Simon Pomeroy of Westpac NZ: Inside the digital suite

Divina Paredes

Equally, if you go into a branch and have a conversation with somebody, our online [team] knows what you have been doing. So it is seamlessly connecting the experience for customers across all the channels. Our three-pronged strategy: One, delivering this new Internet bank that is fully responsive, and gives you the ability to do all your banking on any device. The second strategy, called Symphony, is our use of the data in a more effective away, total customer management in that total relationship, and being able to personalise one to one conversations with customers across all channels. The third piece is that ability to be able to talk to people in a very personalised way online when they're in session, and rethink about online in the same way as we've always thought about offline.

Simon Pomeroy with Westpac NZ CEO Peter Clare:
Simon Pomeroy with Westpac NZ CEO Peter Clare: "Our aspiration is to be the best digital bank in New Zealand by the end of the year, and the world by the end of next year."

For a long time we've looked at how do we create this physical branch that delivers this customer experience? And we're still looking at those things, but we're also saying, how do we deliver this online branch that delivers the same experience? How do you take the heritage and the brand and the experience and deliver that to customers in a virtual way, and seamlessly make sure that you're only ever one click away from a human being through those channels?

The ability to use things like live chat or video chat means that we don't have to then go into a branch to speak to someone. Or we don't have to go ring the contact centre to have that conversation. You can come to us straight away. And I think that's really important, because it is all about the customer experience. Banking is relationship driven. Customers make everyday decisions that involve financial services but they also make big decisions, such as buying a home, that they want to have a face-to-face or contact with another human being to talk about that. So for us, digital is not replacing people; it's about how you make digital and people work very closely together. Our digital strategy is 'digitally led; people backed'. And customers are driving this change.

CIO: How did you get into this role?
My career started in recruitment. I spent 1997 to 2005 in an external recruitment role. That allowed me to really understand people and how you can help people develop their careers, change their lives effectively through to the jobs and the decisions they take around jobs, and also the value that recruitment can deliver. This was how I used to talk about recruitment: If you make the right decisions as an organisation with the talent you bring in... You might need to spend $50,000 hiring someone, but the right person is going to bring you $5 million to $10 million worth of incremental value, or drive your retention through your organisation of 20 per cent higher. It was enhancing lives, enhancing organisations.

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