Unceasing Banking Innovation with Pioneer at the Pinnacle: Hamzah Asmall

The Mendix Pioneers Program is a global community of innovative industry leaders blazing an inventive trail forward in enterprise software development. Pioneers engage with other Platform experts, attend special events, and influence the Mendix product roadmap through workshops and meetings with Mendix executives and R&D.

Every month, we name one Pioneer at the Pinnacle to acknowledge their visionary accomplishments with the Mendix Platform.

The Mendix Pioneer at the Pinnacle for June 2022 is Hamzah Asmall, Development and Digitalization Manager at Al Baraka Bank, South Africa.

Modern mobile banking is just the beginning

Asmall has been deeply involved with Mendix at Al Baraka since its implementation there a year and a half ago.

Asmall and the Al Baraka team successfully built and deployed a modern, adaptable mobile banking application that has helped their bank compete against much larger national organizations in the Islamic banking market.

Read the full Al Baraka story or watch their Mendix World 2021 session now.

Their Mobile Digital Banking Platform is a full-service transactional banking application for Al Baraka customers. They have recently rolled out investment product features and will soon implement additional banking product options. Asmall and his team will also be extending their corporate banking capabilities in the mobile app, which will further support their existing corporate customers.

The Al Baraka development team operates almost without friction at this point. But that wasn’t always the case.

Regarding their early days with Mendix, Asmall said, “At the beginning, we had a geographically diverse developer team hailing from the Netherlands, Dubai, India and the UK, with little domain knowledge. Getting the team to understand our South African and Sharia Banking contexts proved challenging. We addressed this problem by supplementing low-fidelity mockups with Mendix flowcharts to provide clear and unambiguous requirements to our developers; now everyone on the team is so well acquainted with our domain that they call me out on requirements that don’t make sense.”

Ever-evolving digitalization

Al Baraka has come so far in such a short span of time – from a dated desktop application with limited UX and UI to a sleek, modern mobile app that the team is constantly adapting and updating to meet changing customer needs and expectations.

But Al Baraka is nowhere near finished and its vision is expansive and ambitious.

According to Asmall, “Our primary objective is to build out our mobile app to the point that we have put a complete digital branch in the palm of our customer. This customer experience utopia will complete our quest to unlock our potential for exponential growth as well as help us realize front and back-office cost reductions.”

Still, they aren’t keeping their digitalization vision within the limits of their organization.

Al Baraka’s second strategic objective “is to implement a platform business which will help us unlock additional value for our ecosystem.”

Hamzah Asmall is a Pioneer worth watching.

He and his team have already accomplished herculean objectives, and that was just them getting started.

Al Baraka Development Team

  • Mohammed Kaka, COO and Executive Champion
  • Hamzah Asmall, Development and Digitalization Manager
  • Omar Khayyam, Transactional Banking Product Owner
  • Adhila Vally, Investments Product Owner
  • Hassan Al Natour, Architect
  • Mohammed Abu Qadorah, Lead Developer
  • Ahmed Kofahi, React Native Specialist
  • Teja Eemani, UI Stylist
  • Mohammed Almomany, Junior Developer
  • Hala Khamayseh, Junior Developer