Building Home Loans 10x Faster with Temporal at ANZ

Over the course of a single weekend, we achieved with Temporal what had eluded us for an entire year. Within six weeks, Temporal was in production.

anz logo


Financial Services

Use Case

Loan Origination

Company Size






Building Home Loans 10x Faster with Temporal

ANZ Bank is one of the largest banks in Australia and New Zealand, with a significant presence in the Asia-Pacific region. Established in 1835, it has grown to become one of the “Big Four” banks in Australia and has nearly 40,000 employees.

As part of their digital banking initiative, ANZ Plus, they set out to transform the home loan processing system, aiming for applications to be efficiently completed and finalized in just 45 minutes. This substantial decrease in time and expense for assessment, approval, and settlement was crucial for the bank. To realize this objective, ANZ had to conceive and create a user-friendly application that facilitated borrowers in effortlessly navigating the mortgage application journey.

This intricate process involves multiple steps, integrating both automated and human tasks. Initially, the team dedicated months to crafting a custom solution tailored to their needs. Given the unique requirements of each borrower and the multitude of possible steps—totaling over 440—the variations were abundant. And around the 18-month mark, the system’s complexity reached a tipping point, significantly hindering developer productivity and causing delivery to grind to be impacted. A more effective approach was urgently needed.

Aligning the business with Temporal

A member of their engineering team found Temporal and started to model a workflow that had been a challenge for the team and they quickly realized (over a weekend) that this could dramatically impact their delivery and simplification of the overall system. The team spent some time evaluating Temporal and chose to move forward as it “fit” their requirements for stateful orchestration and Saga transactions and would considerably simplify overall systems design.

“Nothing else offered us the same ability to solve our complex workflow problems.”

With Temporal, they have broken down the system into domain explicit workflows that take one part of the process (info collection, credit rating, etc…) and deliver it as a component. Each workflow implements activities that map directly to the business steps required for the domain.

These domain-based teams not only integrate with each other but, more significantly, they can now directly collaborate with the business, leveraging workflows and activities that speak the “same language.” This alignment between engineering and their business partners contributes to the overall simplification of the system and reduces delivery time. No longer constrained by intricate process maps, they can now embed the language of the business directly into their code. Delivery estimates, once projected at one year, were shrank to just ten weeks.

“Temporal ensures our processes are done in the correct order and are durable. It will eventually be completed or rolled back, ensuring the state is consistent and we are compliant.”

Humans in the machine

Human involvement remains essential in the loan origination process. While automation offers significant benefits, there are invariably issues, inquiries, and stages that require real human interactions. ANZ’s customer success team utilizes Salesforce for customer management and interaction. Their engineering team successfully integrated this process into Temporal Workflows using signal handlers, thus eliminating extensive integration code and simplifying complexity.

This approach allows them to wait for a non-standard amount of time for a request to be answered and is just one of a handful of internal and external systems they needed to integrate with to deliver the application. They use a similar pattern to wait for APIs and can now use retry policies to avoid timeouts of external systems.

Meeting security requirements within financial services The financial services sector imposes stringent security standards on vendors, given the importance of fiduciary responsibility. ANZ Bank is renowned for its heightened sensitivity to these requirements. The bank valued the shared commitment from the Temporal team around transparency and adherence to their standards. This collaboration led to the development of, offering valuable insights into the Temporal security measures.

Additionally, the ANZ team was able to use the Temporal Data Converter to ensure all data was encrypted between the application and Temporal Cloud. This unique approach allows companies to manage keys and to ensure data within the service is always encrypted and [only available with the application itself.

Shift to Temporal Cloud

Many organizations will initially start with a self-hosted instance of the Temporal Service and Many organizations will begin their journey with a self-hosted instance of the Temporal Service, and ANZ is no exception. However, the team soon recognized there was no leverage in becoming control plane experts and made an early transition to Temporal Cloud. The switch proved to be simpler, quicker, and more resilient compared to their self-hosted setup. Upon careful evaluation of costs, they found that the costs model made more sense and this move enabled them to ultimately deliver more workflows faster.

A digital future and Temporal

This initial project was a success and is in production today, fueling the efficient process of home loans throughout the region.

“Owning a home is one of the biggest financial commitments most people will make in their lifetime. We believe the process should help customers to find the right loan for them, as easy and fast as possible,”

And while Temporal usage started within loan origination, Temporal’s usage has expanded significantly within the bank, now reaching over 500 engineers. Its application has spread to other critical areas such as fraud detection, payments processing, and know your customer (KYC) initiatives. The bank has also established standardized best practices for leveraging Temporal Workflows, enabling additional teams to streamline code and deliver more features, faster.

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