, a series of qualitative stakeholder interviews, and site visits to a number of bank branches across the region.
Throughout this process, it became clear that Hume Bank didn’t just need a new website, but a refreshed brand that felt more authentic to who the organisation is and what they want to accomplish in the future. With this in mind, we expanded the outputs of the Discovery phase to include a wider strategic vision and creative approach.
Our goal in expanding the scope of work was to establish comprehensive brand guidelines that would serve as the foundation for future creative efforts. We would use the new branding to create the website, while the Hume Bank team would focus on extending the brand presence across their other channels.
While Hume Bank has a compelling product offering, it faces the challenge of distinguishing itself from other financial institutions in the industry. Thus, the core creative challenge was to craft a point of difference to give Hume Bank a distinct perspective compared to competitors. To that end, we proposed leaning into Hume Bank’s heritage as a customer-owned bank.
This may not be unique to the organisation, however the idea of customer ownership has been underutilised by the competition. If done well, the refreshed brand would use this as a thread to tie together the rational and emotional decision-making factors involved in choosing a bank, while also developing a distinctive brand character that feels real and tangible to customers.
When imagining the new structure and layout of the Hume Bank Albury website design, the idea of being customer-owned was front of mind. In particular, we chose to organise the website around significant ‘life stages’ at which customers would be most likely to reconsider their banking needs. By recognising the journey Hume Bank’s potential customers would be on, and tailoring the digital experience to suit their needs, we were able to position the new website to grow the organisation’s market share in key areas.
The Hume Bank brand, voice and website design in Albury was organised around the idea of being ‘straightforward yet human’. The aesthetic needed to feel simple and modern, but with a sense of regionality and humanity to help Hume Bank stand out. Our goal was to balance Hume Bank’s desire to break into new, urban markets, while not alienating its existing regional audience.
Regionally-grounded colours are paired with snippets of symbolic shapes derived from outlines of the bank’s home markets. Bold typography and a sense of humour complement the photography, which captures warm, human moments. The end result was an Albury website design that puts things simply, but never forgets the power of human relationships.
To bring the Hume Bank website design Albury to life we created a bespoke content management system (CMS), with future-proofing top of mind. Our goal was to provide our clients with the flexibility to make changes to any piece of content – this included not only the public-facing website, but also a password protected Broker Portal available exclusively to the bank’s mortgage brokers.
By adopting a modular approach to content management, we gave Hume Bank the ability to create new pages, landing pages and additional content – all without the need for a programmer or website developer. This eliminated the need for an integrated development team, while ensuring consistency in the brand identity and design rules of the website.
Workflow processes also play a vital role in this approach. We implemented a range of CMS user roles, enabling various stakeholder groups within the organisation to draft content, make amendments, and gather approval before publishing to the live site. Assigning specific responsibilities to each user role allowed us to provide a structured and efficient CMS that supported collaboration and content governance within the bank across the website design Albury.
By adopting a simplified approach to document management and compliance processes, the new website and CMS allows Hume Bank to respond promptly to market fluctuations while maintaining consistent and accurate communication with their customers.
This was especially important for the bank, being a financial institution, as they need to regularly update interest rates quickly and efficiently. To facilitate this, we designed the CMS such that rate changes could be made once, and then propagated into the correct positions across the entire website. We also implemented features such as advanced file replacement so that rate fact sheets could be easily replaced while maintaining existing URL paths, a feature particularly useful as product fact sheets were amended.
Beyond page creation, the bespoke CMS also allows for the effortless creation of forms – limited to only those user roles with appropriate privilege. This feature has proved invaluable for Hume Bank, as they are able to generate custom forms for new campaigns, with the ability to easily track and measure results across the new Albury website design.
We implemented a foundational system logic to ensure that each newly created form adheres to the organisation’s data retention policy. For example, administrators are notified whenever a form is submitted, while our automated data purge script removes data from the server after a specified period. Features like this help to maintain a balance between user convenience and upholding data protection and privacy standards.
To protect the Hume Bank website and infrastructure, we have employed a Web Application Firewall (WAF), fortified with managed and custom rulesets. This robust defence system is designed to help prevent malicious attempts on the server, ensuring the integrity and security of our systems against potential attackers.
Given the powerful capabilities of the CMS, user profile management and authentication was another vital aspect of security. To address this we implemented Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) to ensure that only authorised users are able to access the CMS. This additional layer of security prevents unauthorised access, safeguards sensitive data, and maintains the confidentiality of information across the site.
As part of our commitment to security, we also ensured that third-party penetration testing was conducted to identify and address potential risks prior to the launch of the website design Albury. This allowed us to stay one step ahead of potential threats, giving us the ability to fortify our systems, mitigate vulnerabilities, and feel confident of the robust security protocols implemented across the Hume Bank website.
Our prioritisation of security when creating and maintaining the Hume Bank website also extends into our development life cycle process. These workflows follow strict management practices to uphold the robustness and performance of the website on an ongoing basis. It also ensures that the team adheres to rigorous testing protocols when a change occurs. The final result is that nothing is deployed to the production server without meeting the stringent standards we set up in collaboration with the client.
Data protection is an important consideration across the web, but especially for organisations like Hume Bank where business continuity is vital. We were sure to implement regular automated backups for both the database and the application, serving as a swift and reliable data recovery solution should an incident occur. By ensuring the availability and integrity of data, we are able to maximise uptime to 99.99% and uphold continuous operations for customers banking online.
In addition to the customer-facing Hume Bank site, we also implemented our website design and development expertise to create a dedicated platform exclusive to the bank’s mortgage brokers. A platform separate from the main Albury website design, the Broker Portal serves as a secure gateway to a wealth of confidential information about Hume Bank’s products and services.
The portal is protected by a system of stringent access controls, ensuring that only authorised mortgage brokers can gain entry. Once logged in, brokers can access extensive product information and invaluable training materials, all designed to enhance understanding of the Hume Bank offering and support brokers with accurate and up-to-date information on home loan products.