I went to the recent Q&A with the new CEO of ANZ, Shayne Elliott, organised by FinTech Melbourne. It was the first public speaking appearance by Shayne since becoming CEO (excluding his gig at the Australian Tennis Open), and followed a similar event last year with Patrick Maes, the bank’s CTO.
- Improving the customer experience (CX) is paramount
- Maintaining the high level of trust customers place in their banks is key
- Being aware of FinTech disruption is important, but remaining focused on core strategy is even more important
- FinTech can coexist with traditional banks, but the latter will win out in the end
- The bigger opportunity for FinTech is probably in SME solutions, rather than B2C
- Increased process automation is in support of CX, not about reducing headcount
- Big data and customer analytics are all very well, but have to drive CX outcomes
- Customers still see the relationship with their main financial institution in terms of basic transaction accounts, which is why payment solutions (a high volume/low margin activity) are vital to the banks’ sustainability
- ANZ is about to appoint a head of digital banking who will report direct to the CEO
- ANZ has been rated as one of the top global banks in terms of its use of Twitter and social media (but from what I have seen, much of the Big 4 banks’ social media presence can be attributed to their sports sponsorship…)
There was also some discussion around ANZ’s Asian strategy, and the statement last year that the “new” strategy is about becoming a digital bank. Shayne was quick to point out that they are not abandoning the Asian strategy (it’s not either/or) but because they embarked on Asia 8 years ago, most of the work has been done. Now they need to consolidate and expand the platform they have built. He also placed ANZ’s Australian business as being a comparatively small part of the group’s portfolio, and also took the view that despite ANZ’s size, resources and reach, digital products have to be developed market by market – it’s not a one size fits all approach. (Several FinTech founders in the audience took a very different perspective on this.)
And, in a bid to appear entirely approachable, both Shayne and Patrick were happy for people to contact them direct by e-mail… So if any budding FinTech founders have an idea to pitch to a major bank, you know who to contact.
Next week: Making the most of the moment…