Simon Pomeroy of Westpac NZ: Inside the digital suite

Divina Paredes

So digital really needs to enable our customers and enable our staff. And we're really seeing big differences. Again, with the Symphony strategy we created a dashboard that sits in our CRM system that gives a single view of the customer. It actually gives our staff the ability to view what products a customer has and doesn't have with us, what their recent experiences have been like with the bank, their customer sentiment, the scores that we get back from customers. That single view enables them to have a really targeted next best conversations with a customer when they come into a branch or in a call centre.

The fundamental difference between ourselves and other organisations is that digital doesn't sit in technology... It almost sits in between technology and marketing and sales. It sits where it needs to sit to deliver customer outcomes.

With our Beacon strategy, when you walk into a branch now and you get recognised, your picture pops up and the next best conversation strategy pops up. These are things that make staff feeling really engaged, because it's enabling them in the same way that it enables customers to get their outcomes.

The great thing about the strategy that we've got with Internet banking, and also wearable devices, is that we've developed proof of concepts and we've developed prototypes and we're testing them. That means when Google Glass is launched in New Zealand in a year's time, we will have a year's worth of refinement and testing on staff before we put the solution into the hands into our main customer base. We'll be leading the market, because rather than just delivering a solution, we'll have 12 months of refining that solution before it goes into the hands of all of our customers. Again, a fundamentally different approach.

CIO: How do you keep abreast of what's happening in the marketplace and business technology?
I always go in [to visit Westpac branches] and I always put myself as a customer. I always look at the solutions that we bring out as a customer. But when I go into a branch or I call the contact centre, I don't tell them who I am. And so I get to see it as a customer. All our executive team spends time out in branches and with the contact centre. Going on trips, like the one recently to the United States, working as part of that collaborative leadership team, is really important, as well as reading. I get daily updates from a whole range of places that gives me insights into what people are doing in all industries.

The key for us, as well, is don't necessarily look at what's been happening in banking. We look at what's happening in places like Google, Samsung, Apple, and Amazon; in organisations that we believe are thought leaders in this space. We benchmark ourselves against other banks. We work with Finalta, a research company (a subsidiary of McKinsey & Co) that looks at us against our peers globally. They surveyed more than 64 banks around the world and they give us the feedback based on how we're doing. Westpac New Zealand is among the leaders in Finalta's global peer group at driving uptake of digital banking. Westpac New Zealand has delivered the fastest observed growth in mobile banking over all 64 banks globally that we've been reviewed against.

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